Rangers face Hibernian in the Sky Sports Cup final at Tynecastle Park on Sunday; the match will be the first Scottish Women's Premier League fixture to be shown live on Sky Sports; watch it on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Mix from 12pm
Sunday 11 December 2022 14:18, UK
SWPL managing director Fiona McIntyre believes the Sky Sports Cup final between Rangers and Hibernian is a "massive milestone" for the women’s game in Scotland.
Sunday's match at Tynecastle Park will be the first Scottish Women's Premier League game ever to be shown live on Sky Sports, and further innovations like in-game manager interviews and dressing room access will bring fans closer to the action.
For McIntyre, the fixture represents another huge step forward for the women's game in Scotland, and can also provide a platform for seasons to come.
"First and foremost, for the clubs on Sunday, it's a Cup final. It's a chance to win their first silverware of the season," she said.
"But it's also a massive milestone for women's football in Scotland. It wasn't that long ago that we didn't have any broadcast coverage of the game; we didn't have any professional players, and in a relatively short space of time we've now got a lot of professional players playing here in Scotland.
"To have the coverage from Sky - and it's not just about Sunday in that broadcast - all week we've seen the build-up across Sky Sports News and the social media channels, so it's just been a fantastic week for us and a huge milestone for women's football in Scotland."
SWPL champions Rangers are in their first Sky Sports Cup final having only turned pro in 2019, while Hibs are targeting a record-extending eighth triumph in the competition.
McIntrye thinks Sunday's final is a step in the right direction for more clubs beyond the two facing off in Edinburgh.
"It's moments like Sunday that can help us," she said. "The more we can make the game visible and attractive for players to want to come and play in Scotland; the more viewers or eyeballs or people we can get in the stadium.
"At the end of the day it really helps us attract new investors and commercial partners that can support women's sport, and that in turn goes back to the clubs, it allows them to invest in their playing squad, their staff, their infrastructure, their sports science that improves the end product on the pitch.
"All these things are influential, the partnership with Sky is absolutely key to that going forward to help all the clubs get to that level as soon as we can."
As part of the build-up to the game, Sky Sports' Eilidh Barbour took part in Rangers training, and McIntyre is delighted with the coverage Sunday's showpiece has been receiving.
"This week alone, the build-up and coverage has been fantastic," she said.
"I believe there will be cameras on the busses arriving with the players, so to provide people with that different insight that different build-up behind the scenes just provides something different.
"For fans and spectators that they maybe haven't seen before, we're absolutely delighted with the coverage and the innovation we're working on with Sky this week."
Sky Sports - This season up to 48 cinch Premiership games will be available across Sky Sports' flagship channels, including Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event, plus at least five SWPL matches. From 2024/25, up to 60 cinch Premiership will be live on Sky Sports, in addition to the SWPL.
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