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Editors deny rugby coverage affected by new media deal

Editors have denied their newspapers’ rugby union coverage has been affected by a new official media partnership announced by the sport’s governing body in Scotland.

News UK’s Scottish titles – The Scottish Sun, The Times Scotland and The Sunday Times Scotland – have been unveiled as the official newspaper partners of Scottish Rugby for the next three years.

The deal gives the newspapers “unique and exclusive access” to players and coaches for the Scotland national team, as well as professional club sides Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors.

The News UK titles will also have a branding presence at the national team’s Murrayfield stadium – including with big screen advertising, signage around the stadium perimeter and fans able to take advantage of match-day promotional offers.

Scotland's John Hardie is pursued by English players in the recent Calcutta Cup match

Scotland’s John Hardie is pursued by English players in the recent Calcutta Cup match

An announcement by Scottish Rugby states the deal will ensure readers get “unmatched reporting and insight”.

But despite the “exclusive access” element of the deal, both the Glasgow-based Herald & Times Group and Aberdeen’s Press and Journal have denied it will result in any change in their papers’ coverage of the sport.

The Newsquest-owned Herald & Times Group includes dailies The Herald, Evening Times and The National – as well as the Sunday Herald.

Editor-in-chief Magnus Llewellin said: “There has been no change in our coverage, or the coverage in any other outlet, as a result of this deal being announced.”

Press and Journal editor Damian Bates added he was “reassured” coverage would not be impacted by the deal.  Scotsman editor Ian Stewart has not so far responded to requests for a comment.

Dominic McKay, chief operating officer of Scottish Rugby, said: “We’re delighted to announce our most recent sponsorship with News UK. As we continue to grow our rugby audiences in Scotland, the partnership with News UK will enable rugby to be taken to new markets through reader offers in The Sun and will cement our relationship with existing fans through The Times titles.

“The partnership will help our marketing of the game in Scotland across the broad demographics that the three titles encapsulate through both in paper and digital content.

“With TV and match-day audiences continuing to increase year on year, it’s great that News UK have acknowledged the growth of Scottish Rugby and have joined our expanding family of commercial partners.”


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  • February 19, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Big deal !

    Two low grade sports teams, in country that cares little about the game unless there is a possibility they might beat England.

    Mind you Sturgen’s face was a picture handing over the cup to England’s Kiwi captain. Like she was sucking a wasp !

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  • February 19, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    There has been a marked shift in how the Scotsman’s rugby section handles readers comments. In short if you make any negative comment about the management of Scotland Rugby, then it will either be taken down or will be “disliked” by one of the Scotsman staff or Dominic McKays staff at Scotland Rugby.


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