Australian streaming service Stan Sport has acquired the exclusive broadcast rights for the British and Irish Lions’ upcoming tour of South Africa.
Under the terms of the deal, the over-the-top (OTT) subscription platform will screen the upcoming series, along with the Lions’ warm-up Test match against Japan at Murrayfield, scheduled to take place on 27 June.
In addition, the Nine Entertainment-owned broadcaster will carry a range of documentaries centred around the rugby union touring team, including Living with the Lions, Up Close and Personal, Inside the Lion’s Den, Living with Pride, Lions Raw, and Lions Uncovered.
Stan will begin coverage of the 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series with the first match in South Africa on 4 July against Pro14 club opponents, before moving onto three tests against the Springboks national team on 25 July, 1 August and 8 August.
Tour organisers have already struck deals with pay-television broadcaster Sky in the UK and Republic of Ireland, along with a free-to-air deal with Channel 4, and SuperSport in the sub-Saharan Africa region.
Stan Sport, on the other hand, will also air the Wimbledon and Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis competitions via an agreement inked with its affiliate Channel Nine.
Since its launch, the streaming service also penned a deal with Rugby Australia last year, which is valued at around $100 million.
The Lions have toured South Africa on 13 previous occasions, with the first Tour taking place in 1891. In that time, the Lions have won four Test series, lost eight with one drawn. The last time the Lions faced the Springboks on South African soil was in 2009.
Meanwhile, the British and Irish Lions and South Africa Rugby have chosen sports nutrition brand Pro Athlete Supplementation (PAS) brand as the newest sponsor to the tour, in a tie-up which will see PAS supply both teams with its products.