Sky Sports, the dominant UK pay-television broadcaster, has today secured rights to the southern hemisphere’s top-tier national and club-based rugby union competitions through 2025.

The deal covers premier rugby union from the heavyweight southern hemisphere nations of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Argentina, including the national teams’ Rugby Championship, the clubs-based Super Rugby competition, and the various domestic competitions in those countries.

As well as these competitions, the tours by northern hemisphere nations – such as England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and France – to those countries will also be covered by Sky.

The deal has been struck with SANZAAR, the alliance covering rugby union’s major southern hemisphere nations, and will provide viewers with “at least 150 fixtures a year” Sky has said.

It does not represent an extension – Sky has not covered any of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific tournament so far, and also did not cover any of the minor Super Rugby tournaments which were held last year – but does see premier southern hemisphere rugby return to its home for the majority of the last two decades in the UK.

Of the upcoming ‘Home Nations Summer Tours’ scheduled for 2022, Australia will host England, South Africa will take on Wales, while New Zealand are set to stage games against Ireland, and Argentina will play Scotland.

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By GlobalData

The coverage of these competitions will start immediately, with the ongoing 2022 Super Rugby Pacific tournament – this year not including South African sides – staging four games this upcoming weekend.

The first fixture, an all-Australian encounter between the Brumbies and the Reds, will take place on Friday morning (March 18) UK time.

Up until this point, no linear coverage of Super Rugby has been available in the UK, and indeed Sky’s rugby union coverage has been almost non-existent over the last 12 months – it has been reduced to the British and Irish Lions tours and out-of-window tests such as England versus Barbarians.

The deal also comes only a month after SANZAAR announced it would showcase the franchise-based tournament to a worldwide audience, for the first time, via the launch of an in-house streaming platform. is covering all 91 games during the 12-team season – which started on February 18 and features sides from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands – in all regions where existing linear broadcast partners are not already in place.

Up until today, this list included the UK, and also features the Middle East, India, China, and parts of Europe.

Matches are covered both live and on-demand, with action from past Rugby Championship competitions (featuring the national teams of South Africa, Australia, Argentina, and New Zealand) also to be available.

SANZAAR has said a season pass for the 2022 Rugby Championship (to which the hemisphere’s leading sides committed through 2025 earlier this week), “will be available at a later date.”

Jonathan Licht, managing director at Sky Sports, has now said: “SANZAAR rugby has been in Sky Sports’ DNA for almost 30 years and we’re pleased to continue our important and valued partnership with SANZAAR to give our customers the very best rugby the southern hemisphere has to offer.”

Brendan Morris, SANZAAR’s chief executive, added: “Sky has been a broadcast partner of SANZAAR for a very long time and we have a very strong and professional relationship that has seen our tournaments delivered into this major rugby market.”