Premiership Rugby has sealed a partnership with ITV which will show live Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches and a weekly highlights programme up until the end of the 2023-24 season.
The free-to-air content includes four of the games streamed on ITV, in addition to the Final which will be on ITV4.
New Premiership Rugby Chief Executive, Simon Massie-Taylor, commented: “The return of Gallagher Premiership Rugby to terrestrial TV is the perfect way for us to kick-off 2022. It’s great news for the league, our clubs, the supporters and the profile of rugby in England.
“Our ambition is to grow the game and make Gallagher Premiership Rugby available to as many people as possible. BT Sport have done an amazing job in building the core Premiership Rugby TV audience and the ITV partnership allows us to expand our reach into the households of millions of other rugby fans.”
Beginning with the Sale Sharks match against Leicester Tigers on 30 January at AJ Bell Stadium, the coverage also includes highlights of each game. Furthermore, for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons there will be seven live games on ITV, also including the final.
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, added: “We are delighted to announce this deal to bring regular free-to-air coverage of top-level club rugby to viewers across ITV’s platforms. It has been a pleasure working with BT Sport and our partners at Premiership Rugby in agreeing to this deal and we look forward to showcasing the action and the stories from this elite league over the coming years.”
Additionally, all live matches will be simulcast on ITV and BT Sport, whilst the partnership also means that the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final, at Twickenham Stadium on 18 June, will be shown free-to-air for the first time in the history of the competition.
Moreover, a weekly highlights programme will be shown on ITV4 and repeated on ITV, presented by former rugby union players David Flatman and Topsy Ojo.
Massie-Taylor concluded: ”With another highly competitive and exciting season, we have seen significant growth in our audiences on BT Sport this season and we see a big opportunity to bring this amazing rugby product to new fans, drive attendances and continue to grow the game.”
In the last round of Gallagher Premiership Rugby on BT Sport, the competition was reported to have gained its highest ever Friday night average audience, as well as its highest ever regular season Saturday average audience on BT Sport – 300,000 for Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs.
This renewed collaboration now sees Gallagher continue its naming rights, in a ‘strategic’ business and community engagement partnership with the organisation into future seasons.