BBC scoops Scottish Premier League rights

LONDON - BBC Scotland has scooped the rights to broadcast Scottish Premier League football matches for the next two years in a deal worth £16m, despite a challenge from Channel 5.

The deal will see the four matches between Celtic and Rangers broadcast live on TV across the UK -- the first time the matches will be shown live on terrestrial TV throughout the country.

The deal will also see clips from the previous week's Scottish Premier League matches shown on the BBC's Saturday afternoon programme 'Football Focus'.

BBC Scotland will show 38 live games each season on TV on Sunday afternoons and broadcast highlights from every league game.

Earlier this week, it emerged that Channel 5 had made a bid for the rights to the matches, which, if successful, would have seen all the league matches broadcast throughout the UK.

The league's decision had been expected last Friday after 10 of the league's teams backed the BBC bid, but Rangers and Celtic failed to vote.

The contract was finally awarded yesterday after an extraordinary meeting held by the league, in which the two leading teams agreed to the deal.

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