S4C has announced a new deal to show Welsh domestic football including a committment to feature games from the women's Genaro Adran Leagues.

The broadcaster has reached an agreement with the Football Association of Wales for exclusive coverage of the domestic men’s, women’s leagues and the Under 21 international matches until 2026.

The deal includes a committment to show a minimum of 35 games from the men's competitions, which is an increase on the previous deal which covered 33 games.

Last season S4C broadcast 47 games including women's games - and it expects to show more than the minmum as it exceeded the base figure each season of the previous agreement.

The channel says the deal ensures it will remain "the home of Welsh domestic football" for the next four years.

A total of 35 games per season will be shown on Sgorio, from the JD Cymru Premier, JD Welsh Cup and Nathaniel MG League Cup. In addition, S4C will show a number of  games from the Genero Adran Leagues each season. All the action will be captured in a weekly highlights programme.

Having secured rights to show live coverage of the national men’s team’s matches for the next two years, the new agreement will also see S4C show  exclusive live coverage of Wales Under 21s home matches for the next four years.

Owain Tudur Jones, Sgorio analyst and former Wales international who started his career playing for Bangor City in the Welsh top flight, said: "This is fantastic news for the game in Wales.

"Football has never been more popular and the JD Cymru Leagues and Genero Adran Leagues play a huge part in developing our talent. The leagues are the pinnacle of the club game in Wales and the standard is constantly improving, season on season.

"We’ve seen Welsh international players like Ben Cabango, Dave Edwards and Jazz Richards join the JD Cymru Premier in recent years and that shows which direction the league is heading.

"There’s plenty of high-scoring games, spectacular goals, fierce rivalries and the chance to play European football at the end of each season, so it’s a league that has everything you could ever want as a football fan."

Senedd Member Jack Sargeant has called for greater coverage of Welsh domstic football, including through the English language. S4C offers an English language 'red button' option for its coverage of domestic football.

The Labour MS for Alyn and Deeside, who is an unpaid club ambassador for former Cymru Premier champions Quannah's Quay Nomads, told a debate on broadcasting in the Senedd he wants to see greater coverage of the domestic leagues.

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He said: "The Welsh women's and men's leagues are growing in popularity, but, if we are to truly build upon this, then the leagues must be broadcast live, free to view, free to listen."

He praised S4C's coverage, and committment to the domestic game, but said: "This past season, S4C has broadcast 47 live matches from the Cymru Premier League and the Welsh national cup competitions. But we should be aspiring to broadcast more each week, and significantly increase the coverage of the women's game."

Last season there was criticism the weekly live Sgorio game was too often dropped from television schedules and shown online only. Sgorio had initially branched out into showing live games on You Tube and Facebook as an addition to its television coverage.

In total last season S4C broadcast 19 games on television while 29 were shown online only.

The channel has highlighted the extensive audiences its online platforms can reach.

READ MORE: S4C defends increase in online only live Sgorio games

Siân Doyle, S4C chief executive, said: "This new domestic football agreement underlines S4C’s status as the home of Welsh football, and that is something we are very proud of. S4C has been a broadcaster of the national league since 2008 and our coverage has helped grow the profile of the leagues significantly.

"Sgorio is a brand that is trusted and valued by all football fans in Wales. Last season, there were 48 live domestic games shown across Sgorio platforms and there were over 12 million views to Sgorio’s online content, which shows how important it is to current supporters of the leagues, but also to bring in the supporters of the future."

"We are honoured to continue our commitment to domestic football and we hope it will help further the development and growth of the game here in Wales."

Noel Mooney, FAW chief executive, said: “Having already secured exclusive UK free-to-air broadcast rights to show our Men’s National Team matches last month, the FAW is delighted that S4C will continue showing top-flight domestic games and Cymru's Under-21s matches for the next four seasons.

"There is a real buzz around Welsh football with our qualification for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 64 years and hopefully we will see the success of the men's national team filter down to the domestic game in the upcoming campaign and beyond.

“The FAW and S4C enjoy a very important and culturally recognised relationship for Cymru which transcends football itself. This relationship is part of the fabric of life in Cymru and means so much to so many people.

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"We look forward to seeing more of S4C's excellent coverage of the domestic game and Cymru's Under-21 matches over the next four seasons."

Sgorio’s social media accounts enjoyed a record year during the 2021/22 season, attracting 12.4 million views to its content, equating to 10 million minutes watched.

In addition, the Sgorio brand launched a new podcast, a new women’s football vodcast and showed a live match from the Welsh men’s second tier for the first time.

S4C has been a broadcaster of the JD Cymru Premier since 2008.

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