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.

Dundee forward Jason Cummings (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Dundee forward Jason Cummings (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

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.

Emma Raducanu won the US Open in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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.

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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.

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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.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan looks on during the Serie A match between AC Milan and SS Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on September 12, 2021 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

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.

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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.

The Camanachd Cup

David Oliver’s five sports to watch this week

Rugby Union

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The Gallagher Premiership kicks off this weekend with Bristol hosting Saracens live on BT Sport 1 at 7pm on Friday. There’s no live coverage on Saturday (although there’s international rugby from Sky Sports Main Event – ch. 401 – between Australia and South Africa at 8am) but Sunday sees Harlequins travel to Newcastle on the same channel with coverage beginning at 2pm.

World Cup qualifiers

Pedro Martínez Losa makes his competitive debut as Scotland’s women’s head coach live on BBC Alba with the World Cup qualifier against Hungary. Coverage begins at 6.50pm on Friday evening and kick-off is 7pm. There are two alternatives with Wales against Kazakhstan on BBC Wales at 7.15pm and England’s Lionesses’ coverage beginning earlier in the evening at 6.15pm on ITV4. There’s also weekly women’s football highlights from the Scottish Women’s Premier League at 7pm on BBC Scotland.

NFL

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The annual derby match between Washington and New York Giants takes place late on Thursday night, with kick-off in the early hours of Friday. Sky Sports Main Event has all the hard-hitting action from 12.30am on Friday.

As usual, Sunday night is football night on Sky Sports with two games shown live, the first yet to be decided.

Football

The group stages of both the Champions League and the Europa League kick off this midweek, all on BT Sport. Highlights include Barcelona v Bayern Munich on Tuesday, Liverpool v AC Milan on Wednesday and the Old Firm’s UEL kick-off on Thursday. Celtic are at Real Betis on BT Sport 3 at 5.15pm before Rangers host Lyon on the same channel at 7.45pm.

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It’s also Dundee’s turn for a derby on Sunday on Sky Sports at 11am, while Juventus v AC Milan is the pick of the continental bunch this weekend, shown live on BT Sport 1 following James Richardson’s Golazzo preview show at 7pm.

Shinty

And, for something completely different, the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup final, between Kinlochshiel and Lovat will be shown live on BBC Alba from 2pm on Saturday.