RFL boss hails getting more rugby league in the shop window

Drew Darbyshire
Super League Sky Sports Cameras Betfred Championship

RFL chairman Simon Johnson is full of optimism ahead of the new season, with more rugby league being on the TV than ever before.

Super League will be shown on free-to-air for the first time after striking a deal with Channel 4.

Rugby league will be shown on six platforms in 2022 – Channel 4, Sky Sports, BBC, Our League, The Sportsman and Premier Sports.

Johnson said: “I believe we have significant grounds for optimism.

“Even though the money we’re working with is less, there are more ways to watch rugby league than there has ever been; and there are more broadcasters showing our sport than we’ve ever had before.

“You’ve got Sky and Channel 4 now with the Super League. You have got Premier Sports as well as Our League and The Sportsman showing the Championship.

“You’ve got Our League and The Sportsman showing League 1. You’ve got the Challenge Cup being shown on the BBC, The Sportsman and on Our League and of course you’ve got the World Cup which is going to be very significantly shown on the BBC.

“The fact we have got so much of the sport in the shop window this year is enabling more eyes to see it. There is more rugby league available to more people than there has ever been before.”

Presenter confirmed for Premier Sports RFL Championship coverage

Emma Jones will host Premier Sports' Championship coverage this season
Emma Jones will host Premier Sports’ Championship coverage this season

Emma Jones will present Championship games on Premier Sports every Monday night, with York-Featherstone being the first game televised next week.

Regular league-wide live coverage of the Championship returns to TV screens for the first time since 2013 thanks to Premier Sports. The Rugby Football League has signed a two-year broadcast partnership with Premier Sports.

Under the partnership, Premier Sports will show live coverage from the start of the Championship season to the play-offs. In addition, it will show every match of the Summer Bash at Headingley.

With one game from every regular round, more tan 30 Championship matches will be shown in 2022.

The deal with Premier Sports also includes coverage of seven Challenge Cup ties through spring. The broadcaster partner will secure secondary rights to the competition – including two of the quarter-finals.

Jones will host her first match on Monday. Ambitious club York welcome title favourites Featherstone to the LNER Community Stadium.

Jones tweeted: “Buzzing to announce that I’ll be covering RFL Championship games for Premier Sports every Monday this season! I can’t wait to get cracking.”

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