United Rugby Championship confirm four-year deal with RTÉ and TG4

52 of the 60 fixtures involving Irish sides will be broadcast free-to-air

United Rugby Championship  have agreed a four-year broadcasting deal with RTÉ and TG4. Photograph: Inpho

United Rugby Championship have agreed a four-year broadcasting deal with RTÉ and TG4. Photograph: Inpho

 

The organisers of the United Rugby Championship (URC) have confirmed they have agreed a four-year broadcasting deal with RTÉ and TG4. As reported in The Irish Times, 52 of the 60 fixtures involving Irish sides will thus be available on free-to-air in Ireland.

RTÉ has secured the rights for live TV, radio and online coverage of 26 games featuring the Irish provinces in the league, plus additional knock-out matches. TG4’s Rugbaí Beo will broadcast 26 URC games live. The URC Grand Final will also be delivered free to air with RTÉ and TG4 broadcasting it live in alternate years.

TG4 will also have live rights to a further 16 non-Irish fixtures in addition to the 26 Irish games.

Additionally, the URC and RTÉ will team up to offer a domestic and international OTT (over the top) service called URC TV, details of which will be announced later in the summer.

Martin Anayi, chief executive of URC, said: “Free-to-air coverage is hugely attractive to all sports in terms of reaching the widest possible audience and in TG4 and RTÉ we have two partners who are really excited about launching the United Rugby Championship.

“Both TG4 and RTÉ have proven track records of delivering marquee international sporting events and they are both innovators in their own spaces. TG4 have added a new dimension to our games with their referee briefings from the dressing rooms and their mic’d up coaching interviews during warm-ups which bring fans behind the scenes.

“RTÉ have experienced big sporting occasions for decades and our decision to partner with them on our OTT player – URC TV – is evidence of a broadcaster that can adapt to market demands and provide a very creative offering for rights holders.

“We also cement the legacy of TG4’s association with us since the first days of the Celtic League and welcome back old friends at RTÉ to provide a very powerful offering to the widest audience in Ireland ahead of the first URC games in September.”

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