New BBC deal agreed

James Gordon

The BBC will continue to televise the Challenge Cup and Super League highlights for the next five years after agreeing a new deal with the RFL.

The deal ensures that the Challenge Cup final will continue to be broadcast live on BBC1 until 2016. The BBC will also broadcast live matches in the fourth and fifth rounds, quarter-finals and semi-finals for the duration of the contract.

RFL Chairman Richard Lewis said: “It gives me great pleasure to confirm that the Challenge Cup will remain on the BBC for the next five years.

“The Challenge Cup has a rich heritage and I am delighted that the competition’s long association with the BBC is to continue.”

Viewing figures for the new-look BBC Super League Show, which has been screened nationally on BBC2 (and via channels 977 and 978 on the Sky platform) in regular slots throughout 2012, are more than double what they were in 2011.

BBC Director of Sport, Barbara Slater said “The BBC has been the proud broadcast partner of the Challenge Cup for over half a century so we’re delighted to be continuing our long and successful relationship with the RFL. Rugby League forms a key part of the BBC’s rights portfolio and through our new four year deal we’re look forward to ensuring this prestigious and fiercely contested  tournament reaches an ever growing audience.”