Tories attacked over international football blackout

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The SNP has today spoken out against the Tories decision to continue Scotland’s football blackout on free to air TV as the Tories and Lib Dems abandon plans to ensure Scotland’s qualifying matches for international tournaments are available to all.

The tories also refuse to make any changes until 2013 leaving Scottish fans without easy access to Scotland games on television.


The SNP has today spoken out against the Tories decision to continue Scotland’s football blackout on free to air TV as the Tories and Lib Dems abandon plans to ensure Scotland’s qualifying matches for international tournaments are available to all.

The Tories also refuse to make any changes until 2013 leaving Scottish fans without easy access to Scotland games on television.

The Tory-Lib Dem government this week announced it will not introduce recommendations from an independent commission that Scotland’s qualifying matches should be on free to air TV despite overwhelming research showing Scottish viewers believe they should be able to see Scotland matches without paying satellite or cable subscription fees.

SNP West of Scotland MSP Stuart McMillan lodged a petition with the Scottish Parliament three years ago calling for Scotland games to be available on free to air television.  The petition resulted from the fact that thousands of Scotland fans are regularly cut off from seeing their team play on the international stage.

Mr McMillan said:

“Once again the Tories find themselves offside in Scotland.

“It is ridiculous that for Scotland fans who want to see their team play the only way to watch the match is to go to the pub leaving young footballers of the future unable to see the match and putting pressure on parents already stretched budgets to sign up to satellite or cable stations.

“The continued failure of the BBC or ITV to recognise their obligations to Scottish sports fans and to invest in showing Scotland games as they do in other sports such as Formula one is one part of the problem, but one a place on the Crown Jewels could have solved.

“By kicking this issue back to 2013 there will be no change for those fans eager to see the qualifiers for the next European or World Cup.

“This is another disgraceful and disrespectful decision by the Tories and shows why they repeatedly fail to qualify with the Scottish electorate.”