Super League rugby to be broadcast live free-to-air in UK for first time as C4 secures 10 matches per season deal

Live Super League rugby will be broadcast on free-to-air television in the UK for the first time in its 26-year history after Channel 4 secured a two-year deal with the league’s organisers.

The partnership will see ten live Super League matches air on Channel 4 each season. The commercial public service broadcaster’s Super League coverage starts on 12 February next year when eight-time Champions Leeds Rhinos host Warrington Wolves. The remaining nine games will be spread across the season and include two end of season playoff fixtures.

Sky Sports holds the rights to show the rest of the Super League matches, including the Magic Weekend, the play-offs and the Grand Final, plus the World Club Challenge, as part of a 66 game per season deal that runs until 2023.

Channel 4’s head of sport Pete Andrews said: “It’s fantastic news for rugby fans and it’s a really special addition to Channel 4’s sports portfolio particularly since it’s one of our first major partnerships since moving to our new National HQ building at the Majestic in Leeds.”

Ken Davy, Super League chairman, added: “We are delighted to be able to confirm a brand-new broadcast partnership with Channel 4. They have a great track record of showing some of the best sporting competitions.

“The opportunity to offer live Betfred Super League action to fans on a free-to-air platform across the whole season is fantastic and one that we hope will continue to serve our current fans, as well as attract many new fans to the sport.

“I must thank our principal broadcast partner, Sky Sports, without whose support this partnership would not have been possible.”

Super League was formed in 1996, replacing the old rugby league First Division, and saw the competition switch from a winter season to a summer season.

The 2022 Super League season kicks off on Thursday 10 February 2022.

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