S4C ‘in talks’ with FAW regarding providing coverage of future Wales matches after rights sold to Viaplay
S4C have said that they are “in talks” with the Football Association of Wales regarding providing Welsh language coverage of future Wales matches, after UEFA’s decision to sell the rights to another broadcaster was met with anger by fans.
The FAW announced yesterday that UEFA and Viaplay had entered a four-year partnership in the UK for Viaplay to show at least 40 exclusively live matches featuring Wales.
When announcing this new four-year partnership from 2024, Viaplay has made a commitment to making Cymru matches available with Welsh language commentary.
But the announcement has angered fans, including BBC broadcast Huw Edwards who tweeted: “FACT: S4C is the natural home of Wales football… and we the fans love the coverage.”
— Huw Edwards (@thehuwedwards) April 28, 2022
The Chief Executive of the FAW, Noel Mooney, also took to Twitter to say that discussions were continuing.
This afternoon S4C release a statement saying they were a “proud and passionate supporter of Welsh football”.
“Since 2014, S4C has shown live coverage of every Wales match, from the Cardiff City Stadium to France, to Azerbaijan (several times), the USA and even to China – we have followed them all over the world.
“Over the years, S4C and Sgorio has also broadcast matches from the Welsh Women’s and age-grade teams, and has brought unrivalled coverage of the Welsh football pyramid.
“We are part of the Red Wall and the Red Wall is a part of us, and the support and passion shown from Wales supporters over the past two days has demonstrated this very clearly.
“S4C’s partnership with the Football Association of Wales has been and continues to be hugely beneficial to Welsh football as a whole.
“We are now in talks with the Football Association of Wales to further clarify the situation regarding Welsh language commentary in future Wales matches.
“With the team one game away from reaching the World Cup in Qatar, we look forward to re-joining the Red Wall on the 5th of June. Ry’n ni yma o hyd.”
If current plans go ahead then, starting in 2024, Wales’ European Qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2028 and FIFA World Cup 2026 will be exclusively available on Viaplay, along with UEFA Nations League 2024/25 and 2026/27, in addition to international challenge matches.
The agreement comes through UEFA’s centralised National Association media rights sales process, under which UEFA takes sole responsibility for the marketing and sales of broadcast rights for member associations, the FAW said.
This process ensures a guaranteed amount received by the FAW for Cymru matches.
Viaplay is a streaming service that will launch in the UK during the second half of 2022, with a promise to combine live sports with premium original content and more, the statement said. Further details of Viaplay’s UK content, pricing and launch date will be announced in soon.
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