S4C will continue to show live coverage of top flight domestic Welsh football for the next four years after securing a new broadcast agreement with the Football Association of Wales (FAW).
The new agreement will see the channel’s flagship football series, Sgorio, broadcast up to 33 live matches every year up to the 2021/22 season, including matches from the JD Welsh Premier League, JD Welsh Cup, Nathaniel MG League Cup and the Irn-Bru Cup.
Matches will be shown live on S4C television and online, via the S4C homepage, s4c.cymru, and the Sgorio Facebook Live page.
"We are delighted to continue our relationship with the FAW and the JD Welsh Premier League, to bring unrivalled coverage of top flight Welsh football," said S4C Sports Commissioner, Sue Butler.
"Sgorio’s excellent live coverage remains at the heart of S4C’s sports portfolio and plays an important role in attracting viewers to our channel. Our online-only match coverage has been a popular addition among fans this season and we hope our audience for these matches will continue to grow over the next four years."
So far this season, a total of 630,000 viewers across the UK have tuned in to live Sgorio coverage via the television, while there has been a further 415,000 online viewing sessions, via S4C Clic, BBC iPlayer or the Sgorio Facebook Live account.
Sgorio, which has been a fixture of the S4C schedule since 1988, first began to broadcast live Welsh Premier League matches in 2008.
In addition to the live matches, S4C has announced it will welcome midweek magazine show, Mwy o Sgorio, back for another series.
Emyr Davies, Senior Producer of Rondo Media, which produces Sgorio and Mwy o Sgorio, said: "Rondo very much welcome this announcement and look forward to continuing our excellent relationship with the FAW, JD Welsh Premier League and S4C.
"Rondo, through its Sgorio brand, is proud of its part in the expansion of coverage the JD WPL and Welsh Cup has received on S4C over the past decade, which means that all the goals of all the games can be viewed on various platforms. We look forward to ensuring further innovations during the course of the new contract."
Osian Roberts, FAW Technical Director, said: "As someone who has played and managed in the domestic game in Wales, I know how important coverage of the game is, and how much it is appreciated.
"Over the years the standards both on and off the field have developed and improved dramatically and the S4C’s coverage has reflected that. The broadcasting of domestic football is vital to ensure its continuing development in Wales."
Jonathan Ford, FAW Chief Executive FAW, said: "The FAW is delighted to extend the domestic football contract with S4C. We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with them over a number of years.
"Their coverage of Welsh football is second to none, and has certainly raised the profile and awareness of the domestic game. We look forward to another four years of excellent coverage and commitment to the game in Wales."
Sgorio’s next live match will be the JD Welsh Cup final, between Aberystwyth Town and Connah’s Quay, at Newtown AFC’s Latham Park on Sunday. Coverage begins at 2.15pm. English commentary available.
Notes for editors:
• A total of 630,000 different individuals across the UK have tuned into live Sgorio coverage at some point during this season so far (Aug ’17 – Apr ’18 – not including WPL play-offs and JD Welsh Cup final). This includes matches from the JD Welsh Premier League, JD Welsh Cup, Nathaniel MG League Cup and the Irn-Bru Cup.
• In addition to those that view via the traditional television, there was also nearly 415,000 viewing sessions online (this includes live or catch-up viewing via S4C Clic, BBC iPlayer or Facebook Live).
There were a little over 150,000 viewing sessions to the online only games and over 260,000 to the simulcast games.
• As well as live matches, the short form content has also proved popular with viewers – with the Sgorio account alone generating over 2.5m video views on Facebook only (data doesn’t include Twitter or YouTube) over the previous months (Apr ’17 to Mar ’18).
These videos include match highlights, clips of spectacular goals or regular short form content with football personalities (including Lee Trundle, Ben Davies, Joe Allen, Ethan Ampadu, David Brooks to a name a few).