‘Long term deal from Sky is massive for Women’s game’ says Hibs Women’s manager

By Dylan Murdoch

It has been confirmed that the Scottish Women’s Premier League 1 will be getting coverage on Sky Sports. This is the first time ever that the Scottish women’s game will be shown on such a big platform like Sky. They will be joining the men’s competition and it has been confirmed that the deal is lasting to at least 2029, it is expected to become an official partner with the Women’s league and the main sponsor for the SWPL Cup for the next 7 years.

The Scottish women’s game started to get increased numbers viewing their league with last season being one of the most memorable campaigns of recent memory as there was a nail-biting title race between Rangers, Glasgow City and Celtic. Most of the teams brought it down to the wire as most of the season was tense and a close affair. It was Rangers who won the big prize which ended the dominance of Glasgow City, but Celtic weren’t to be forgotten as although they finished third place, they managed to pick up double silverware by winning the SWPL Cup along with winning the Scottish Cup by beating Glasgow City in both finals.

It is why people were hoping for something similar this season as a lot of it is expected to on Sky Sports. Hibernian Women manager Dean Gibson is pleased with the deal,

“I think the more publicity the league gets the better and stronger it’s going to become, I can’t see any negatives to the deal, the important part is getting it on the big platform and showing to the UK how positive it is and how much it has grown, and it helps us going forward”.

With it expected to be another title race between the big three again this season, the other teams aren’t to be underestimated, Dean Gibson’s side managed to claim 4th spot last season finishing ahead of Aberdeen and Spartans.

He said, “If the product wasn’t good Sky wouldn’t have touched it. If they didn’t think it was a competitive league they wouldn’t do it, so now with the games being on Sky it will allow people to see it for themselves. I think now we have even more teams that are competing and the games are tight nine times out of ten and hopefully will help add to attendance”.

With it being one of the most historic moments for SWPL, it is expected to have added security to the teams in the SPFL. Hamilton Assistant Robert Watson expressed his excitement saying, “It’s such a massive step forward for the game and I think although having sponsors in the past and obviously we are happy with that but when someone like Sky Sports who is such a global brand and being associated with them gives a bigger level of glamour to them”.

“I think when you see the coverage down South and the people who view their game, it’s hopefully it’s the first steps forward to having that level of coverage so I’m really excited about it.

“Sky will increase the visibility of the game whether that’s a live game or even something simple such as results and my only one criticism is you don’t see that enough up here. It’s good to see the highlights up here but I don’t feel it’s enough general media. So having that on Sky or Sky Sports news and hopefully that will attract people up here, So I think it’s a really exciting time for people like us who are involved as players and coaches, and we are ready.

“With more eyes and money in the game comes accountability and that is maybe like a player getting criticism on highlights show or as a club when it comes to the quality of venue, there can be criticism here and there but it’s something that Womens game will have to deal with it.

“I think with the good thing about it being long term is we have this guaranteed income for the next seven years, so clubs will know it will be much easier to budget and for some clubs it will be their first-time budgeting for a full season, and I feel this gives some clubs a lot of security for the next coming years”. 

Along with the new Sky Sports deal, this includes a sponsorship on the domestic cups of the Scottish women’s division. For the first time at the weekend, we had seen the introduction of the Sky Sports League Cup which was previously known as the SWPL Cup. We had seen the big results of that and now know the quarter final draw with Celtic, Rangers and Glasgow City all avoiding each other.

The deal with the Sky Sports Cup means that they will be expected to show at least five of the SWPL Sky Sports Cup or Scottish Cup matches with the chance of an extra five if necessary.

Dean Gibson also added, “It doesn’t get much bigger than Sky Sports and for them wanting to talk about and show our games along with showing results and things like means it’s going to just be a big added bonus”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s