1 hour 13 minutes ago
PREMIER SPORTS TO SHOW EVERY GUINNESS PRO14 GAME FROM 2018/19
FREESPORTS TO SHOWCASE 1 GAME PER ROUND FREE-TO-AIR
PRO14 Rugby have signed a landmark partnership with Premier Sports and FreeSports to broadcast every game from the Guinness PRO14 live in High Definition across the UK and Northern Ireland for at least the next three years.
The agreement from the 2018-19 season means supporters in the UK, including Northern Ireland, can experience the Guinness PRO14 like never before with all 152 games broadcast in High Definition on Premier Sports HD, with no less than 21 games (one per round) shown live Free-To-Air on FreeSports.
This is a quantum leap for the Guinness PRO14 and continues the remarkable transformation of the Championship which continues to grow its appeal after the successful expansion into South Africa.
Premier Sports are going to make the Guinness PRO14 its No 1 property and will therefore be launching the Premier Sports 2 channel with innovative High Definition production of games as well as highlights shows to take supporters right into the heart of the Championship.
Premier Sports is available in 16 million UK homes across Sky and Virgin platforms and to everyone via the Premier Player https://www.premierplayer.tv/ while FreeSports will be available to 22 million UK homes from next season across seven different platforms.
In addition, FreeSports will turn High Definition on Sky from July.
From the beginning of next season Premier Sports and FreeSports will deliver unpredented coverage of the Guinness PRO14 with extended pre and post-match analysis. Ahead of next season Premier will confirm the recruitment of their on-air talent and commentators – characters who know just what it takes to compete in the Championship.
Martin Anayi, CEO of PRO14 Rugby, said: “The partnership with Premier Sports will be a watershed moment for the Guinness PRO14, our clubs and their supporters. As an innovative global rugby championship full of world-class players we are always looking to raise our game and this relationship is a bold step for us. This will take coverage of the Guinness PRO14 to a new level and unlock the tournament’s vast potential.
“By better resourcing our clubs through increased central revenue, we will ensure sustainability so they can further invest from the ground up to drive success on and off the pitch so they can retain supporters and attract new fans of all ages. Now rugby fans will be able to watch every game in the Guinness PRO14 which offers them more action than ever and that’s a terrific achievement.
“The bidding for broadcast rights showed us just how much interest there is in the Guinness PRO14 since our expansion into South Africa and the significantly increased revenue will allow us to invest back into our clubs, a figure which has doubled over the last three years.”
Richard Webb, Chief Operating Officer at Premier Sports & FreeSports, added: “We are delighted to have concluded a deal to showcase what we consider to be the most exciting club rugby championship in the world. We believe having all 152 games from every round across our two Premier Sports channels for just £9.99 a month with high level, consistent production represents superb value and means that, for the first time, supporters have unprecedented access to every minute of the Guinness PRO14 all under one roof.”
Dermot Rigley, Commercial and Marketing Director of PRO14 Rugby, said: “Most major rugby properties now have a subscription model with broadcasters valuing the Guinness PRO14 as one of the premier club competitions in world rugby. We believe that Premier Sports and the availability of FreeSports will offer us the best of both worlds - incredible quality and value for supporters as well as reach for our Championship.
“The production standards will be like nothing ever seen before in the Guinness PRO14 with each game broadcast in HD and complemented by expert analysis, TMOs at every game and highlights programmes.”
PRO14 Rugby will shortly announce the Republic of Ireland broadcaster while negotiations continue with a local language broadcaster in the UK.
For greater detail about this landmark agreement please see our Question & Answer document on www.pro14rugby.org available at this link: https://www.pro14rugby.org/2018/04/30/broadcastqa/
For more information about Premier Sports and FreeSports visit the following pages:
Premier Sports: www.premiersports.com/info/faqs/
You will be able to watch every game from the Guinness PRO14 live in High Definition on Premier Sports and FreeSports in the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, with 21 games showcased on Free-To-Air channel FreeSports.
The combination of subscription and Free-To-Air broadcasters across the UK will allow the competition to reach new heights while remaining accessible to a wider audience.
For the first time in Championship history you will be able to watch all 152 Guinness PRO14 games live in HD, including the Final Series, in the UK – including one Free-To-Air games per 21 rounds of the regular season.
This represents the latest achievement for the Guinness PRO14 after its successful expansion into South Africa and the success enjoyed by its clubs and unions on the European and international stages.
All the games in the United Kingdom will be shown live in HD with Premier Sports screening six games per round and FreeSports broadcasting a ‘Showcase’ fixture. The exact scheduling will be confirmed in due course, but it will enable viewers to watch every game live.
Premier Sports is a High Definition subscription service available to 16 million UK homes and on the Sky and Virgin Media platforms and available to everyone on all devices via the Premier Player.
