Challenge Cup likely set for new broadcasters in 2024

Next year we will continue to see Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, Hull FC, St Helens and the rest of Super League on Sky Sports.

There are questions over whether or not we will see them on Channel 4 but there are further broadcast questions namely around the Challenge Cup. BBC will continue to be the principle broadcasters of the competition in the final year of their TV deal.

But in recent years they have shared coverage with Viaplay who will no longer be involved suggesting that there will be new broadcasters of the Challenge Cup.

Therefore, it is clear that the way the Challenge Cup is broadcast in 2024 will be very different to what we have seen over the last two seasons with some very big games involving eventual finalists shown on Viaplay.

Ironically, on their way to the finals in 2022 and 2023, both Wigan Warriors and Hull KR defeated Salford Red Devils in front of the Viaplay cameras.

Viaplay also showed the mesmeric, try filled clash between Salford and Huddersfield this year and the bizarre game between eventual winners Leigh Leopards and York Knights which saw Leigh reduced to 11 men at one stage.

This way of broadcasting the Challenge Cup has allowed every game from the quarter-finals onwards to be broadcast as well as at least half of the sixth round when Super League clubs enter.

This may not be the case moving forward unless RL Commercial can strike up an agreement with a broadcaster who wants the rights to both the Championship and the Challenge Cup. An alternate route would be using whoever they agree a free to air deal with for Super League as a broadcaster in the cup as well though Sky may have something to say about that having previously broadcast Challenge Cup games in the past such as in 2015.

The Cup has also been broadcast on BBC iPlayer and the Sportsman YouTube channel in recent years.

It is also important to know that at the end of 2024, BBC’s deal with the sport expires meaning that an entire cup revamp could soon be on the cards ahead of 2025.