BBC "disappointed" as Channel 4 wins rights to air Women's Euro 2017

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Channel 4 is to air England and Scotland's exploits at the Women's Euro 2017 football tournament next summer.

The broadcaster outbid the BBC to win the rights for the finals which will start in the Netherlands next July.

England and Scotland will meet in their opening game live on Channel 4 after they were drawn in the same group alongside Spain and Portugal.

The BBC broadcast last year's Women's World Cup and aired the Euro 2013 tournament in Sweden, and the broadcaster said it was "disappointed" to lose the television rights.

Norway v Denmark in 2013.
Norway v Denmark in 2013 (Stefan Jerrevang/ Scanpix/AP/PA)

Stephen Lyle, commissioning editor at Channel 4 Sport said: "We're thrilled to have secured the 2017 Uefa Women's Euros on Channel 4.

"With Scotland there for the first time and England's Lionesses at the top of their game, I believe this tournament is going to be one of the sporting highlights of the summer."

A BBC spokesman said: "We're disappointed not to have retained the rights to the Women's Euros despite our unparalleled support for the game, the recent qualification matches and past tournaments.

"We're proud of our contribution to the growth of women's football in the UK, highlighted by the competitiveness for these rights, and we're pleased that the matches will remain free to air.

"The BBC's commitment to women's football remains incredibly strong with our extensive coverage of the Women's Super League and FA Cup across TV, radio and online platforms. We wish the tournament well."