Next Tuesday’s William Hill Scottish Cup replay between Hibs and Hearts is set to be the first Edinburgh derby in ten years not to be shown live on television.
Sky and the BBC both have options to screen a tie – Kilmarnock will play Rangers the same night – but the matches clash with Champions League games and UEFA rules prohibit any other football being screened in direct competition. Benfica take on Zenit St Petersburg and Paris St-Germain host Chelsea that night. Switching either Scottish Cup replay to the following evening wouldn’t work either as two more Champions League matches take place on the Wednesday, Gent against Wolfsburg while Roma face Real Madrid.
A nationwide audience were thrilled by an epic encounter between the Capital clubs at Tynecastle on Sunday, the Jambos racing into a two-goal lead with strikes from Arnaud Djoum and Sam Nicholson before Alan Stubbs’ side mounted a stunning second-half fightback, Jason Cummings throwing them a lifeline before Paul Hanlon claimed an equaliser just as the game went into four added minutes.
However, fans who can’t get their hands on a ticket for the fifth-round replay at Easter Road won’t be able to watch on television while a blackout would cost each of the clubs £82,500 in broadcast fees.
Playing on Monday night would appear to be one option but Hibs, Hearts, Rangers and Kilmarnock are all in action on Saturday and unlikely to welcome such an important match barely 48 hours later while the Easter Road side’s match away at Livingston isn’t due to kick off until 5.15pm as it is being shown live on BBC ALBA.
The last Edinburgh derby not to be shown live on television was Hibs’ 2-1 win over their city neighbours at Easter Road on April 22, 2006, Derek Riordan and Abdessalam Benjelloun scoring either side of a Roman Bednar strike.