TV boost for World Cup, plus updates on Emirates and tickets

Jon Dutton World Cup chief
Picture by Ed Sykes/

More than half of the games at the 2021 World Cup will be shown live on national television, tournament chief Jon Dutton has confirmed.

The BBC have broadcast rights and have promised to show every game across its platforms.

When asked by Love Rugby League, Dutton said that at least half will be shown live on BBC One or BBC Two.

Others will be available to watch via the BBC iPlayer or online.

Dutton said: “It’s going to be half at least. We are working with colleagues at the BBC from a scheduling perspective now.

“If you remember, we had a scheduled worked out for 2021, and then we had to change it.

“And within 48 hours of the men’s final, the FIFA World Cup starts in Qatar. So it’s a complicated exercise.

“But we are in such a great position. In 2013, just seven of the 28 games were live on the BBC.

“We’ve got 61 out of 61, with the majority on terrestrial TV, but all available on digital platforms, and that’s significant.”

It is expected that the weekend games will dominate the TV picks, but with some picks during the week.

There are eight group games in the men’s World Cup played on weekdays, with a further eight games across the women’s and wheelchair tournaments.

Ticket sales update

Dutton revealed that the second of two refund windows have now passed following the postponement of last year’s tournament.

He remains hopeful that those who have requested refunds will purchase again for the re-arranged 2022 event.

Ticket sales for the big games, including England’s opener with Samoa, and the finals have progressed well.

He added: “The targets have changed a bit but the big number is still the big number.

“It’s ambitious and has been from the start. But we’re in a really decent place.

“The semi-final at the Emirates is just over 50% tickets sold. It’s a big new stadium that the sport’s never used before.

“I’m really excited to go to that and I have to say that Arsenal could not have been any more supportive. So that’s really encouraging in itself.”

Dutton also revealed that the Women’s World Cup final will set a new record for the sport in the UK.

Ticket sales have already exceeded the current attendance record for women’s rugby league.

That was the 4,235 set for the Super League Grand Final between St Helens and Leeds at Headingley last season.

The Women’s World Cup final takes place on Saturday November 19 at Old Trafford, on the same day as the men’s.

Earlier this week, World Cup organisers marked 200 days to go to the start of the tournament by taking the three trophies on a tour around the UK.

They took in all the 18 host cities on Tuesday and Wednesday.

MORE: Six players Shaun Wane must include in World Cup England squad

About James Gordon 7040 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.

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