Calls for government intervention to get Scotland games shown for free

Wales and England fans can watch their teams on free to air tv but Scotland games are currently only available on subscription basis.

Pete Wishart calls for UK Government intervention to get Scotland games broadcast on free to air TV SNS Group

An SNP MP has called for UK Government intervention to ensure Scotland games are shown on free to air television if a deal can’t be struck with broadcasters.

Pete Wishart said it is a huge frustration to football fans that they are forced to watch games involving England on TV when Steve Clarke’s men are playing at the same time.

He insists a situation that armchair fans of England and Wales can watch their sides for free but all Scotland games are on a subscription basis “can’t continue”.

Wishart chaired Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee which noted that a third of Scottish households still rely on Freeview to watch television and called for a review involving Government and broadcasters.

He said: “We have conducted a year-long inquiry into the whole broadcasting terrain in Scotland, looking at all the issues and things that concern us.

“I don’t think it will surprise anybody that the focused turned to the televising of the Scotland national football team.

“It’s an absolute frustration to football fans that they can’t get this free to access. They turn on the TV when a Scotland game is on and it is the England game that is being broadcast.

“So there is a huge frustration and I can understand why people came to out inquiry and raised this consistently.

“What we did was look at all the issues so could try and navigate our way some of it.

“We put forward a couple of suggestions and conclusions that we could use to move this forward, one was to come to an arrangement with the subscription services who own the rights to the broadcast, and some of the public service broadcasters to see if an arrangement could be put in place.

“Something like what was going to happen if we got to the final of the World Cup qualifiers when Viaplay were prepared to lease it to STV.

“So we are looking to see if we can get some solution, but if not then I think it’s a case of the government having to intervene and put it on the list of sporting events that have to be shown on TV.

“We can’t have a situation where Scottish football fans are denied the opportunity to support and get behind the national team when practically every other nation in the UK does.”

MPs on the committee also praised increased spending on independent TV production in Scotland.

Scotland play Cyprus and Spain at the end of this month in a Hampden double header to kick-off their Euro 2026 qualifying campaign.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code