Edinburgh’s trip to Munster in the opening round of the new Guinness PRO12 tournament will be covered live on BBC ALBA next month – the first of 16 matches shown on either BBC ALBA or BBC Scotland between now and early January 2015.
BBC ALBA’s continued coverage of Scotland’s two premier sides will see them show coverage of 12 live and one deferred match in the first 13 rounds of the PRO12.
And this season for the first time, BBC Two Scotland will also show a number of matches live, including the New Year derby match between Edinburgh and Glasgow on Friday January 2.
The BBC Two Scotland coverage is expected to start next month with the Ospreys v Edinburgh match on Sunday September 21 with Glasgow’s visit to Treviso on October 5 also on the cards. Coverage will continue across the BBC channels in Scotland right through the season, including the live play-offs, should either of the Scottish teams reach that stage of the tournament.
In addition to those live matches on BBC Two Scotland, English language viewers will also be provided with a red button option on BBC ALBA which will offer English commentaries for the BBC ALBA matches while Gaelic viewers will also have a red button option for BBC Scotland matches.
All games will either be shown on Friday evenings with 7.35pm kick-offs or on Sunday afternoons. Coverage of all matches on BBC ALBA and BBC Two Scotland will be produced by independent company mneTV.
“We’re very pleased to be able to continue offering top class rugby to our viewers as we have done over the last few seasons and we have a great selection of games coming up for the first half of the season,” said BBC ALBA’s Head of Content, Alan Esslemont, while BBC Scotland’s Head of Sport, Ewan Angus, is looking forward to bringing some of the action to BBC Two Scotland viewers.
“We’re delighted to be complementing BBC ALBA’s rugby coverage and the combination of some live matches and also providing English commentaries will do just that,” he said.
As well as TV coverage of the Guinness PRO12 matches, Radio Scotland will add to the mix by again offering listeners live matches and reports wherever possible.
The coverage has been welcomed by Mark Dodson, Scottish Rugby Chief Executive.
“We are delighted that BBC Scotland are to extend the television coverage of the PRO12 and that BBC ALBA will enhance their coverage by offering an English language red button option.
BBC network have been partners of Scottish Rugby for many seasons and I want to thank them, and their colleagues here in Scotland, most sincerely, for their confidence in, and support of, our sport.”
Gregor Townsend, head coach of Glasgow Warriors, said: We're really excited that BBC Scotland are going to be showing some of our league games next season, along with BBC ALBA, building on the excellent coverage we've had from BBC ALBA over the last few years.
The club is continually growing and this is great news for us and for the Guinness PRO12. We already have a record number of season ticket members and now that more supporters will be able to watch our matches live on TV, we hope to see even bigger numbers at Scotstoun this coming season to get behind the team."
Alan Solomons, head coach of Edinburgh Rugby, said: standing supporter of the Guinness PRO12, through their BBC ALBA coverage and weekly Radio Scotland shows, not to mention the coverage in Wales and Northern Ireland.
"The PRO12 is a fantastic competition and this latest announcement is great news for all involved, and means we have an enhanced broadcast offering in keeping with the growing calibre of the competition."