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What the Championship TV deal meeting could look like

Championship Launch Day

Championship clubs have today met with the RFL to discuss the prospective TV broadcasting deal that is on the table.

Reports have emerged that Premier Sports, now Viaplay, are looking to re-enter the rugby league sphere and take on a TV deal and Serious About Rugby League can confirm that is the case, as previously reported.

A meeting last Wednesday revealed the make-up of the prospective deal with the facts presented to Championship clubs and that has now been followed up today with RL Commercial taking the lead.

Serious About Rugby League understands that the meeting has come at the request of the clubs who understandably want an update on any potential deal and the funding it could bring.

If Viaplay can get a deal done then it would mark a return of Championship rugby league to television after the broadcasters pulled out last year.

Their coverage was initially intended to go throughout the season with games airing on Monday evenings but it came to an abrupt end.

Talks began again during the off-season but because of the revamped 1895 Cup format and the Challenge Cup schedule being brought forward, it has meant that talks of a broadcast deal are only really ramping up after the beginning of the season.

If a deal can be done then it will mean that fans will have even more rugby league available to watch than ever before with the Sky Sports deal already being ground-breaking in that respect.

Every single Super League game can now be watched but the Challenge Cup coverage has taken somewhat of a hit sadly.

Live Challenge Cup TV coverage takes backseat

Credit: Imago Images

The BBC have also made strides into covering Super League with games being aired by the broadcasters for the first time in history, kick-started in Round One with Castleford Tigers against Wigan Warriors.

They also covered Wigan’s epic World Club Challenge win over Penrith Panthers and have outlined a schedule for the upcoming season, however, they’ve yet to broadcast a Challenge Cup game on live television.

This isn’t because they don’t have rights to the Challenge Cup, they do and have in fact been showing games on iPlayer throughout the earlier rounds.

However, even now in Round Six with Super League sides entering the fray the coverage will remain on iPlayer with the BBC electing to run a Saturday afternoon of repeat television programmes instead of live sport.

The One Show, Celebrity Mastermind and Would I Lie to you takes precedent on BBC One and on BBC Two the Great British Menu: Banquet Special and Gardener’s World are on so viewers will see some grass if not the famous Headingley turf.

On Saturday, BBC One sees Women’s Super League in the football and the likes of Escape to the Country whilst Agatha Christie and the Women’s Six Nations is on BBC Two.

Meanwhile, on Sunday Songs of Praise, Bargain Hunt and more Women’s Six Nations is selected over the cup.

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