CONCERNS are being raised that watching the men’s national football team is becoming more inaccessible for Scottish fans after Uefa announced their matches will be broadcast on a paid subscription channel.

The news of Premier Sports’ new deal means that all six of Scotland’s matches in their 2022 UEFA Nations League campaign, beginning with Scotland’s home match against Armenia on June 8, as well as the Uefa Euro 2024 qualification campaign, will be on the service.

Fans will have to fork out a minimum of £7.99 a month to sign up for the channel.

The contract, which was awarded through Uefa’s centralised National Association media rights sales process, is set to run to 2024. After that, Nordic broadcaster ViaPlay is set to take over the games, starting with the 2024 UEFA Nations League campaign.

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While Premier Sports has committed to showing 3 matches free-to-air over the next two years there is a stark contrast to the ease at which English fans can watch their team as their games are currently broadcast by ITV.

Fans took to Twitter to voice their concern with the deal, with one saying: "This is how the free market works in football. Scotland gets England's matches free but we have to subscribe to a channel I'd never watch otherwise to see our own team. The result? I never watch international football except for the finals."

Another said: “It’s hugely disappointing that UK terrestrial channels are always willing to fork out big money for England games but for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. International football games should be free to watch - not hidden behind a paywall.”

One of those concerned with the decision is SNP MP Gavin Newlands, who has written to UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries to use existing legislation to force free-to-air broadcasting of the games.

Speaking to The National, Newlands said: “I’d be complaining about this in calmer economic times but given the cost of living crisis that we are going through, it’s especially serious. The fact that Scottish football fans will be expected to fork out to watch the international games whilst English fans are able to watch theirs for free is indefensible.

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“Ultimately, when you have the United Kingdom made up of one country with 56 million people and three other much smaller nations, it’s clear that English football will always be more commercially viable for the likes of ITV and Channel 4 and would be extremely difficult to bid and win for other nations.

“However, I do think that BBC Scotland are not in the same position. They are a national broadcaster and there is a stronger argument that they should be looking for the rights for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

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Newlands wrote to Dorries back in April asking her to use the Broadcasting Act 1996 to make it so the Scottish national team’s games must be made available free-to-air. He has had no reply.

However, Newlands says he will be raising the issue again with Dorries at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) questions next week but that he is “not going to hold [his] breath”.

He tweeted: “So @UEFA have awarded the TV rights for Scotland games until the new contract with Viaplay starts in 2024 to Premier Sports further embedding the iniquitous situation which faces Scotland, Wales & N. Irish fans.

“Nadine still hasn’t responded to my letter. I’ll be chasing next week”

A spokesperson for the BBC said: "The market for rights to air the men’s international matches live is competitive and it is up to the rights holders to select which broadcaster will screen the games. We will continue to provide live coverage of the men’s matches on radio and online."

The DCMS BBC have been contacted for comment.