ITV has struck a deal with Premiership Rugby covering both highlights and a selection of live games, plus the final.
For the remainder of the season, four matches will be shown by ITV, starting with Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers on Sunday 30th January at 3:00pm. ITV’s weekly highlights show will make its debut later in the evening.
The final in June will be broadcast live on ITV4, making it the first time the final has been shown on free-to-air television.
For future seasons, ITV will broadcast seven matches, including the final.
BT Sport remains the main broadcast rights holder. They will continue to show live matches every weekend and simulcast games shown live by ITV. BT Sport continues to hold pay TV rights running until 2024.
Previously, Channel 5 had screened a weekly highlights shown until the end of the 2020-21 season. Before that, BT had shown some coverage free-to-air on its now defunct BT Showcase channel.
Speaking about the new deal, Premiership Rugby Chief Executive Simon Massie-Taylor said:
“Our ambition is to grow the game and make Gallagher Premiership Rugby available to as many people as possible. BT Sport have done an amazing job in building the core Premiership Rugby TV audience and the ITV partnership allows us to expand our reach into the households of millions of other rugby fans. This season our average match audience on BT Sport has risen 30% year on year, which shows the potential.”
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, added:
“We are delighted to announce this deal to bring regular free-to-air coverage of top-level club rugby to viewers across ITV’s platforms. It has been a pleasure working with BT Sport and our partners at Premiership Rugby in agreeing this deal and we look forward to showcasing the action and the stories from this elite league over the coming years.”