SNP ministers to make case for major Scotland football matches to be available free-to-air

Humza Yousaf said major Scotland international football matches should be available free-to-airHumza Yousaf said major Scotland international football matches should be available free-to-airHumza Yousaf said major Scotland international football matches should be available free-to-air

A new consultation will form part of a bid to persuade the UK Government[1] to change the rules on televised sport. SNP[2] ministers said national sporting events, such as Scotland's men's and women's football qualifiers for the World Cup and European Championships, should be included in the list of matches protected for free-to-air broadcast. Scotland matches in major men's and women's tournaments are on the protected list, but qualifiers are not.

UEFA holds the rights to these matches and they are often sold to the highest bidder. First Minister Humza Yousaf[3] said: "The Scottish Government is taking a further step towards making major Scotland international football matches available free-to-air, which would allow the whole country to get behind our national teams in important qualifying fixtures. "Scots celebrated as our men's national team charged their way on scintillating form into this year's Euro Championships, and we'll all be behind the women's national team when their qualifiers get underway next month, but most Scots are blocked from watching the national team with the bulk of games shown on a pay-per-view basis.

"With so much at stake in qualifiers, our vision is for all fans to be able to watch their national teams as they battle to reach the world's biggest competitions. "With the full powers of independence, the Scottish Government would have the power to determine the list of events that should be available to broadcast free-to-air to reflect the interests of Scottish audiences, and enable broadcasters who have a public service remit to better meet these needs. "But broadcasting policy is currently reserved to the UK Government, and only Westminster can add these matches being included in the so-called "crown jewels" of international sporting fixtures for free-to-air broadcast.

"With the UK Government refusing to act to resolve the situation for Scotland fans, the Scottish Government will launch a consultation on the issue to help progress the campaign to ensure Scotland international qualifying matches are on terrestrial TV.

"Further evaluation work will be taken forward to understand the implications such a decision would have for rights holders, including the SFA, before the Scottish Government's case is brought forward to the UK Government."

The Scottish Government said the consultation would form part of broader analysis of the case for the expansion of the list of free-to-air games, alongside a consideration of the business case.


  1. ^ UK Government (
  2. ^ SNP (
  3. ^ Humza Yousaf (