Premier Rugby announce new TV deal
December 11, 2008
Premier Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty has hailed the extended coverage that will be on offer to fans from 2010/11 © Getty Images
Premier Rugby have announced two new multi-million pound domestic television deals that will see the Premiership broadcast on Setanta Sports and Sky Sports.
The new three year deals will commence in the 2010/11 season and will see the number of live televised Guinness Premiership games more than double from the current 33 to 69 a season and will deliver revenue in excess of £54 million over three years.
Setanta Sports will broadcast 43 live Guinness Premiership games a season including a Premiership semi-final and the Premiership Final. Sky Sports will broadcast 26 live Guinness Premiership games including a Guinness Premiership Semi Final.
In addition to the live rights Premier Rugby has also concluded broadcast agreements for the Premiership's highlights, broadband and mobile offering. Details of these agreements will be released at a later date.
In a difficult economic climate the new agreements will see a 45% increase in revenue for the Premiership clubs. This increase along with double the match coverage will enable the clubs to develop their commercial businesses on the back of an increasingly strong broadcast platform.
Mark McCafferty, CEO of Premier Rugby, said, "The substantial increase in income and coverage for the Guinness Premiership is fantastic news for our clubs, their supporters and sponsors and is a reflection of the growing attraction of club rugby. We are delighted to continue our relationship with Sky Sports and look forward to working with Setanta Sports on delivering more matches from the Guinness Premiership than ever before.
"For rugby fans the new deals mean that every weekend there will be a choice of three live televised Guinness Premiership games on Setanta Sports and Sky Sports plus a free to air highlights show featuring action from all six games."
The current broadcast arrangements have another season and a half to run and will conclude at the end of the 2009/10 season in May 2010.
A Sky Sports spokesman said: "We are delighted with the outcome of this process.
"We made one bid for one package of rights, and got exactly what we wanted - 26 first and second-pick Premiership games to go alongside all the international and club rugby we are offering over the next few years. We shall be covering more than 100 live top-quality matches every year over this period."
There was good news for Sky as European Rugby Cup, the governing body of both the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup, has extended its broadcast partnership until the end of the 2013-14 season.
The new four-year arrangement will see Sky continue to offer live coverage of Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup games. Sky will continue to broadcast up to eight live Heineken Cup pool matches each European weekend, plus games from every round of the Challenge Cup.
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