https://corporate.sky.com/media-cent...for-five-years

Sky Sports will continue to show the very best rugby from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina as part of a new five-year deal with SANZAR.

As the Southern Hemisphere nations dominate the World Cup, the agreement provides viewers with at least 150 fixtures a year from the top domestic and international competitions headlined by the annual Rugby Championship. Sky Sports customers will also be able to enjoy live and exclusive coverage of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales on their summer tours.

The new rights further strengthens Sky Sports’ year round rugby union schedule, which includes live action every month of the year. Fans will be treated to live coverage of Rugby Championship, with clashes between the Rugby World Cup semi-finalists, the All Blacks, Springboks, Wallabies and Argentina, as well as domestic matches from the Southern Hemisphere featuring Super Rugby, ITM Cup, the Currie Cup, and the National Rugby Championship.

As part of the agreement Sky Sports will also show all of the home nations on their summer tours. This includes England taking on Australia down under in 2016 and South Africa in 2018 as well as Ireland in South Africa and Wales against the All Blacks in 2016.

Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This deal offers our viewers more mouth-watering fixtures from the world’s best teams that have been entertaining fans throughout the Rugby World Cup. As well as the Rugby Championship, we also have the next two England summer tours, fascinating home nations fixtures and of course, more of the All Blacks, Wallabies, Springboks and Argentina than anywhere else. Add this to our current year round schedule and our viewers can now enjoy more live rugby union than ever before.”

Mark Alexander, SANZAR Chairman, said: “SANZAR is delighted to be renewing its broadcasting deal with Sky Sports that has been our valued partner for the past 20 years since the inception of professional rugby in 1996. We have a very strong fan base in the United Kingdom and Ireland and it is important for us that they can see as much SANZAR content as possible. Sky Sports delivers this for us.”

Will Greenwood, Rugby World Cup winner and Sky Sports analyst said: “As a rugby player, you want to test yourself against the best and there’s no tougher challenge than facing the Southern Hemisphere giants in their own back yards. These are must-see fixtures and this deal offers Sky Sports viewers incredible top-class rugby week in week out. I can’t wait.”

Rugby fans enjoy an unrivalled schedule of live rugby union every month of the year on Sky Sports including British & Irish Lions, European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, Top 14, Guinness PRO12, Autumn Internationals from England and Ireland, HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, women’s and age grade rugby.

The Sky Sports commentary and analysis team includes some of the biggest names in rugby union with over 600 caps between them. Expert analysis is provided by Jonny Wilkinson, Will Greenwood, Ieuan Evans, Scott Quinnell, Scott Hastings, Sean Fitzpatrick, Michael Lynagh, Thinus Delport, Shane Horgan and Paul Wallace. Coverage is presented by Alex Payne, James Gemmell and Rupert Cox with commentary from Stuart Barnes and Miles Harrison.

The SANZAR agreement also includes digital media rights, allowing Sky Sports customers to watch live matches in HD, on demand and on the move via Sky Go, the leading sports mobile TV service in the UK. To support the live match experience, Sky Sports customers can also benefit from the innovative Sky Sports smartphone and iPad apps, which offer additional viewing options and analysis.

Non-subscribers of Sky Sports can also catch the action without a contract though online TV streaming service NOW TV. With a Sky Sports Day Pass for £6.99 or Sky Sports Week Pass for £10.99, viewers can enjoy access to all seven Sky Sports channels on TV with a NOW TV Box, on the web or via a range of devices.