BBC SECURES RUGBY SUPER LEAGUE TV DEAL
BBC Sport has secured a first of its kind three-season deal with Rugby League Commercial to broadcast live Super League matches. Super League fans across the UK can watch more live rugby league than ever before with 15 live matches set to be broadcast throughout the season across free-to-air platforms.
A total of 10 matches will be available for viewing on BBC TV and BBC iPlayer, including the World Club Challenge and five matches will be streamed on digital platforms, specifically BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app.
The 2024 Super League season starts on Thursday 15 February. BBC Sport kicks off its live coverage on Saturday 17 February with a hugely anticipated showdown between Castleford Tigers and reigning champions Wigan Warriors from 5pm 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. Coverage for that clash of the titans is on BBC Two.
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.
Digital 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.
The Challenge Cup has already kicked off and BBC Sport cameras will be in Cumbria this Saturday for a third round clash between Barrow and Oldham. This will be available on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app from 12:20pm.
The Challenge Cup will then continue on the 24 and 25 February with the fourth round. The fifth round will be played on the weekend of 9 and 10 March, and the sixth round will be on the 23 and 24 March with one match from each of those rounds broadcast on BBC digital platforms – BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website and app.
BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds are also getting ready for the new season where they’ll have full Super League match commentaries each week on BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra. Also returning for 2024 is the popular BBC Sounds Rugby League Podcast.
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.”
Rhodri Jones, Managing Director for Rugby League Commercial, says: “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.”