Sport on the Sofa: After Emma Raducanu, can Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jason Cummings or the Scottish Women’s National Team lure viewers?
Emma Raducanu's incredible US Open win was witnessed by 9.2 million television viewers at its peak and, as the country’s new role model, Channel4 brought the inspiration to the masses, and increased visibility to her incredible achievement.
A hat tip, or in this case a visor tip, then to those who struck the deal with Amazon Prime and took the tennis to terrestrial TV for the momentous occasion. And such was her straight sets dominance, it wasn’t as late as last week's column cautioned. The teenager never was, always finishing early and completing the tournament without dropping a set.
Women’s sport has a statement – adorning amongst others, the shirts of perennial Scottish football champions Glasgow City that says "You can't be what you can't see" – and the increased visibility brought by the quick-thinking deal has caught national attention.
Women’s sport has another strong showing this week, but not quite as mainstream, so it’s worth seeking out Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Hungary on Friday evening.
The aforementioned Glasgow City were disappointed in the Champions League on BBC Alba last week, so the national side under new boss Pedro Martinez Losa, are seeking a change of fortunes, if not channels. Also on the other side are England’s Lionesses, on ITV4 against North Macedonia plus Wales on their domestic BBC service against Kazakhstan.
BBC Scotland’s weekly SWPL highlights continue this evening while Jen Beattie – one of Scotland’s key players has been in fine form for Arsenal and has featured regularly in the clips on Sky Sports this weekend.
Sticking to the football theme, although Arsenal fans look away now, the Champions League and Europa League kick-off for clubs across the continent this week – all brought live on BT Sport via the channels and online.
The enhanced online features include specific stats for players’ distance travelled, sometimes shot velocity and all sorts but, if you’re just looking for the football itself, Scottish interest is limited to the Old Firm double-header on Thursday night.
Rangers could have been in earlier action against Juventus had things gone their way – instead it’s their eliminators Malmo hosting the Bianconeri, who also face AC Milan in one of the weekend TV highlights on Sunday night. How will Giorgio Chiellini and Zlatan Ibrahimovic compare to the earlier Dundee derby which has lunchtime billing on Sky Sports Main Event? That’s up to Charlie Mulgrew and Jason Cummings.
America is also on a derby-day footing with one of the longest standing rivalries in US sport – New York Giants and Washington meeting in the NFL. It’s a late one, but could be a good one and you could still manage a nap before more oval ball action on BT Sport on Friday night and the return of the Gallagher Premiership.
The league kicks-off with Bristol against Saracens and then closes with Newcastle-Harlequins on Sunday – either side of Sky Sports’ breakfast shift of South Africa v Australia on Saturday at 8am.
So far, so mainstream and while there is plenty on this week, the Scottish shinty scene celebrates its’ big weekend with the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup final shown live. It might not quite lure in the 9.2m Emma Raducanu did, but it’s a day in the spotlight nonetheless on BBC Alba this Saturday at 2pm.