Rugby Super League Extend Partnership with Sky Sports in Major Deal
August 3, 2011
The Rugby Super League has announced a “record-breaking” five-year extension to its broadcasting agreement with Sky Sports, prostate taking the partnership up to its 21st year.
The new deal will see Sky Sports screen live rugby league matches from the 2012 season through the 2016 campaign, taking in Super League XVII to Super League XXI. The agreement will see up to 70 Super League games being televised each season, including all Play Off matches and the end of season Grand Final at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Rugby Football League (RFL), chairman, Richard Lewis, said: “At a time when broadcast fees in sport have been under real pressure, this is a tremendous outcome for the sport of rugby league. It clearly demonstrates the confidence that Sky Sports has in the game’s current and future appeal and will give everyone involved in the sport a real boost. This is the first time we have sold domestic rights independently of international rights and so it bodes well for those sales which will be concluded either later this year or early next year.”
All live Super League coverage will be shown in HD and some matches shown in 3D, while they will also be available on mobile, online and tablet devices via Sky Go. Since 2001, television income for rugby league has markedly increased. This growth has been matched by an increase in the number of fans attending matches from 1.2 million in 2002 to 1.7 million in 2010.
Lewis also added:“Our partnership with Sky Sports has been an important factor in the sustained growth of the game over more than a decade and we value the relationship we have with Sky and thank them for their continued support and excellent broadcast production values. The extended partnership from three to five years will enable us to plan for the future and tackle the issues we need to address in order to make Super League stronger.”