• Andrew D Duffy

The Perplexing Case of The Women's Bundesliga and BBC ALBA

The BBC is covering German Women's Football Live, and doing it on BBC ALBA. Why?


Without clarification, context or commotion, The BBC announced that Women's football would be shown live on their ALBA channel.


That's good; there has been a steady, but far too slow, improvement of the coverage of the Women's game across Scottish Media and the BBC, as a broadcaster with the 'National Interest' at heart (quiet in the back...) has rightly been leading that.


The problem, though, is that this is announcing that BBC ALBA will be screening games from the German football league, rather than an announcement of comprehensive coverage of the Scottish Women's game when it eventually gets back up and running.


One awaits such an announcement with bated breath.


Fine, there's no Scottish equivalent to screen right now, but why on Earth has BBC ALBA been pinpointed as the ideal home for Live Broadcasts of German Women's Football? Is it really just because Some Scotland Women's National Team games have been screened on the channel in the past?


So whilst it isn't like there is domestic fixtures they could be screening instead, this remains nonetheless puzzling. What other content could have been screened on the predominantly Gaelic speaking channel that will now be shunted either off of the airwaves entirely or into a less appealing timeslot? Content, presumably, that will have been home grown and worked on by developing talent in the industry looking to take their first tentative steps.


Who made the decision to screen it at all, and why BBC ALBA? What is the reasoning behind the move? Nothing of that sort is offered by the article, which, coming as it does from the BBC itself, amounts to nothing more than a press release.


It also begs the question of the future and the inevitable return of the Scottish game, for men and women. Will the BBC, through BBC ALBA and the BBC Scotland channel, provide live coverage of the Women's game upon it's resumption? Will they expand on the welcome but limited coverage of the Scottish Men's Championship division and cover all the lower leagues as well as the Women's international and domestic competitions?


With the chances of fans coming through the gates anytime this year being very low, a broadcasting deal with the National Broadcaster could well be the key to the survival of the game outwith the Men's topflight.


Let's hope this is a sign of things moving in that direction, rather than an example of a bespoke channel being ungraciously harangued into covering German sport just because it exists, and because the big BBC bosses say so.

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