/ Rugby

RTÉ secures Magners League rights

Updated: Friday, 20 Aug 2010 13:18

Munster are the most recent Irish Magners League winners, taking the title in 2009 Leinster were champions the year before in 2008 Ulster secured the trophy in 2006
Munster are the most recent Irish Magners League winners, taking the title in 2009 Leinster were champions the year before in 2008 Ulster secured the trophy in 2006

RTÉ, BBC Northern Ireland and TG4 have secured the rights to broadcast Magners League rugby from next season until 2013/14 at least.

The deal will mean the majority of matches in the League involving Irish provinces will now be broadcast on free-to-air television.

RTÉ and TG4 are expected to mainly screen matches involving Leinster, Munster and Connacht.

Celtic Rugby have confirmed that the matches involving these three provinces will mostly be scheduled for Friday or Saturday evening kick-offs.

BBC Northern Ireland will focus on Ulster games with Friday evening the preferred kick-off time for the Ravenhill outfit's home games.

Edinburgh and Glasgow home games will be covered by BBC Alba while BBC Wales and S4C will continue to cover matches involving Welsh teams.

All the broadcasters involved in the deal will use reciprocal feeds, meaning they can screen matches involving local teams for away games.

It has also been agreed that live coverage of end-of-season matches will be provided for any play-off matches that take place within any broadcaster's territory.

Commenting on the news David Jordan, Tournament Director of the Magners League, said: 'It is very good news that we now have strong broadcast partners in the UK and Ireland.

'Terrestrial free-to-air television increases access for fans of the Magners League to one of the most competitive tournaments with some of the best-known players in world rugby.

'Our new broadcasters, BBC ALBA, BBC Northern Ireland, RTÉ and TG4 complement our existing partners, BBC Wales and S4C, and will provide unparalleled coverage of Magners League games in the coming season.'

John Hussey, Chairman of Celtic Rugby and IRFU Junior Vice President, commented: 'This is a very welcome development for the Magners League as a growing competition.

'With such strong and established terrestrial sports broadcasters committing themselves to the League, it can only continue the development of the competition and is an example of the balance of free-to-air coverage that is needed to support the game in the competing unions.'

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