NBCUniversal, the US media giant, has secured exclusive live rights in its market to rugby union’s British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa, which starts this weekend, with all eight matches to be shown on streaming service Peacock.

The Lions have already travelled to South Africa, and the action gets underway on Saturday with a match against the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg.

The three test matches against the Springboks, South Africa's national team, will take place on 24 July, 31 July and 7 August.

All matches will be shown live on Peacock, NBC's dedicated streaming platform, with the three tests kicking off at noon Eastern Time, and full delayed match coverage available later in the day on the linear channels of NBC Sports Network.

Fans can also follow the action via the NBC Sports Pass in commercial premises in the USA.

NBC Sports also had rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, won by South Africa, and shows Europe's Six Nations and England's Premiership Rugby.

Last week, Premier Sports Asia, an arm of the UK and Ireland pay-television broadcaster, secured exclusive live rights across 22 countries, including India, Pakistan, South Korea and Hong Kong, to the Lions tour.

In the UK, exclusive live coverage will be provided by pay-TV broadcaster Sky, with highlights on free-to-air commercial network Channel 4. Subscription broadcaster SuperSport is showing the series in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the Irish Rugby Football Union has entered into a three-year partnership with Opel Ireland. 

Opel is now the exclusive car partner of the IRFU, in an agreement which spans the men’s and women’s national teams.

The sponsorship deal will involve Opel providing both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles to the IRFU during the length of the partnership. 

The company replaces Volkswagen, which had been a partner of Irish national team rugby since 2011.

From 1 July, Opel will receive “numerous in-match and digital branding opportunities and player appearances”, with the first fixture under the partnership to be Ireland’s home game against Japan in Dublin.

Michael Collopy, chairman of the IRFU’s commercial and marketing committee, said: “We are proud to welcome Opel as a sponsor and official car partner. Opel is a renowned and trusted brand with a rich and deep heritage, and I know the Irish rugby supporter will join me in welcoming them to the rugby family.”