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BBC record impressive Challenge Cup streaming figures

BBC iPlayer's coverage of the Challenge Cup has seen a huge boost in viewers.

Round One of the Challenge Cup started as ten games took place this weekend, with the live games hitting brilliant streaming figures.

As part of their Challenge Cup coverage, the BBC has committed to airing at least one game in every round of the competition and round one saw the ‘battle of the forces’.

Royal Navy defeated Royal Air Force in an enthralling match with the game streamed live on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website, and the numbers are now in to show what a huge success it was.

Having been starved of live rugby league on TV since the England and Tonga series, rugby league fans helped the BBC to hit 38,500 viewers which surpasses any tie streamed from the 2023 competition, per the RFL.

It also marks the fourth-highest streaming figure in the competition since 2021 which highlights the necessity for free-to-air rugby league.

Meanwhile live on The Sportsman YouTube Channel their coverage of Orrell St James and Haresfinch clocked 13,000 viewers, dwarfing their average of 11,000 in the two seasons they’ve covered games previously.

The British Army game also drew in 14,000 views on Facebook and YouTube as they took on Fryston Warriors, bringing the total number of streamed views to 60,000 which is a wildly impressive figure for amateur games.

Where can I watch the Challenge Cup?

BBC Challenge Cup coverage

Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors Picture by Allan McKenzie/ – 20/05/2023 – Rugby League – Betfred Challenge Cup Round 6 – Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors – Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England – Wigan s Bevan French is interviewed by the BBC s Mark Chapman & Martin Offiah after his side s victory over Leeds. Leeds Headingley Stadium England Copyright: x xSWpix.comxt/axPhotographyxHubxLtdxAllanxMcKenzie/SWpix.comx SWP-2062-0050

The BBC will be providing coverage of every round of the Challenge Cup in 2024, initially via their streaming services before then transitioning into coverage on their live channels.

There will also be coverage from the Sportsman who will cover every round up until the Round of 16, the YouTube channel airing one game for each round that they have rights to.

They’re set to follow up their fiery clash between Orrell St James and Haresfinch with Orrell hosting York Acorn live on Sunday 28th January.

As for the BBC, they’ll cover Ash Goulding’s Stanningley side on Saturday 27th as they face Leigh Miners Rangers in what looks set to be a great game.

Those are two from a set of ten fixtures in round two with the winners set to progress and potentially draw a Championship or League One side.

In round three all the professional and semi-professional teams outside of the Super League barring Toulouse Olympique enter the draw along with the te amateur clubs that have progressed.

That then creates a round of 32 knockout style competition where the teams are whittled down to just four, at which point the 12 Super League sides enter the competition to create a Round of 16 knockout straight through to the final at Wembley.

This season the Challenge Cup Final is earlier in the calendar with June 8th the date for the annual pilgrimage to Wembley as Leigh Leopards look to retain their crown.

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