BT Sport will remain as the home of Premiership Rugby for a further four years after the UK broadcaster agreed renewed terms with the top tier of the rugby union competition.
The new deal, which runs until 2024, is reportedly valued at £110 million according to The Telegraph, compared to the previous six-year cycle which was worth around £35 million per season and £40 million in its sixth and final season.
The pay-television channel will carry up to 80 matches per season, including 69 games from Gallagher Premiership and 11 from the Premiership Rugby Cup.
“BT Sport have been incredibly supportive partners of Premiership Rugby since they showed their first live match in 2013,” Darren Childs, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby said. “This year we have innovated together, with Match Pass, and in bringing all the season’s games to fans through a difficult period for live sports.”
Earlier in December, Amazon expressed an interest in bidding for Premiership Rugby, having ventured into the sport with the Autumn Nations Cup, with BT Sport’s existing contract coming to an end. However, its bid was unsuccessful, with BT securing a new deal last week.
In addition, the extension of the long-standing association will be marked by a new campaign called ‘Get Stuck in this Christmas’, which will see all 12 matches from rounds four and five aired live on BT Sport over the festive period.
Andy Haworth, Managing Director at BT Sport, added: “Today’s announcement is great news for rugby fans as BT Sport remains the home of Gallagher Premiership Rugby in the UK. This has been an extremely difficult year for sport, this is a partnership that extends beyond the TV screen, and we hope this agreement helps to give Rugby clubs in the UK some certainty for the future in these difficult times.
“We will continue to play our part in bringing the best TV coverage of top flight club rugby to our viewers whilst they are not able to attend live sport.”
Although fans have been absent from stadiums, throughout the pandemic, BT Sport and Premiership Rugby pledged to show all matches behind closed doors this season, with free passes for club season ticket holders until the end of the year.
The Times has also reported that the two parties are in talks of airing games via an official Premiership Rugby app. BT Sport and Premiership Rugby will reconvene on 26 and 27 December to discuss the current setup.