Sky Sports and the Betfred Super League have agreed a new three-year exclusive rights deal that will see the UK broadcaster for the first time showcase all 170 games.
The deal will kick-in next season as Sky Sports will broadcast each of the six games from every Super League matchweek live on its channels and platforms, also including the Magic Weekend fixtures, playoffs and the men’s, women’s and wheelchair Grand Finals.
With the deal running until the end of the 2026 season, it also means that the new investment in the Super League will also help add funds to video referees to feature in all fixtures in order to bring about added consistency to the integrity of the game.
Jonathan Licht, Sky Sports Managing Director, commented: “We are extremely proud of our long-standing relationship with Super League and delighted to be extending our partnership beyond three decades through this agreement.
“It’s been an exceptional season and we are excited that from next season every try, tackle and pass from every fixture will be shown live across Sky platforms – a first for the sport.
“Alongside our commitment to the women’s and wheelchair game, we are delighted that fans will be able to enjoy the most comprehensive offering in the history of the sport.”
The new ‘historic’ deal extends the Super League and Sky Sports’ 30-year history as the only broadcaster to showcase the sport in the UK.
Reports surfaced in the summer of TNT Sports potentially rivalling Sky Sports’ bid to gain rights to the Super League as RL officials were apparently unsatisfied with Sky Sports’ initially rumoured £25m-a-year offer.
Nevertheless, the renewed deal allows RL Commercial to retain its ability to offer free-to-air broadcast opportunities across terrestrial UK channels, evident in the league’s subsidiary deal with Channel 4 which allows them to showcase 10 Super League games per season.
The deal with Sky Sports also falls in line with the league’s ‘Reimagining Project’ which aims to develop a new grading system by 2025 through a partnership with IMG.
“Super League’s partnership with Sky Sports has been constantly evolving since the competition was launched in 1996, and we are excited to have confirmed this significant extension which will lift that partnership, and the Super League itself, to a new level,” said RL Commercial Managing Director, Rhodri Jones.
“The timing is perfect for a deal of this kind after such an exciting and competitive season underlining the genuine depth of the competition, and with Rugby League embarking on an exciting new era through our strategic partnership with IMG
“Sky Sports also share our optimism about the potential for growth of the women’s and wheelchair Super Leagues in the next three years, so they also form an important part of the new deal.”
The news broke over the weekend of the 2023 Super League Grand Final, which saw Wigan Warriors defeat Catalan Dragons 10-2 at Old Trafford to secure its sixth title.