Sky Sports signs southern hemisphere rugby deal

By Oli Gross contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sky Sports signs southern hemisphere rugby deal

Related tags: Sky sports, Rugby union, Rugby

Sky Sports has bagged rights to air rugby starring World Cup semifinalists New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina with a new five-year deal with SANZAR. 

As southern hemisphere nations dominate the World Cup, the agreement will give viewers with at least 150 fixtures a year from the top domestic and international competitions - headlined by the Rugby Championship.

The deal ensures Sky Sports will show the four World Cup semifinalists in action in Super Rugby, ITM Cup, the Currie Cup, and the National Rugby Championship.

Sky broadcasts live action every month of the year, which will include England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales on summer tours.

This includes England taking on Australia down under in 2016 and South Africa in 2018 as well as Ireland in South Africa and Wales against the All Blacks in 2016.

Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This deal offers our viewers more mouth-watering fixtures from the world’s best teams that have been entertaining fans throughout the Rugby World Cup. Our viewers can now enjoy more live rugby union than ever before."

Sky Sports airs British & Irish Lions, European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, Top 14, Guinness PRO12, autumn internationals from England and Ireland, HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, women’s and age grade rugby.

Mark Alexander, SANZAR chairman, said: “SANZAR is delighted to be renewing its broadcasting deal with Sky Sports that has been our valued partner for the past 20 years since the inception of professional rugby in 1996.

"We have a very strong fan base in the United Kingdom and Ireland and it is important for us that they can see as much SANZAR content as possible. Sky Sports delivers this for us."

The Sky Sports commentary and analysis team this year includes Jonny Wilkinson, Will Greenwood, Ieuan Evans, Scott Quinnell, Scott Hastings, Sean Fitzpatrick, Michael Lynagh, Thinus Delport, Shane Horgan and Paul Wallace. 

Will Greenwood, Rugby World Cup winner and Sky Sports analyst added: “As a rugby player, you want to test yourself against the best and there’s no tougher challenge than facing the southern hemisphere giants in their own back yards.

"These are must-see fixtures and this deal offers Sky Sports viewers incredible top-class rugby week in week out.  I can’t wait.”

Related topics: Sport

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