BBC strengthens rugby coverage with new IMG deal

BBC Sport has confirmed a new broadcast agreement with IMG that will see live coverage from the 2013 and 2017 Rugby League World Cups, plus coverage of the 2014 and 2016 Four Nations tournaments on the BBC, across TV, radio and online.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, says: “It’s very exciting to cap our Rugby League portfolio with the top international tournaments, enabling us to offer audiences the pinnacle events of the sport each year. These add to our already comprehensive coverage, which gives the full narrative of the season. This is a great opportunity to bring Rugby League to a wide audience and showcase the best players in the world through the BBC’s multi-platform coverage.

“These events join an impressive BBC Sport international portfolio that includes the 2014 Winter Olympics from Russia, the Football World Cup and Olympics in Rio in 2016 and the World Athletics Championships from 2013 to 2017.”

The Rugby League World Cup 2013 on the BBC will see live coverage of all England’s group games on television and radio, a quarter-final, a semi-final and the final at Old Trafford on 30 November. In addition, there will be regular TV highlights programmes throughout the tournament incorporating action from matches not shown live, and extensive coverage on Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport App.

The BBC’s current Rugby League offering on television includes the weekly Super League Show, live Challenge Cup action from the fourth round onwards and Super League playoff highlights. BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra have regular live radio commentary throughout the season of Super League and Challenge Cup (from fourth round), plus there is commentary on BBC Local Radio from the Super League, Championship and Championship One. In addition, throughout the year the BBC Sport website provides comprehensive news, reports and reviews of all Rugby League action.

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