English rugby union’s top-tier Premiership Rugby is set to launch its own global live-streaming service later this month, which will cover every match from the 13-team league not already being shown by domestic broadcast partners.
PRTV Live will give fans across the UK and internationally the chance to watch all Premiership action which is not already being covered by pay-TV’s BT Sport and commercial broadcaster ITV (the league’s two domestic media rights partners), starting on Friday, February 25 with Round 18 of the 2021-22 campaign, and running through until the end of this season.
The initial rollout of PRTV is envisioned as being a pilot service, with the platform to be made available to fans – from February 25 until the season's finale – through both the Premiership Rugby online website and via the league’s mobile app.
Through until the Premiership finale in June, fans in the UK and across almost all global territories – except for Canada, the US, and Australia, where separate coverage agreements are already in place – will have access through the platform to up to 480 minutes of live Premiership action.
The first matches to be streamed on February 25 will be Bristol Bears against Wasps, and Sale Sharks against London Irish.
A match pass will cost £4.99 ($6.76), while a round pass covering all fixtures in that particular game week will be priced at £6.99 ($9.47).
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
Simon Massie-Taylor, Premiership Rugby’s chief executive, said: “Through this new platform, we want to create a deeper relationship with our current fans, who have asked us for this service and make the game as accessible as possible to new supporters. Having every match available to watch live is a crucial step forward for us.”
“PRTV Live will allow us to showcase the best of Gallagher Premiership Rugby to the widest possible audience, expanding our reach into the households of millions of other rugby fans.”
The platform is being positioned as an enhancement to the live coverage of Premiership Rugby action on ITV, which late last month struck a deal to cover at least 19 live games across the next two and a half seasons, and on BT Sport, which has covered the Premiership since 2013 and whose current deal also runs for the next 30 months.
It will not directly compete for viewers with either of those broadcasters.
The ITV deal marks the first time action from the league has secured free-to-air (FTA) coverage via a direct agreement. While there has been selected FTA coverage in the UK of Premiership matches in recent seasons, through sub-licensing to Channel 4, it has not taken the form of a separate deal with the competition’s organizers.
BT Sport’s last deal with Premiership Rugby, struck in December 2020, gives that broadcaster rights to offer up to 69 games each season over the three-year cycle, with the contract reported to be worth £110 million ($146 million).
In launching a live-streaming service, Premiership Rugby becomes one of the first major sports leagues in England to do so, ahead of the more high-profile and globally-viewed Premier League soccer competition.