This year’s Royal Highland Show will be live-streamed across the world for free thanks to £200,000 of Scottish Government funding.
The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), which organises the four-day event, said being able to broadcast the 200th anniversary show will be a “game changer”.
Backed by £200,000 of funding from VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, the free-to-view RHS TV will feature a mixture of live and pre-recorded content throughout the four days of the show on June 23-26.
As well as being broadcast to people not attending the show at Ingliston near Edinburgh, RHS TV will be aired on giant screens at the event and available to watch back afterwards on the Royal Highland Show’s YouTube channel.
RHASS said the initiative follows the success of last year’s Royal Highland Showcase – held in place of an in-person show due to Covid-19 restrictions and backed by £750,000 of government funding – which attracted 345,701 viewers from 97 countries.
“This is a hugely exciting announcement which will allow us to bring the best of food, farming, and rural Scotland to audiences across the globe,” said RHASS chairman, Bill Gray.
“RHS TV also presents great opportunities for sponsors and exhibitors to extend their reach beyond the 200,000 people expected to attend the event.
“This is yet another way in which we can add value and also generate revenue, which allows RHASS to fulfil its charitable activities.”
Culture Minister, Neil Gray, said: “I am delighted that Scottish Government funding will enable the Royal Highland Show to showcase online all that rural Scotland has to offer and celebrate, significantly increasing the reach of this event and enabling people across Scotland and all around the world to experience the rich variety of activities the show has to offer.”
News of RHS TV comes after RHASS confirmed it is introducing a daily limit of 50,000 visitors to this year’s Royal Highland Show.
It also confirmed that the public will not be able to turn up to the show on the day without tickets, and all tickets – both for entrance and parking – must be purchased in advance including free tickets for accompanied children aged 15 and under.
RHASS members, who receive tickets to the show as part of their membership of the society, are being asked to let the society know which days they plan to attend in advance.
RHASS chief executive, Alan Laidlaw, said the changes had been introduced to enable the society to respond quickly and efficiently to any Covid-19 measures, if required.