Sky Sports has been the home of Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow historic Grand Final try, the insane comeback by Wigan Warriors against Bradford Bulls back in 2007, St Helens’ wide to West moment and many more special moments and memories throughout the history of Super League.
However, there were questions over whether they would be adding to those memories beyond the 2023 season or if their time showing the sport would come to an end with their deal along with those of Channel 4 and Viaplay coming to an end in 2023.
There was also interest from TNT Sports, previously BT Sports, and DAZN.
However, the sport is now set to negotiate a deal with Sky until the 2026 season.
Many may question why the sport has elected to remain with Sky for 2024 onwards.
A statement though explains why:
“Following a meeting of RL Commercial, IMG and Super League (Europe) Shareholders, RL Commercial will now enter a 30-day exclusive negotiating period with Sky Sports to formalise and contract the broadcast rights agreement.
“This follows a period of activity in the market that saw multiple bids tabled for the rights, with all stakeholders convinced Sky Sports are offering the best deal for the Super League competition.
“It would see the partnership with Sky Sports extend for a further three years, until the end of the 2026 season – which would include the 30th anniversary of the launch of Super League’s partnership with Sky Sports for the inaugural season in 1996.
“Under the proposed deal, the partnership would include the live broadcast of every Super League fixture, to the UK and worldwide – a transformative development for the competition. This would also allow for video match officials to be appointed for every match. There would also be the continuation of a free-to-air window.
“Further details will be shared on the conclusion of the negotiating period.”
The TV deal has long been spoken about
Speaking in the past about it, RL Commercial’s Rhodri Jones outlined the situation: “We’ve got multiple broadcasters interested.
“We’ll have to see where we land. I think on the Broadcast deal, we’ve been so reliant on one number coming from one broadcaster.
“We’re one of very few sports competitions that don’t stream every game.
“I think the mix of the broadcast platform for us going forward is going to look different. So maybe less emphasis on that one number that we get from the main broadcaster and maybe the culmination of the total means that we come out in a better position.”
It is clear that there were other parties interested other than Sky Sports. Reports emerged in the past from the Daily Mail claiming that officials at the RFL were disappointed with the offer from Sky, a £25 million per year contract and TNT Sport emerged as a potential contender.
Previously known as BT Sport, the newly named TNT Sports are the home of the Champions League in football as well as having rights to Premier League football.
According to the Daily Mail, TNT are now “a big threat” to Sky’s coverage of the sport.
However, the reports now suggest Sky have secured the rights with a £20 million per year deal.