BBC Alba picks up Challenge Cup rights ahead of Rangers introduction

BBC Alba, the Gaelic-language channel operated by UK public-service broadcaster the BBC, has acquired live rights for the Scottish Football League’s Challenge Cup competition in a three-year deal, from 2012-13 to 2014-15.

The competition is open to the 30 clubs that comprise the SFL’s three divisions below the Scottish Premier League, the top tier of football in Scotland, plus the two highest ranked clubs from the fifth-tier Highland League.

BBC Alba, which has shown the competition since 2008, will show the Brechin City v Glasgow Rangers game live on Sunday, July 29, to mark the start of its coverage of the 2012-13 competition.

The involvement of Rangers, which will participate in the Challenge Cup after being demoted to the SFL’s Third Division from the Scottish Premier League following its liquidation and formation as a new company, is likely to provide a boost to the competition’s viewing figures.

“The coverage which the channel provides has helped to bring Scottish football at community level to wider audiences not only in Scotland but throughout the UK,” SFL chief executive David Longmuir said.