BBC to show live Betfred Super League games as part of new TV deal

Terrestrial TV looks set to broadcast live games from flagship rugby league competition

John Kear coach of Bradford Bulls is interviewed by BBC.
John Kear coach of Bradford Bulls is interviewed by BBC.

A number of Betfred Super League games will be televised live for the first time on the BBC – and in a prime Saturday 3pm slot – as part of the new broadcast deal with Sky Sports.

The Yorkshire Post is reporting that Super League will be free to air a set number of games on terrestrial TV.

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Super League today announced it has extended its rights contract with Sky Sports until the end of 2023 – taking the ongoing partnership to 28 years.

A Sky Sports cameraman is seen during the Betfred Super League match between Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants.

It will continue to show the biggest Super League games with 66 live matches exclusively per season including flagship events Dacia Magic Weekend and the Super League Grand Final.

The new agreement will see Sky Sports have the first pick of games in each of the regular season rounds as well as first pick in each of the Play-Off weeks.

It has also agreed to work with the competition to reach new audiences including making some fixtures available via free-to-air Sky platforms such as Sky One, which has occurred in recent seasons with its Premier League football coverage.

However, The Yorkshire Post also understands that Super League could air as many as 10 games on terrestrial television.

In what would be a significant boost in making rugby league more accessible and reaching greater audiences, it is planned that certain games will be broadcast at 3pm on Saturday afternoons, which would help augment the BBC’s ongoing coverage of the Betfred Challenge Cup.