BBC’s contract with rugby league set to expire

Super League is set for a new way of broadcasting as Sky Sports prepare to show every Super League every week as part of their new agreement to broadcast every Super League game.

This is a huge development for the sport in this country and will see the profile of the sport raised. It is believed a streaming service is the direction the sport will take as per reports in France.

Furthermore, Matt Dwyer of IMG confirmed the development of an OTT which is a form of a streaming service.

However, the RFL have another vitally important TV deal to solve in 2024 which is that of BBC. Their contract with the sport set to expire next year.

They are currently covering the Challenge Cup, Super League highlights and internationals. It is likely that deal is extended but that is not yet confirmed.

The BBC carried coverage of England internationals this year with coverage on BBC2 from of England Women’s return to international action against Wales, while over on BBC1 Shaun Wane’s side secured a 3-0 series whitewash against a Tongan team in a history-making first win of a history-making first tour.

They also covered the wheelchair game between England and France with the game shown live on BBC2 and iPlayer with the BBC being very good broadcasters for the sport not just the men’s but the amazing growth of the game so we can only hope that they stay on.

Interestingly, the sport is beginning to be involved with streaming services with all three of the above internationals will be shown live in the southern hemisphere through the streaming company NOVOSPORTS.

Rhodri Jones, managing director of Rugby League Commercial, said: “We are looking forward to three exciting England internationals in Leeds this weekend, and given the growing interest in Women’s and Wheelchair Rugby League across Australasia, we are pleased that those matches will now be made available through our partnership with NovoSports.”

What this means for the future of BBC and other broadcasters remains to be seen but it is certain to have some sort of impact. Already we have seen a long wait for a free to air broadcaster to be agreed for next year likely to these big changes.