FreeSports is the Free-to-Air (FTA) sister channel of Premier Sports and is the UK’s only dedicated FTA Sports channel available in 22 million UK homes. FreeSports will turn High Definition in the summer.
FreeSports is available on:
Most Freeview boxes automatically retune but some models still require a manual retune to receive new channels or view channels again when they move number. Transmitter changes can also result in a retune being required. For information visit:
Premier Sports have a Frequently Asked Questions page on their website which you can read at this link: http://www.premiersports.com/info/faqs/
FreeSports have a Frequently Asked Questions page on their website which you can read at this link: https://www.freesports.tv/faqs/
No. Premier Sports and FreeSports have apps and online players which are castable to television or other monitors (via Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast but not Roku) and also have online players.
Increasing revenues allows PRO14 Rugby to increase distribution to its teams and to further invest in the Championship to ensure standards on and off the pitch continue to rise. This will be clear to see from the High Definition live broadcasts and supporting programming produced by all of our new broadcast partners.
For the first-time ever it also allows for every game in the Guinness PRO14 to be broadcast live and in High Definition. The tendering process for these broadcast rights has proved that the Guinness PRO14 is a much sought-after tournament thanks to the strength of our existing clubs and the successful expansion into South Africa.
The PRO14 new broadcasters have control over their schedules and have less restrictions compared to network television. This means that the PRO14 will be able to work closely with teams to help provide kick-off times and dates that are better suited to them and more convenient to their supporters.
There will be extended pre and post-match analysis, magazine shows, highlights packages and Television Match Officials at every game which is a significant step forward for the Guinness PRO14 in order to raise standards across the board.
Premier Sports are putting rugby at the forefront of their sports portfolio through HD production of games, expert analysis and weekly magazine shows. All significant global rugby properties have moved to subscription broadcasters and it is a mark of the value of the Guinness PRO14 that Premier Sports and the Irish broadcaster, among others, tendered so competitively for the rights.
The PRO14 have also secured a significant portion of Free-to-Air programming in the UK with FreeSports. A deal is currently under discussion for FTA coverage with native language stations across the UK.
Guinness PRO14 represents a major rights acquisition for Premier Sports and will be treated as the channel’s No 1 property. It has shown French Rugby Union internationals, the Rugby League World Cup, Ice Hockey, Motorsports, Cricket, Champions League and Europa League qualifiers.
After the successful expansion into South Africa, the Guinness PRO14 is continuing to grow in strength with unprecedented interest leading to rising attendances, increased broadcast viewers and an upsurge in social media engagement. This new broadcast deal is the next stage in that growth process.
Free-To-Air coverage on FreeSports (21 games) is a vital component of these broadcast agreements to ensure all fans have access to every round of action in the Guinness PRO14. By better resourcing our clubs we can ensure they are sustainable and can better invest from the ground up to drive success and retain supporters and attract new fans of all ages.
PRO14 clubs will be directly benefitting from the increased revenue this broadcast partnership will bring, in the same way that the expansion of the Guinness PRO14 to South Africa saw SuperSport join our family of broadcasters. The new revenues this generates allows PRO14 clubs to further invest in their playing squads and infrastructure.
For those loyal supporters who, for various reasons, cannot purchase season tickets, or attend games, subscription secures a direct contribution to their club.
Not all broadcasters allow their customers to cast content but in the era of ‘digital first’ content it is important that rugby fans could access all 152 Guinness PRO14 games across all of their devices. Video views, social media engagement and the tournament’s digital audience have all grown significantly during the 2017/18 season and this move will ensure we are catering for fans who clearly have an appetite to get their PRO14 Rugby action across all manner of devices.
For the very first time fans in England will be able to view every single game from the Guinness PRO14 live in HD. We have often been asked by supporters, ex-pats and rugby fans in general how they can consistently view the Championship in England and this deal will allow them to support their clubs like never before.
Premier Sports and FreeSports will provide a one-stop shop for rugby supporters whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
PRO14 Rugby is very excited that fans in the Republic of Ireland will be treated to the same level of Championship action as those across the UK. PRO14 look forward to making an official announcement about this very soon.
Eurosport are currently in discussions about strengthening their existing partnership with PRO14 Rugby in order to deliver greater coverage for rugby fans in Italy. PRO14 will provide news on this once all the arrangements are in place.
SuperSport show all home games and away games involving South African teams as well as selected other games from the Championship.
Negotiations are currently taking place for the sale of international rights for the Championship. PRO14 new broadcast deals in the UK and Ireland will allow for unparalleled distribution from a central hub. Not only will every game be broadcast live, but a bespoke international feed will ensure that all of the action from the Guinness PRO14 will be available around the world.