Premiership Rugby announce BT broadcast deal
September 12, 2012
BT will show Premiership rugby from next season © Getty Images
Premiership Rugby has announced a four-year broadcast deal with BT worth a reported £152m that includes exclusive rights to English rugby's top flight and also any games the country's leading clubs play in Europe.
Under the terms of the ground-breaking deal, BT will have exclusive rights to show Aviva Premiership Rugby and the J.P Morgan Asset Management Sevens for four seasons from 2013-14 onwards and also any games played in Europe by Premiership clubs for three seasons starting from the 2014-15 season.
"This is a game-changing agreement and will deliver a service that I know our club supporters will enjoy," Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty said. "We are delighted to have concluded our discussions with such an ambitious partner that will help bring Premiership Rugby to new audiences."
"We will develop a broad partnership. As well as showing the live games, BT will assist us in further upgrading the technical infrastructure of our clubs' stadia and by building Community programmes with us."
Premiership games are currently split between ESPN and BSkyB with the latter also currently the exclusive broadcaster of Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup rugby in the UK in a deal that is due to expire at the end of the current tournament agreement in 2014.
The future of European rugby beyond that date is currently being reviewed by European Rugby Cup Ltd, the organisers of both competitions, following a threat from Premiership Rugby and their French counterparts to pull out of the competition and go it alone if concerns about the qualification process, that they suggest favours RaboDirect PRO12 clubs, were not addressed.
The next meeting of European rugby's stakeholders is scheduled for Dublin next week.
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