The BBC has secured a three season deal with Rugby League Commercial that will see more live Rugby League coverage on TV.
- 15 live matches will be broadcast per season on the BBC’s outlets.
- Ten matches will be available via BBC TV and iPlayer. The remaining five will be streaming-only via the BBC iPlayer.
BBC Sport kicks off its live coverage of this year’s Super League season on Saturday 17th February with coverage of Castleford Tigers v Wigan Warriors from 5:00pm on BBC Two and iPlayer. A week later this will be followed by the World Club Challenge between Wigan Warriors and NRL champions Penrith Panthers on Saturday 24 February.
A total of 10 matches will be available for viewing on BBC TV and BBC iPlayer, including the World Club Challenge. However five matches will be streamed on online platforms only, specifically BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app.
As well as the live action throughout the season, fans can watch highlights and clips of key moments from every Super League match on the BBC Sport website and app the following morning after each match has finished, with highlights from the Grand Final also on BBC TV.
Online highlights and clips from the Women’s Super League, including both the semi-finals and the Grand Final, will also be available on the BBC Sport website and app.
The Super League deal also builds on the BBC’s long-term commitment to the Challenge Cup as rugby league fans will still be able to enjoy Challenge Cup coverage live on the BBC. Two men’s quarter finals, the women and men’s semi-finals and the women’s, men’s and Wheelchair Challenge Cup Finals will be broadcast on BBC TV, iPlayer, and the BBC Sport website and app.
Philip Bernie, Interim Director of BBC Sport says:
“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. 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.”
*Note: RXTV does not endorse the BBC’s definition of ‘digital highlights’ and ‘digital platforms’, as the BBC appears to have changed its definition of ‘digital’ to exclude digital terrestrial, digital satellite and digital cable but to include online-only platforms such as the iPlayer and BBC Sport website. In this article, with the exception of the quote from Philip Bernie, we’ve replaced reference to ‘digital highlights’ in the BBC press release with ‘online highlights’. We hope this makes it clearer to our readers who may be familiar with the correct technical difference between digital only and online/streaming only services.