FOOTBALL: BBC Scotland and SPL agree new three-year highlights deal

BBC Scotland has agreed a new three-year deal with the Scottish Premier League to cover matches across television, radio and online.

The new contract begins next season (2013/14) and allows BBC Scotland to continue broadcasting TV highlights of key games on its long-running Sportscene programme on Sunday evenings.

Extensive radio and online coverage is also included as part of the deal with 140 live games per season on BBC Radio Scotland as well as 10 games nationally on BBC Radio 5 live, plus video highlights of every match on the BBC Sport website.

Fans will also be able to catch up with the action on TV and radio via the BBC iPlayer platform for up to seven days after the initial broadcast.

The new deal also means BBC Scotland can continue to provide up to 10 live radio commentaries each season of Rangers’ games and post the club’s match highlights online.

Neil Doncaster, SPL Chief Executive, said: “The action on the pitch this season has been fantastic. We have been treated to a number of high-scoring matches and some great goals.

“The extended BBC deal ensures that SPL football will continue to be available on terrestrial television, as well as online and on mobile, making the league as accessible as possible for supporters.

“In the current economic climate, announcing a three-year partnership is also excellent news for our clubs.”

Ewan Angus, Head of Sport at BBC Scotland, said: “I’m delighted we’ve agreed the contract extension for the next three seasons.

“It gives us the opportunity to again take our audiences through all the twists and turns of the SPL campaign.

“There has been no shortage of talking points this season and our offering enables our audiences to stay on the ball, whether they are listening or watching at home or enjoying the content on the move with mobile technology.”

Live TV coverage of the Scottish Premier League is provided by Sky Sports and from this summer BT Sport, who will take over ESPN’s rights until 2017.

BBC Scotland has been covering Scottish football’s top tier continuously for the past six years, since regaining the highlights from STV.

In a seperate two-year deal with the SPL, Gaelic-language channel BBC Alba will continue to screen delayed Saturday afternoon games as well as live coverage of selected matches throughout the season.

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