Scottish Rugby on TV

Below you will find a guide to the various channels where you can see Scottish teams and Scottish players in rugby action from around Europe and beyond. This list applies mostly to the UK. If you have information on overseas contributions or channels where they show European rugby please drop us an e-mail so we can make this list comprehensive. For example Rugby on TV in the US, Canada, New Zealand etc.

BBC 1, BBC 2
Where to find it: Sky 101, 102 / Freeview 1, 2 / Freesat 101, 102 / Virgin TV 101, 102
What it shows: Six Nations, Autumn Internationals.
Pundits: Our “mate” Andrew Cotter, Andy Nicol, Keith Wood, Nick Mullins, Brian Moore, Gabby Logan and Jill Douglas plus the voice of archery Eddie Butler and the love ‘em or hate ‘em selection of Jeremy Guscott, Jonathan Davies and John Inverdale.

BBC Alba
Where to find it:Sky 168, Freesat 110 UK-wide, Freeview 8 (Scotland only), Virgin Media 188 (Scotland only), live on BBC iPlayer (UK).  Games are often available on seven-day catch-up on iPlayer
What it shows: RaboDirect PRO12, the odd low level International (Scotland A vs Georgia games). Coverage is in Gaelic. Hopefully they may follow the model of S4C and eventually offer an English language commentary option.

BBC Northern Ireland
Where to find it: Virgin channel 863, Sky 972, Sky channel 992. On Freeview BBC1 NI & BBC2 NI are only available in Northern Ireland
What it shows: Magners League matches, presumably mostly involving Ulster.
Pundits: Reliable commentary from Jim Neilly and Ryan Constable

BBC Scotland
Where to find it: Sky Channel 101, 102 in Scotland,  Sky 970-something for viewers elsewhere
What it shows: the Melrose Sevens, as well as occasional alternative coverage of Scotland internationals (usually just the Calcutta Cup) that could best be described as fairly parochial in nature.
Pundits: John Beattie Snr, Gary Parker, Doddie Weir, Doddie Weir’s trousers.

BBC Wales, S4C
Where to find it: Sky Channel 971, 134, Freesat 120
What they show: Magners League, LV Cup, Age grade Internationals, anything involving Welshmen and a rugby ball. S4C coverage is in Welsh but now provides English commentary via the Red Button. S4C also seems willing to stump up for Lions highlights too. BBC2 Wales has a regular Friday night game while Saturday/Sunday games tend to be on S4C.
Pundits: Jonathan Davies and some other Welsh types. Ieuan Evans, Phil Davies and Jerry Guscott from time to time. And some guy called Rick O’Shea who looks like he might indeed bounce off the walls given half a chance.

ITV1, ITV4
Where to find it: Sky Channel 103, 120 / Freeview 3, 28 / Freesat 103, 117 / VirginTV 103, 117
What it shows: Aviva Premiership Highlights (ITV4, 6.30pm Sundays), Rugby World Cups, IRB Sevens.
Pundits: Craig Doyle and Martin Bayfield alongside a rotating cast of injured or retired players for the odd comment.  Borrowed Barnes, Harrison and um, Will Greenwood from Sky for the RWC in ’09. This generosity may only last until Sky can get their hands on the rights.

STV (new for 09/10 season)
Where to find it: Sky Channel 103 / Freeview 3, 28 / Freesat 103, 117 / VirginTV 103, 117 in Scotland, not sure if it is available outside Scotland
What it shows: Weekly highlights of Edinburgh and Glasgow’s RaboDirect PRO12 matches, and it did have live coverage of the 1872 Cup derbies over the festive period but this has passed to BBC Alba.
Pundits: Eilidh Barbour and commentary from Rory Hamilton plus the usual off-duty players and coaches offering sideline commentary.

Sky Sports 1, 2, 3, Xtra
Where to find it: Sky Channel 401, 402, 403, 404 (requires subscription) / VirginTV 511, 512, 513, 516 (requires subscription), also in HD
What it shows: Aviva Premiership, The Championship (both English second tier and the re-named Tri-Nations), Heineken Cup, Amlin Challenge Cup, British and Irish Lions Tours, Summer Tours, England’s Autumn Internationals, Super 15, the Varsity Match, Forces Rugby, IRB Sevens, IRB Total Rugby.
Pundits: Stuart Barnes and Miles Harrison are the top commentary team, with Alex Payne hosting, plus a raft of former players such as Dewi Morris, Will Greenwood, Scott Hastings, Dean Ryan, Ieuan Evans, Sean Fitzpatrick, Michael Lynagh but sadly no longer Bobby Skinstaad.

EurosportUK, Eurosport2 UK
Where to find it: Sky Channel 410, 411  (requires subscription) / VirginTV 521, 525 (requires subscription)
What it shows: IRB Nations Cup, IRB U20s World Championships (this may no longer be the case)
Pundits: Commentary mostly from former BBC man Nigel Starmer-Smith, John Taylor.

ESPN
Where to find it: Sky Channel 417 (requires subscription), also in HD, BT Vision 34 (requires subscription)
What it shows: French Top 14 club matches both live and in a half-hour weekly highlights show, Aviva Premiership
Pundits: unknown

Setanta Sports Ireland
Where to find it: no longer available in the UK
What it shows:
Irish provinces RaboPRO 12 matches.
Pundits: Unknown, but I bet they are Irish

Radio and Online

BBC Radio Scotland
Where to find it: 810MW, Friday nights from 8pm
What it shows: nothing. But you can usually listen to live coverage of at least one of Edinburgh or Glasgow’s games (whoever is at home). If you’re lucky, you get both simultaneously, with the commentators interrupting each other when something interesting happens.
Pundits: John Beattie, Bill Johnstone, Richie Gray (the other one), Peter “Teapot” Wright.

Borders Rugby TV
Where to find it: www.bordersrugby.net
What it shows: highlights packages from rugby matches in the Borders including Premier 1, as well as Scotland A and Age Grade international highlights.

Match Day Live
Where to find it: www.magnersleague.com, www.ercrugby.com and www.guinnesspremiership.com
What it shows: live updated text scores from matches as they happen, along with streamed audio commentary (usually taken from BBC regional radio coverage). Requires Real Player for best results.

Other sources
There are other ways of finding streaming sports channels without subscription, but we do not necessarily condone such things and the quality can be pretty ropey.

5 responses to this article

  1. mark wilson said:

    where can we find the england v scotland under 20s rugby match in japan today live or recorded

  2. Rory said:

    Mark it would be on the IRB page if there was any online coverage, so I think you’ll just have to rely on match reports. See the home page.

  3. Jon said:

    Is the up and coming Scotland Vs. Argentina International on TV this weekend? 28/11/09?

    I’ve looked at many listings and can’t seem to find it anywhere – maybe it’ll be on the BBC “Red Button”

    Any help much appreciated.

  4. Rory said:

    Jon, pretty sure it is on the red button in the rest of the UK but we get it on BBC Scotland (same way that Ireland game was red button here but on BBC NI there) After this weekend they’d be stupid not to! Best thing of course is to get a ticket!

    This seems to confirm it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p5x9l

  5. Jim said:

    anyone know how i watch scotland new zealand in canada?