RFL and BBC sign new Challenge Cup deal

The RFL have confirmed they have agreed a new three-year agreement with the BBC to extend their coverage of the Challenge Cup until 2024.

The deal will see the BBC continue to broadcast two matches from the round of 16 and quarter-finals, as well as both semi-finals and the final.

The broadcaster will also continue their online and digital coverage of the competition’s early rounds, which has already featured numerous community clubs and proved very popular among fans.

In addition, the Women’s Challenge Cup Final will be aired live for the next fours years, while the Wheelchair Challenge Cup Final will be shown live on the BBC’s digital platforms.

RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said: “As we near the end of a year of so many unprecedented challenges, we are delighted to have concluded a deal to extend the BBC’s coverage not only of the Challenge Cup, but also of the Women’s and Wheelchair competitions which we see as being so important to the future of our sport.

“The value of the sport’s enduring partnership with the BBC has never been more evident than in 2020, as we worked together on delivering a memorable Challenge Cup Final at Wembley despite the absence of fans, which attracted the strongest viewing figures for almost a decade.

“More recently, raising awareness and funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association has been bolstered by the BBC’s inspirational work with Rob Burrow and his family, culminating in their magnificent coverage of Kevin Sinfield’s heroic efforts.

“2021 will be another huge year for Rugby League on the BBC with their coverage of the three World Cups to be staged in this country next October and November, so it is fitting that this new deal includes more exposure for the Women’s and Wheelchair Challenge Cup competitions.”

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