ViaPlay Sports will screen the Championship play-off final next Sunday – October 15 – with Toulouse Olympique hosting London Broncos in a scheduled 2.30pm (BST) kick-off.
The Nordic-based broadcaster will pull the plug on their ownership of the second tier’s TV rights after the game, revealing crippling losses of over £24 million earlier this year.
With their pockets already stung, ViaPlay opted not to broadcast Toulouse’s home semi-final win over Bradford Bulls on Saturday night, instead allowing the Yorkshire outfit to exclusively screen that game to their supporters at Odsal.
Main presenter Emma Jones was though in situ tonight at Featherstone Rovers’ Post Office Road alongside her colleagues including Kyle Amor and commentator Mark Wilson as the promotion favourites were stunned by London.
And while it’s not yet clear whether Jones and co. will be sent over to the Stade Ernest-Wallon for next Sunday’s showdown, or carry out the broadcast remotely, it has been confirmed that their coverage will begin half-an-hour prior to kick-off at 2pm (BST).
All-expansion final set up after thrilling weekend of semi-final action
Had Featherstone done as expected tonight and beaten London, Post Office Road would have been the destination for the play-off final.
Instead, for the second season running, the Rovers were left with egg on their face at the semi-final stage, beaten by out and out underdogs. Batley Bulldogs were their conquerors this time last year, and the Broncos this courtesy of a thrilling 36-26 win.
The Bulldogs went on to lose out comfortably to a Leigh side we’ve seen this term take the top flight by storm, getting into the play-offs and lifting the Challenge Cup.
Like Batley, Mike Eccles’ men from the capital will head into the play-off final as the underdogs, though after tonight it would be silly for anyone to write them off.
The final promises to be another cracker, with one thing for sure in that it’ll be an ‘expansion’ club making the jump back up to Super League come 2024. The Broncos haven’t returned since their relegation in 2019 under then-boss Danny Ward, who still holds fond memories of his time at the helm.
Toulouse meanwhile are hunting for an immediate return to take on the elite having only been relegated in 2022. Sylvain Houles’ side finished 2nd in the regular season this term, six points ahead of 5th-placed London on the ladder.