Sky Sports secures SANZAR rugby rights
October 21, 2015
In a deal that has slowed down BT Sport’s ‘land grab’ of premium rugby rights, Sky Sports will continue to show top flight rugby from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina as part of a new five-year deal with SANZAR.
As the Southern Hemisphere nations dominate the World Cup, the agreement provides viewers with at least 150 fixtures a year from the top domestic and international competitions headlined by the annual Rugby Championship. Sky Sports customers will also be able to enjoy live and exclusive coverage of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales on their summer tours.
The new rights further strengthens Sky Sports’ year round rugby union schedule, which includes live action every month of the year. Fans will be treated to live coverage of Rugby Championship, with clashes between the Rugby World Cup semi-finalists, the All Blacks, Springboks, Wallabies and Argentina, as well as domestic matches from the Southern Hemisphere featuring Super Rugby, ITM Cup, the Currie Cup, and the National Rugby Championship.
As part of the agreement, Sky Sports will also show all of the home nations on their 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. As well as the Rugby Championship, we also have the next two England summer tours, fascinating home nations fixtures and of course, more of the All Blacks, Wallabies, Springboks and Argentina than anywhere else. Add this to our current year round schedule and our viewers can now enjoy more live rugby union than ever before.”