RTÉ Sport has retained the rights to broadcast the Guinness Series of Autumn Rugby Internationals for a further four years, until 2021, including next year’s visit of the All Blacks to the Aviva Stadium.
RTÉ has been awarded exclusive Irish free-to-air rights to the games across television, radio, online and mobile as part of a four year extension to their existing contract.
RTÉ Sport will also continue in its role as host broadcaster for television coverage of the International matches. All games will be live and exclusively free-to-air on RTÉ2, RTÉ Player and on RTÉ Radio.
RTÉ Player will also have 21 day catch-up of all games, as well as extras including interviews and analysis, while RTÉ.ie/Sport will have minute-by-minute match coverage alongside news, analysis and interviews.
The contract also incorporates the rights to broadcast Ireland’s U20 6 Nations matches and includes live coverage of the final stages of the Ulster Bank League alongside RTÉ2’s rugby magazine show Against The Head as part of RTÉ’s commitment to domestic rugby.
The contract reasserts RTÉ’s place in rugby after the double blow of missing out on the Rugby World Cup in 2019 which will be shown on eir Sport, and the Nat West Six Nations which will be on TV3 from February.
There may be more to come too with news expected shortly of the new broadcast deals around European Club Rugby and the Guinness Pro 14 both of which are to include an element of free to air coverage.
There are also negotiations going on with regrd to the need for Ireland’s matches at the Rugby World Cup to be broadcast on free to air channels. Whether eir Sport choose to create their own Free to Air option for that or whether they partner with RTÉ as was the case in the Women’s Rugby World Cup this year has yet to be finalised.
“I’m delighted that RTÉ has retained rights to the Guinness Series of Autumn Internationals until 2021 in addition to the final stages of the Ulster Bank League,” said RTÉ Head of Sport Ryle Nugent.
“Ireland taking on the All Blacks next year is set to be a great sporting occasion and RTÉ Sport look forward to sharing that, and many more enthralling fixtures over the next four years across television, radio, online and mobile”.
“We are delighted to be working with RTÉ for the Guinness Series for the next four years,” added IRFU CEO Philip Browne.
“This year’s series featured three sold out games, each of which made for compelling viewing. Live sporting events are some of the only programmes that can continue to gather the entire family around the TV, so we are look forward to working with RTÉ to bring these big games into people’s living rooms each November.”
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