Sky Sports has secured six long-term rights agreements across six different sports including the British & Irish Lions, Super League rugby, England overseas cricket, Scottish football, speedway and sports entertainment leader, WWE.
The deals will further strengthen the unrivalled breadth and quality of coverage on Sky Sports and come on the back of strong growth in audiences. In the last six months of 2013, Sky Sports enjoyed its highest share of viewing for six years, including increased audiences for live Premier League football and its biggest-ever audience for rugby union.
The rights announced today comprise:
• LIONS RUGBY– Exclusively live coverage of the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand, including every Test match against the mighty All Blacks
• SUPER LEAGUE– A five-year deal from 2017, ensuring only on Sky Sports can viewers enjoy live Super League matches until at least 2021
• WWE– A five-year deal from 2015 offering over 600 hours of content a year from the worldwide leader in sports entertainment including weekly programming and 12 special PPV events a year
• ENGLAND CRICKET– A seven-year deal for live cricket from New Zealand, including two England winter tours in 2018 and 2020
• SCOTTISH FOOTBALL– A four-year deal with the Scottish FA beginning next season for the Scottish Cup, international friendlies and Scottish FA Youth Cup
• SPEEDWAY– At least five more years of Elite League speedway starting this April, offering Sky Sports viewers live coverage of 25 meetings a season
The new agreements add to an outstanding line-up of live sport on Sky Sports, with highlights in 2014 to include every match in the ICC World Twenty20, the launch of live coverage of Euro 2016 qualifiers and the Ryder Cup from Gleneagles.
Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “Sky Sports had an excellent year in 2013 and we’re looking forward to an outstanding line-up for our customers in 2014. These agreements secure even more fantastic live sport for our audience, offering them unrivalled breadth and quality for years to come.”
Sky Sports will show every match from the British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand in 2017 exclusively live, including all Test matches. The agreement takes Sky’s partnership with the Lions into its twenty-first year, with this tour the sixth to be shown. The deal also strengthens Sky Sports’ unrivalled live international, European and domestic rugby union coverage. Only on Sky Sports can viewers enjoy international summer tours plus England, Ireland, France and Italy Autumn Internationals and a wealth of programming. The year-round calendar also includes continued European rugby action, a new deal for live RaboDirect PRO12 matches, women’s matches, Sevens and domestic rugby. Plus there is live coverage of the Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship from the southern hemisphere and much more.
SUPER LEAGUE RUGBY
Sky Sports has been awarded a new five-year Super League deal from 2017, taking the partnership between Sky and the RFL beyond 30 years. This new agreement will guarantee Sky Sports viewers live rugby league for at least eight more seasons and also over 100 matches a season from 2015 when a new league structure will mean coverage of matches from a 12-team Championship alongside the 12-club Super League. Under the new deal commencing in 2017, only on Sky Sports will viewers be offered over 80 live Super League matches including Magic Weekend featuring every team, every Play-Off and the Super League Grand Final, live coverage of selected Challenge Cup matches, live coverage of Championship matches and live coverage of the World Club Challenge.
The new agreement with WWE, the worldwide leader in sports entertainment, includes the popular weekly programmes RAW®, SmackDown®, WWE Main Event®, and WWE Experience®, which is due to feature all the WWE superstars, including John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Big SHOW and DANIEL BRYAN. Sky will also offer 12 special events a year on a pay-per-view basis, including WrestleMania®, Royal Rumble®, SummerSlam®, Survivor Series® and Money in the Bank®.
Sky Sports has secured two more England overseas tours as part of a new deal for cricket from New Zealand. The agreement includes the next two tours in 2018 and 2020, as well as New Zealand’s home series with West Indies, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Australia, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and South Africa. The coverage complements Sky’s year-round coverage of live cricket which includes all England home Tests, One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 matches, at least 60 live county fixtures, plus live cricket from Australia, South Africa, India and West indies.
Sky Sports has been awarded a new four-year deal with the Scottish FA for exclusively live rights of the Scottish Cup, Scotland international friendly fixtures and coverage of the Scottish FA Youth Cup until the end of the 2017/18 season. With deals already in place to show all of Scotland’s UEFA EURO 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification matches, as well as 30 matches a season from the SPFL, Sky Sports remains the home of Scottish football domestically and internationally. This new agreement includes nine fixtures from each round of the Scottish Cup, including Semi-Finals – one exclusively live – and Final live in the UK and Republic of Ireland, all of Scotland’s home friendly international matches from 2014 to 2018 and exclusively live matches from Scotland’s premier Under-20 tournament featuring youth teams of senior Scottish clubs.
Sky Sports will show exclusively live coverage of the speedway’s Elite League, the highest level of competition in the UK, for the next five years thanks to a new deal announced today. The new agreement made with the British Speedway Promoters Association means Sky Sports viewers will be able to watch live coverage of speedway’s Elite League through the summer months, and every season until 2019. The agreement made with the BSPA comprises of a minimum 25 meetings a year through the summer from March to October featuring the 10 teams from the League starting with the Elite Riders Championship at Coventry on Friday 21 March featuring Great Britain’s very own 2013 World Speedway Champion from Wolverhampton Tai Woffinden competing against some of the top riders in World Speedway. The deal also includes exclusively live coverage of the Premier League plus other selected individual events.
For further information please contact:
Sky Sports PR 020 7032 1445
30 January 2014
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