SWPL ANNOUNCES NEW AND IMPROVED THREE-YEAR TV DEAL WITH BBC ALBA AND BBC SCOTLAND…
The new agreement with both stations, which runs until the end of the 2024/25 season, is the biggest with the channels since they began covering the women’s game in Scotland. The most recent broadcast was on Sunday afternoon when Celtic defeated Hibs 9-0 in the SWPL opener at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium with the match shown live on BBC ALBA.
In the new deal BBC ALBA will show a minimum of 26 live SWPL games on the Scottish Gaelic language TV channel each season, which is a rise of six matches from the 2021/22 season.
The BBC Scotland deal will see the return of the increasingly popular highlights programme, but for an extended 45 minutes each week, and a guaranteed minimum of 23 shows over the season covering top-flight games.
BBC Scotland will also have the option of streaming one game live each weekend, which will help to showcase and enhance the visibility of the top women’s league in Scotland.
Fiona McIntyre, managing director of the SWPL, had this to say about the new broadcasting deal for the women’s game in Scotland, via a statement in the official SPFL website.
“We’re really pleased to have agreed this new, record deal, which is great news for the League and supporters across the country.
“The ongoing partnership with both BBC ALBA and BBC Scotland will be vital in growing the game in this country in the coming years, and their long-term support of the women’s game is truly appreciated. This significant new agreement represents the growth and ambition we have for the League.
“It was a really exciting opening weekend of the SWPL season, and we know that viewers will be in for a treat for the rest of the season.”
Iseabail Mactaggart, Director of Multiplatform Content at BBC ALBA partner, MG ALBA added: “We’re thrilled to be able to bring our audiences more live coverage of Scottish women’s football than ever before.
“Everyone at BBC ALBA is proud to be expanding our investment and continuing to increase the visibility of the sport in Scotland and beyond.
“We look forward to another successful season for all those involved in Scottish women’s football.”
Louise Thornton, Senior Head of Multi-Platform Commissioning, BBC Scotland, said: “We’re delighted that we’re increasing coverage of Scottish women’s football over the next three years. Adding more highlights and live streams will significantly enhance our offering to audiences at an exciting time for the game in Scotland. We’re looking forward to working in partnership with BBC ALBA to deliver more free-to-air coverage of the SWPL.”
Celtic are away to Partick Thistle in the second SWPL match of the season this Sunday, with the kick-off time 1pm. There is a stream available via Partick Thistle but the game clashes with the match at Rugby Park. Yesterday The Celtic Star spoke to Celtic striker Clarissa Larisey and Fran Alonso and more on what the manager had to say to follow.
In the meantime here’s a catch up on what Clarissa had to say and her media conference yesterday…
“I want everyone to just know Celtic,” Clarissa Larisey
It took Clarissa Larisey just one afternoon to put the worries among the Celtic support about the transfer of 40 goal Charlie Wellings to Reading last week for an undisclosed fee. Leading the line in a front three alongside Matildas star Jacynta and new signing Amy Gallacher, a player already steeped in Celtic history through her great, grandfather Patsy, Cal Larisey grabbed a hat-trick and some assists with the Jac – our current player of the year – doing the same thing. Gallacher added a double and by the end of that rout no-one was anywhere near as worried about Charlie heading south after a good season scoring goals for Celtic. We have after all, seen that happening before with the men’s team in 1983.
Fran Alonso and his new centre-forward Cal Larisey spoke to the media today ahead of Sunday’s first away-day of the new season to play Patrick Thistle. The Celtic Star was there of course, and this site is fully committed to providing unrivalled, high quality and comprehensive coverage of this exciting Celtic side as the women’s game develops in Scotland.
“I personally want to win three cups. I want to win every game. I want everyone to perform well every game. I want everyone to just know Celtic. By the end of the year and know that we are a team that’s going to give 100% always,” Clarissa Larisey
Asked how it felt to score that hat-trick against Hibs the 23 year-old Canadian striker was clearly delighted. “It did feel amazing, scoring for Celtic is always amazing. I was very pleased with the team’s performance in general and couldn’t be happier with a hat-trick.
On that dynamic Celtic front three playing alongside Jacynta and Amy Gallacher, Cal said: “I think that already we have such great connection. Each one of them is an amazing player and very good at seeing the field. This whole year is going to be really, good. We have a strong connection now I can’t wait to see what it’s going to be like.”
The Celtic Star then asked Cal if she reckons that Sunday was her best performance in a Celtic jersey so far. “Great question. I’d like to say yes. I do love playing Number 9 and it was probably one of my best performances playing as a Number 9. The performance of everyone in general was good, so yes.”
We then asked Cal about replacing Charlie Wellings as the Celtic striker and whether she can make the support forget all about the 40 goals a season striker? “I hope so. Charlie has made such a big impact on Celtic this past year so just being able to play after her is an honour and I hope that I get to play Number 9 for the rest of the year.”
“The crowd was amazing. Just seeing so many people come along willing to watch, makes you want to work harder for them. Seeing Celtic fans in person and hearing them is absolutely amazing. The environment was so nice, so thanks to each and every one of them,” Clarissa Larisey
On the spirit in the dressing room at the moment Larisey said: “Spirits are very high. That was the first league game and everyone was very excited and ready to go with so much positive energy. We’ve had a long pre-season to get ready and we were all excited about the first game. Finally the season is here. We are all very happy so very positive spirits.”
On the expectations for the new season, Cal is clearly thinking big. “I think that everyone is on the same page, we all want to win everything. Why not go big, right? All three (trophies) would be amazing. Just the way we are performing right now together, I think that we are able to do anything. The chemistry is amazing, nine-nil in the first game is such a high. I just want to continue doing all of that for the rest of the season.”
On the backing of the Celtic fans at the games, like all the Celtic players she’s delighted to see the numbers at the games steadily increasing. “The crowd was amazing. Just seeing so many people come along willing to watch, makes you want to work harder for them. Seeing Celtic fans in person and hearing them is absolutely amazing. The environment was so nice, so thanks to each and every one of them.”
On how the five new signing – Amy Gallacher, Lucy Clifford, Shen Menglu, Liv Fergusson and Taylor Otto – are settling in to the Celtic FC Women squad, the Canadian goalscorer reckoned that they have all hit the ground running in the Hoops.
“Good. Everyone welcomed them with open arms. They have very positive energy, they are always happy so I think that they gel pretty nicely with all of us. We’re all getting along, you can see it on and off the pitch. I think they are doing very well so far.”
On Cal’s personal ambitions for the new season she was clear, positive and ambitious in her response. “Personal ambitions? I personally want to win three cups. I want to win every game. I want everyone to perform well every game. I want everyone to just know Celtic. By the end of the year and know that we are a team that’s going to give 100% always. Performance wise for myself I would like to be always there, helping people, pressuring people, scoring goals if I can but all around just three cups!”