Rugby Trade Directory

BBC to show Super League matches from this season

Super League matches will be shown live on the BBC for the first time this year, following a three-year broadcast deal with Rugby League Commercial.

The deal means 15 games per season will be shown across the BBC, 10 on network television and the rest across the BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website.

The agreement means the BBC will show league matches in addition to the regular Challenge Cup offering.

Highlights will also be available the day after games on the BBC Sport site.

Castleford Tigers' home game with champions Wigan Warriors will be the first to be shown on BBC Two from 17:00 GMT on Saturday, 17 February.

The World Club Challenge between Wigan and their National Rugby League-winning counterparts Penrith will be shown on Saturday, 24 February, also scheduled to be on BBC Two.

There is also a commitment to the Women's Super League, with highlights and clips - including both the semi-finals and the Grand Final - also available on the BBC Sport website and app.

Challenge Cup men's ties will now be shown on live television from the quarter-final stage, with streaming from one tie of each previous round on the BBC Sport website and app, while there will also be coverage of the women's semis and final and the wheelchair final.

"Nothing beats live sporting action and, combined with our team's outstanding expert commentary and coverage, this new deal will deliver so much for rugby league fans to enjoy," interim director of BBC Sport Philip Bernie said.

"With more live games than ever before on the BBC, including live Super League matches for the very first time, and a new digital highlights package which will show the key action from the weekend's matches, we are really excited about our expanded offer for this great sport."

BBC Sport has covered rugby league extensively through its online content, regular commentaries and reports on BBC Radio 5 live and Sports Extra, and through the Challenge Cup on network TV.

The new broadcast deal means the Super League Show, which showed highlights and magazine features, will no longer be shown.

"We have reimagined our rugby league coverage this season by securing a first of its kind deal so that fans can watch more live coverage than ever before as we broadcast 15 Super League matches across BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app," a BBC spokesperson said.

"This means we have made some changes to our output and will produce digital highlights of all matches over each Super League round. Whilst we are proud of the Super League Show as it was a staple in the schedules for many years, it will no longer continue."

Speaking about the new deal, Rugby League Commercial managing director Rhodri Jones added: "This is a landmark agreement for rugby league. Securing live free-to-air coverage on the BBC for the Super League competition as part of this reimagined partnership, means there will be more visibility than ever before.

"To guarantee the Challenge Cup coverage for a further three years also is testament to the BBC's commitment to one of the oldest rugby tournaments in the world, whilst acknowledging the sport of rugby league is for everyone, with their continued coverage of the women's and wheelchair competitions.

"The platform is now set for our players to show off their skill, speed and passion for those in the stadia, and to those watching at home."

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