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THE battle for TV rights to screen Welsh soccer internationals could give a massive 1.5 million boost to the Welsh Premier.
With the BBC's 2 million, four-year contract with the FAW due to expire this summer, Sky Sports is reported to be lining up a 7.5 million bid to gain the screening rights for five years, with the forthcoming England v Wales clashes the main prize.
But - according to Terry Daley writing in the Non League Paper - Sky insiders have said that 'any deal would include coverage of the Welsh Premier'.
Technical staff from Sky are said to have secretly inspected all WP grounds and were reportedly stunned by the lack of facilities for clubs in a national league.
Sky are likely to insist all grounds are upgraded to Uefa standard and 1.5 million would be allocated for the work.
"With the way things stand, the Welsh Premier has little chance of improving," said a Sky source.
"But if this deal went ahead, clubs would at last have the opportunity to do something about their plight."
The BBC's sycophantic and overly chauvinistic coverage of Wales' internationals and their diffidence towards the Premier has been criticised widely, although the Corporation does inject 200,000 into the FAW Premier Cup and screens occasional live games, plus the Welsh Cup final.
But the 'highlights' packed shown by Wales on Saturday is the only coverage accorded to the Welsh Premier, plus occasional slots on S4C's Y Clwb.
It is believed a Sky deal would offer a half-hour preview show on Friday evenings and an hour-long highlights programme on Sunday afternoons.
The satellite broadcaster is aware of the Welsh Premier's potential but only if clubs make grounds and facilities good enough to attract new fans.

Above: BBC Wales' coverage of the Welsh Premier has been criticised widely.

25 January 2021
WP News archive