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Wales football matches to remain on S4C until 2028

15 Jun 2023 4 minute read
The presenters of S4C’s Sgorio (left to right) Gwennan Harries, Owain Tudur Jones, Osian Roberts and Dylan Ebenezer.

Fans will continue to be able to watch Wales men’s international football matches for free until 2028, S4C has announced after agreeing a deal with streaming service Viaplay.

The broadcaster said it had secured exclusive UK free-to-air rights to show the national team’s matches with Welsh language commentary for another four years from 2024.

At least 40 live games will be shown on the channel including the next two Uefa Nations League campaigns for 2024/25 and 2026/27 and the qualifying matches for both the Fifa World Cup 2026 and Uefa Euro 2028 competitions.

Wales’ international friendly matches will also be aired as part of the agreement with the Nordic-based media company.

Viaplay, a subscription streaming platform, secured the UK rights from Uefa to show the home nations matches, excluding England, shortly after acquiring Ireland-based TV channel Premier Sports in 2022.

The company made a commitment to keeping Wales matches available with Welsh language commentary and had talks with S4C, with the backing of the Football Association of Wales (FAW), about keeping live coverage on the station.

S4C chief executive Sian Doyle said: “We are delighted that we will be able to broadcast Wales’ international football matches on S4C until 2028.

“This builds on the already excellent partnership we have with Viaplay, and I would like to thank them for their collaboration on this deal.

“S4C is the home of Welsh football and we are proud to stand alongside the FAW and Wales’ Red Wall of passionate supporters.”

Passionate fanbase

Viaplay’s senior vice-president and head of sports UK, Ed Breeze, said: “There is a very passionate fanbase of Welsh football fans and we’re delighted to make these games of such national sporting significance available to the widest possible audience.”

Wales captain Aaron Ramsey told PA news agency it was a “terrific boost for the Welsh language”.

He said: “It’s great news that the games are going to be available for everyone to watch on S4C.

“The goal for us as a squad is to reach the finals of the Euros and the World Cup, and we hope that S4C will share our success with the viewers.”

Wales made their first World Cup appearance for 64 years in Qatar in November, but ultimately ended in disappointment as they finished bottom of Group B with only one point from three games.

Cornerstone

FAW chief executive Noel Mooney said the partnership with S4C had been “a cornerstone to the growth of Y Wal Goch” and thanked the channel’s heads and Viaplay for their roles in promoting the team.

“This is a golden age for Cymru and we are delighted to be able to share it with everyone,” he added.

S4C has also secured the rights to broadcast all of Wales’ qualifying matches for the Euro 2025 Uefa Under-21 Championships in Slovakia.

The channel’s Sgorio Rhyngwladol programme, produced by Rondo, will continue to lead the Welsh language match coverage.

Host Dylan Ebenezer said: “The fact that we’ve been able to do these games on S4C over last few years has just been so special, so it’s superb news that we will get to continue.

“It’s all down to what happens on the pitch, and because that’s been so successful – the team have been amazing – we’ve had the privilege of jumping on the bandwagon so to speak.

“The games have turned into a national event, and I know how much the supporters who can’t make the matches in person appreciate them being available on the S4C.”

Anyone wanting to watch the matches with English language commentary or who are unable to access S4C can subscribe to Viaplay with a sports package for £14.99 a month.


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George Thomas
George Thomas
8 months ago

Don’t think we know how lucky we are with this. S4C and Sgorio doing great work for Welsh sport.

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