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Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
SPL signs BBC deal
SPL chairman Lex Gold and chief executive Roger Mitchell announce the deal
SPL chiefs announce the new television deal
Old Firm matches between Rangers and Celtic will be screened live throughout the United Kingdon after the BBC clinched a deal with the Scottish Premier League.

The two-year deal will enable the four derbies between the giants of Scottish football to be shown live across the British Isles.

BBC Scotland will show 38 live games a season on Sunday afternoon, as well as broadcast highlights from every SPL game.

Dominic Coles, Director of Rights & Finance, BBC Sport said: "We relish the prospect of showing the Old Firm matches on the BBC Television network.

"They are one of the most passionate football events in the world."

SPL chairman Lex Gold, said: "This agreement brings Premier League football into every home in Scotland.

"In addition to the TV deals we are pretty close to an agreement for radio and we hope to be in a position to do that shortly," added Gold.


Football fans across the country will be delighted that they will now be able to enjoy coverage of the SPL, Scottish Cup and Scotland's home internationals on the BBC
BBC Scotland's head of programmes Ken MacQuarrie

The first game to be broadcast will be on 11 August.

Rangers' game against Hibernian at Ibrox will be shown the following week. The other fixtures have yet to be announced.

BBC Scotland's head of programmes Ken MacQuarrie said: "As Scotland's national broadcaster, we are committed to providing the very best football action free for our viewers and this deal certainly achieves that.

"Football fans across the country will be delighted that they will now be able to enjoy coverage of the SPL, Scottish Cup and Scotland's home internationals on the BBC."

But the announcement comes after the 10 non-Old Firm teams revealed they will be leaving the SPL in a row over voting structures.

The rebel teams - which excludes Celtic and Rangers - have to give a two-year notice period.

They have until midnight on 2 August to hand in their resignation.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's John Barnes
"The TV deal only had to be rubber-stamped"
BBC Sport's Raymond Buchanan
"The new deal should delight armchair fans"
Old Firm crisis

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