This afternoon Scotland will take on Albania, live on BBC ALBA on the day the channel announces a set of new deals that will see it become the home of Scottish women’s football.
This move signals a huge boost to the profile of the sport in Scotland. The deals include the live broadcast of any Scotland squad World Cup games in 2019.
The three-year deal with the Scottish FA will see all of the national squad’s home competitive games shown live on BBC ALBA, and available on the BBC iPlayer. In an innovative addition, the Scottish FA and the channel will share unprecedented levels of content across social media to ensure the profile of the game is raised, driving growth in spectators, participation and viewers.
This news comes as the channel also announces a significant expansion of its coverage of the women’s domestic league in Scotland, with coverage of at least six games, including the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup Final and the SWPL Cup Final. Glasgow City FC’s 2018 UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign will also be covered.
Chris Rawlings, Scottish FA Commercial Director said: “This is a partnership we are extremely excited about as the women’s and girls’ game in Scotland continues to develop.
“Having a guaranteed broadcast partner allows us to show all the women’s national team home matches which have proven to be an exciting entity.
“The record crowd of 4,098 at The Simple Digital Arena in Paisley proves the appetite is there to watch the women’s national team and this deal enables the nation to watch our games, when they can’t make it along to the stadium.
“We will work closely with BBC ALBA to ensure the partnership continues to grow year on year and continues to deliver a high quality broadcast of the matches.”
Iseabail Mactaggart, MG ALBA Director of Strategy and Partnership said: “This is an exciting moment for the channel. In the 10 years of BBC ALBA we have demonstrated in other sports how a national free-to-air platform can showcase a growing sport, and at the same time introduce audiences - sometimes for the first time - to Gaelic.
“Scottish women’s football is at an extraordinarily exciting junction, and we are delighted to be working with the Scottish FA and SWF to create transformative partnerships which will be good for BBC ALBA’s audiences, but also fantastic for Scottish women’s football at domestic league and national level.
“We are also very pleased that with the BBC we will be able to broadcast live all of the Scottish national team’s Women’s World Cup games, should they qualify.”
Vivienne MacLaren, Chair of Scottish Women’s Football said: “This agreement is a huge sign of progress within Scottish women’s football. Making the game more visible is of vital importance to us as an organisation and this deal is another positive step forward. Having worked with BBC ALBA previously, we know the passion they have for our game and we’re delighted to be part of this agreement.
“It’s such an exciting time for the domestic game. To have matches being broadcast on a national platform is a testament to all those involved in the game, past and present, and secures a bright future for the next generation of girls’ and women’s footballers.”