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Sky Sports makes shock call as ‘biggest derby’ in Super League given no build-up

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The broadcast selections for Round 17 of Super League have been confirmed by Sky Sports and in a surprising call, they’ve elected not to provide build-up for what is arguably the biggest derby in Super League.

With the new broadcast deal for Super League this season, every game is televised on Sky Sports, however, only two of the six games each week have pre-match and post-match coverage.

Those games, typically always include a Friday night game and a select other, offer 30 minutes of build-up as well as post-match analysis for approximately another 30 minutes.

The remaining four games see coverage begin just five minutes before kick-off and are only two-hour broadcasts meaning that any post-match coverage including analysis and interviews is minimal.

In a surprising decision, Sky Sports have opted for the Hull derby to be allotted to one of those slots meaning that there will be no pre or post-match analysis for arguably the biggest derby in the sport.

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Hull FC Hull KR Super League

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Sky Sports can only select two games for their extended coverage and this week they’ve selected the other major derby with Wigan Warriors hosting St Helens on Friday night, as well as Warrington Wolves versus Leeds Rhinos on Thursday night.

Both games will be afforded two-hour and 45-minute slots, starting at 7:30 pm and running until 10:15 pm. Meanwhile, Hull FC’s clash against Hull KR will run from just 2:55 pm to 5:00 pm. A full run down of Sky’s coverage can be seen at the bottom of the article.

It is perhaps a reaction to how large the gulf between the two Hull clubs has become with the Robins flying high in joint-second compared to their cross-city rivals who have only won twice all season and sit in a lowly eleventh place.

Moreover, the ‘Good Friday’ derby between Wigan and St Helens will be aired on Sky Sports Main Event compared to the Hull derby being showcased on Sky Sports Action, one of the broadcaster’s lesser channels.

Incredibly, Hull FC and Hull KR will also clash with Leigh Leopards taking on Huddersfield Giants with the two games on Saturday both being 3:00 pm kick-offs, a rarity with games normally split between afternoon and early evening. However, this week there is no Sunday game with Catalans and Salford also playing on Saturday in the later 4:30 pm slot.

As for the derby, Hull FC will be aiming to win a home game against the Robins for the first time since 2021, a dramatic game that they edged 23-22 thanks to a Marc Sneyd drop goal. In the three games since then Hull KR have won by an aggregate score of 98-4, perhaps a valid reason why Sky Sports decided not to afford the ‘biggest derby in Super League’ extended coverage.

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