Rugby Europe, the continental governing body for rugby union, has unveiled multiple broadcasters and sponsors for this weekend’s inaugural Super Cup, the annual clubs competition.
The body said all 27 matches of the competition will be filmed and widely broadcast on TV and digital platforms throughout Europe and worldwide.
Broadcast deals have initially been secured in several key European territories such as Spain, Portugal and Russia, which will show teams from their respective countries.
In Spain, Rugby Challenge Spain will provide live coverage of the games involving domestic outfit Castilla y Leon Iberians, and the knock-out phase of the competition, while in Russia, Match TV will cover the games of the two Russian teams (Enisei-STM and Lokomotiv Penza) live on its different TV channels, and will broadcast both semi-finals and the final.
In Portugal, public-service broadcaster RTP will air the games of the Lusitanos and cover the competition on its sport’s programme through highlights and editorial coverage while Rugby TV will show all the other games of the competition.
In addition, all the games will be live-streamed on Rugby Europe TV, the digital OTT platform of Rugby Europe.
Following a tender process, Rugby Europe awarded a production contract to Spanish firm Quality Producciones.
The governing body said announcements of further broadcast arrangements for its first clubs competition will be made in due time.
Meanwhile, Rhino, the rugby equipment brand, will serve as the official ball supplier for the competition.
It has been the ball supplier for all Rugby Europe competitions since 2016.
Errea, the Italian sportswear brand, has been signed up as the official apparel supplier and will kit out all the officials involved across the 27 games.
The competition is being operated under a fully centralised media and sponsorship rights model.
Last year, Rugby Europe appointed Sports Media Venture, the sports and entertainment media distribution and consultancy company, and River Media Partners, the independent UK-based sports media agency, as its marketing and sales partners.
Florent Marty, chief executive of Rugby Europe, said: “The Rugby Europe Super Cup is a key milestone in the development of European Rugby.
“Receiving such an early backing from TV partners and sponsors is a great testimony of the strong appetite for international club rugby in new and developing rugby markets.
“We are thrilled to launch this competition with our partners and TV broadcasters who support our ambitions to expand the footprint of rugby in Europe and beyond and reach new fans.”
The Super Cup was launched in July in partnership with the sport’s international governing body World Rugby, which is to provide financial and logistical support.
The new competition will feature a mix of professional clubs and franchise teams and will create a high-performance pathway for pan-European rugby talent and national teams.
This year’s first edition will comprise of eight teams which will be divided into two conferences – the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference – for an initial round-robin stage.
The teams involved include the Black Lion (Georgia), Tel-Aviv Heat (Israel), Brussels Devils (Belgium), and Dutch Delta (Netherlands).
The opening fixtures tomorrow will see the Dutch Delta take on the Brussels Devils, followed by Portugal’s Lusitanos hosting the Castilla Y Leon Iberians.
The Super Cup will rank below the established Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup, which are organised by the European Professional Club Rugby.
The new tournament is intended to help drive the growth of the sport both commercially and in terms of participants and fans.
Each team will play home and away fixtures in six rounds, two this weekend, two in October and two in December.
The top two teams of each group will proceed to the semi-finals, which will be played in April next year, with the pool winners to host the games.
The final, which will crown the first-ever Super Cup winner, will take place on the home soil of the team which has the best record in May 2022.