MP presses TV bosses on Scotland matches
Scotland viewers want to see the national team on live TV
Broadcasters and Scottish football officials have been called to a meeting with an SNP MP demanding Scotland’s national games are shown on free-to-air TV.
England and Wales international matches are shown free and Gavin Newlands wants the same treatment for Scotland’s games.
He will meet representatives from BBC Scotland, BBC Alba, Sky, STV, Channel 4, Viaplay, the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Football Supporters Association.
However, he is likely to be told that audiences do not match the requirements of the pay-TV channels and that terrestrial channels cannot compete on price.
STV CEO Simon Pitts told a committee of MPs in November 2021 that the broadcaster could not afford the sums now being paid and that rights are increasingly being acquired by Pay-TV giants such as Sky and Amazon.
However, Mr Newlands will want to know why Wales’ matches can be shown when the same competitive pressures apply.
He said: “I am extremely grateful to all the major broadcasters and representatives from Scottish football who have taken the time to come and discuss this very important issue.
“Scotland fans are being priced out of watching their national team whilst England fans can watch their side for free on Channel 4, and Welsh supporters can see their games on S4C free of charge.
“I want to see a similar offering for Scotland fans. We are seeing one of the best Scotland sides in decades and to inspire the next generation of talent we should not have to get past a paywall to see it.
“Watching Scottish football is becoming even more expensive with the number of subscriptions that fans need just to watch their own team, we need to find a solution so fans can watch Scotland for free.
“I am hopeful for a positive discussion and hope we can find a solution that works both for Scottish football and for fans of the national game.”