According to reports, RL Commercial are edging closer to a new TV deal with a new broadcaster.
The most important part of the new TV deal has already been arranged with the club securing a deal with Sky Sports which was worth slightly less than the former deal but still over £20 million.
This deal will see every Super League game broadcast by Sky Sports in some capacity but there are still some big questions to address before the 2024 season.
This includes securing a free to air TV deal with BBC and Channel 4 reportedly interested in the rights.
On top of this, the sport require a Championship broadcaster who may have rights to some Challenge Cup games.
According to the Game Caller, the likelihood is that Premier Sports will return to the sport to cover games on Sunday evenings.
Speaking of developments for lower league rugby, the RFL have confirmed that 2024 is set to be a special year for the BARLA Open Age National Cup, which celebrates its 50th anniversary as the knockout competition that matters the most in Community Rugby League.
And BARLA have announced a new schedule for the Cup this year, with a later kick-off in March building to a Final in late August, as the battle begins to follow in the footsteps of Siddal’s triumph in 2023.
The first National Cup Final was held at Wilderspool in 1974, with Leigh Miners beating Latchford Albion 12-7 – and the trophy presented to Miners captain Paul Dowling by Alex Murphy OBE, the Leigh legend who was then player-coach at Warrington.
Sue Taylor MBE, the Chair of BARLA – the British Amateur Rugby League Association – said: “We are aware that the BARLA National Cup is one that all clubs want to participate in – especially in its 50thyear.
“Refreshing the competition with these dates, everyone in the country will have that opportunity without disruptions to their respective leagues – which we hope will increase participation in the 50th BARLA National Cup.
“Even now, we have been inundated with clubs asking for dates when the BARLA National Cup will be commencing.”
The preliminary round has been scheduled for March 30 – Easter Saturday – with Round One on April 27, and subsequent rounds following in May, June and July before the Final on the weekend of August 24-25.
Entry forms are available to download from the BARLA website, with a closing date of Thursday 29th February 2024.
The BARLA National Cup has been won by 29 different clubs from Ellenborough to East Hull, with Pilkington Recs and Skirlaugh sharing the distinction of having won it four times, and Saddleworth Rangers, Sharlston Rovers, Thatto Heath Crusaders and West Hull snapping at their heels with three wins apiece.
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