BBC Northern Ireland Inks New Deal to Air Ulster Matches in PRO12

August 20, 2014

BBC Northern Ireland have announced today that they have secured a new four-season deal to provide live coverage of Ulster’s matches in rugby’s Guinness PRO12.

Sky Sports are new partner broadcasters, along with BBC Wales, S4C, BBC Alba, BBC Scotland, TG4, with discussions for an Italian broadcaster ongoing.

In the league section of the PRO12, BBC NI will have live coverage on BBC Two NI of all Ulster’s home and away matches not selected for broadcast by Sky. Those matches that Sky do select will be live on BBC Radio Ulster. BBC NI has also secured live TV coverage of any play-off match, including the final, involving Ulster.

Peter Johnston, Director BBC NI said: “I am delighted that we have secured these rugby rights. Live Friday night Ulster rugby has proven to be very popular with a wider viewing audience at home, with the games regularly being amongst the most watched programmes on BBC Two in Northern Ireland.”

John Feehan, CEO, Guinness PRO12, commented: “I am delighted to be renewing our on-going and very successful relationship with BBC NI. They have significantly contributed to a huge increase in the popularity of rugby in Northern Ireland with first class coverage of the Ulster games over the last number of seasons. We very much look forward to building on this successful relationship and showcasing the Guinness PRO12 week in, week out, on both radio and TV in Northern Ireland.”

Shane Logan, Chief Executive, Ulster Rugby, says: “There is now more interest in rugby in Ulster than ever before and that is thanks in many ways to the excellent coverage that BBC Sport NI has given the sport in recent years. The large viewing figures reflect the excitement that PRO12 rugby generates but are also testament to the comprehensive and insightful coverage that the BBC Sport NI team provide. I am extremely pleased that BBC Sport NI has extended its successful partnership with PRO12 rugby and I look forward to many more Ulster Rugby matches on both television and radio in the coming seasons.”