Guinness PRO14 officials have today announced Premier Sports as the new broadcaster for viewers in the UK and Northern Ireland.
The deal, which begins from the beginning of next season, will see every single game of the PRO14 campaign broadcasted live in HD with at least 21 games, one per game week, shown live on free-to-air on FreeSports.
There will also be the launch of a Premier Sports 2 channel which will broadcast highlights shows, something which is lacking in the competition at the moment.
Premier Sports is available in 16 million UK homes across Sky and Virgin platforms and to everyone via the Premier Player https://www.premierplayer.tv/ while FreeSports will be available to 22 million UK homes from next season across seven different platforms.
In addition, FreeSports will turn High Definition on Sky and Virgin from July.
Premier Sports have taken over from Sky Sports as the UK broadcaster for the PRO14 and BBC Ireland NI have also missed out showing games in Northern Ireland.
Subscription to Premier Sports currently costs £9.99 per month or an annual fee of £99. Eir Sport’s official confirmation of securing the Irish broadcasting rights is set to be confirmed this week.
Martin Anayi, CEO of PRO14 Rugby, said: “The partnership with Premier Sports will be a watershed moment for the Guinness PRO14, our clubs and their supporters. As an innovative global rugby championship full of world-class players we are always looking to raise our game and this relationship is a bold step for us. This will take coverage of the Guinness PRO14 to a new level and unlock the tournament’s vast potential.
“By better resourcing our clubs through increased central revenue, we will ensure sustainability so they can further invest from the ground up to drive success on and off the pitch so they can retain supporters and attract new fans of all ages. Now rugby fans will be able to watch every game in the Guinness PRO14 which offers them more action than ever and that’s a terrific achievement.
“The bidding for broadcast rights showed us just how much interest there is in the Guinness PRO14 since our expansion into South Africa and the significantly increased revenue will allow us to invest back into our clubs, a figure which has doubled over the last three years.”
Richard Webb, Chief Operating Officer at Premier Sports & FreeSports, added: “We are delighted to have concluded a deal to showcase what we consider to be the most exciting club rugby championship in the world. We believe having all 152 games from every round across our two Premier Sports channels for just £9.99 a month with high level, consistent production represents superb value and means that, for the first time, supporters have unprecedented access to every minute of the Guinness PRO14 all under one roof.”