Scottish FA strikes new global broadcast deal for Scottish Cup
The agreement will see BBC Scotland and Premier Sports screen a selection of fixtures in the competition, meaning more matches in the competition will be shown on free-to-air TV than ever before.
The broadcasters will each show two live games per round on an exclusive basis, in rounds four to six. One semi-final will be exclusively shown by Premier Sports while the other semi and the cup final will be shown across both channels.
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Running until the end of the 2023/24 season, and covering the 150th anniversary of the competition, the deal will see BBC Scotland increase their coverage.
A spokesman added: “We will cover two live matches from Rounds four, five and six and, from season 2019/20, we will follow the early rounds across the country for the first time.
“We think this is good news for audiences in Scotland given the huge appetite which exists for Scottish football, and it demonstrates our commitment to the game here.”
The new deal will provide a boost for some of Scotland’s smaller clubs, with 16 Highland League and 14 Lowland League clubs entering in the first round, and Scottish League Two clubs joining them in the second round.
Premier Sports already holds exclusive rights for the Guinness PRO14 rugby tournament as well as more than 40 UEFA Champions League and Europa League qualifying matches involving Scottish clubs, but are taking their first steps into the domestic game.
A statement from the broadcaster read: “We are delighted to be adding coverage of the Scottish Cup to our channel line-up.
“Over the last eight years we have established a positive relationship with Scottish football clubs and fans covering their teams European qualifiers.
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“We are proud to be guardians of this historic cup competition and understand the significance, history and traditions the famous trophy demands.”
Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell welcomed the deal, adding: “The William Hill Scottish Cup is a tournament that is steeped in history.
“In it, the clubs and players have created countless unforgettable memories and this deal will ensure that more action than ever before will be broadcast live to the nation.
“It will also drive significant revenue back to all the clubs who participate in the competition, ensuring ongoing investment into the game.
“We look forward to working with Premier Sports and the BBC to help us continue to tell the stories and cover the action of our top knockout competition.”