The Guinness PRO14 announced on Friday that it has signed a one year deal with Eurosport to show this season’s Championship in 62 countries and territories across Europe as well as on the Discovery-owned Rugbypass and Setanta in Asia.
Now in its second season as a broadcast partner of the competition, the agreement will see Eurosport and Eurosport Player show all home games and selected away games featuring Italian teams in the Guinness PRO14, underlining its strategy to showcasing premium content exclusively live for millions of passionate sports fans.
Eurosport Italia will have exclusive rights to the competition.
This deal comes about at a time when detailed presentations have been submitted for the overall broadcast rights for the Championship from 2018 and which are likely to prove popular among existing and potential new broadcast partners in Ireland and further afield.
The rights for Ireland are currently held by TG4 and Sky Sports.
“At Eurosport, we are committed to giving our viewers the very best in premium sporting content and we are thrilled to once again be a part of the Guinness PRO14 after coming on board last season for the first time,” said Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton.
“We have had a taste of this competition already and were royally entertained and we cannot wait to build on what we delivered last season by adding the option to watch games on the Eurosport Player. The expansion of the Championship into South Africa brings a truly unique dynamic to the Guinness PRO14.”
“To have Discovery Eurosport on board once again is fantastic news for our fans in Italy as well as across Europe and Asia,” added Martin Anayi, CEO of PRO14 Rugby.
“As a broadcast partner, we were delighted to see what Eurosport could bring to the table during the last campaign.”
“This year, they will broadcast even more games to supporters across Europe and Asia and we’re particularly excited that Guinness PRO14 games will be made available on the Eurosport Player. From a digital perspective, sports fans are incredibly savvy and they are pushing the market to deliver more and more products like this.”
Eurosport broadcast the competition for the first time last season in 41 markets so the second year has already seen a 50 per cent increase in the number of territories.
Securing the rights to the Guinness PRO14 adds to an impressive portfolio of rugby content that includes all of England’s and France’s autumn Test matches for four years from 2017 in Europe outside of the UK, Ireland and France.
Eurosport will have exclusive rights to the Guinness PRO14 competition live in Europe in: Italy, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vatican State.
Eurosport via Discovery-owned Setanta Asia and Rugbypass, will have exclusive rights to the Guinness PRO14 competition live in Asia in: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.
The rights fees from these territories will strengthen the competition and the teams participating in it.
All Four of Ireland’s Rugby Provinces are among the more than 220 organisations that play an active part of the Sport for Business community.