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7.5 MILLION SKY DEAL GUARANTEES DOMESTIC COVER
SKY has guaranteed air-time for Welsh Premier matches and the Welsh Cup after completing a four-year, 7.5 million TV deal with the FAW.
Although the agreement will see Welsh international football matches move off terrestrial television for the first time, it could bring a substantial cash bonus for the Welsh Premier after Welsh soccer bosses took the decision to end their historical links with BBC Wales.
The existing deal, which expires this summer, was said to be worth just over 2m.
The BBC criticised the decision, saying it was not in the best interests of Welsh fans.
FAW secretary David Collins said, "It was not an easy decision to make."
"We are nonetheless delighted with this agreement with a new partner, Sky Sports.
"From next season, we look forward to seeing more Welsh football on our screens, with increased television coverage of not only full internationals but other representative matches and the domestic game.
"The financial input will also help us to further develop Welsh football at every level."
The Sky deal also includes the rights to the lucrative FAW Premier Cup competition, currently sponsored by the BBC and worth over 100,000 to the winners.
Cash from the new deal could rise to as much as 10 million if Wales are drawn against one of the leading sides in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.
Fans of the Welsh Premier have long campaigned for 'more WP on TV' and the BBC's coverage has been criticised widely.
Apart from rare live coverage, including Easter Sunday's clash between Rhyl and TNS, the Welsh Premier has a couple of minutes' highlights on BBC Wales on Saturday and slightly more exposure on S4C's Y Clwb Sunday programme.
Vic Wakeling, managing director of Sky Sports, said, "This is another first for us, and we are delighted to be involved at a time when Mark Hughes is building a Wales side with so much promise.
"Everyone within the broadcast industry accepts that our production standards are superb.
"We think that this, coupled with our financial investment, will help football in Wales."
7 April 2021
 
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