Sub-Saharan pay-television broadcaster SuperSport is to exclusively broadcast in South Africa and other key territories in the region the top-tier Champions Cup rugby union competition and Challenge Cup competition, which is contested by amateur, semi-professional, and professional clubs from England, France, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Through a deal with the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) continental governing body that organizes the competitions, announced today (September 1) and taking effect when this season's editions begin in December, SuperSport will cover all matches involving South African clubs in each of the pool and knockout stage rounds, as well as both finals.
The broadcast partnership will run until the end of the 2024-25 season and follows EPCR’s similar deal will US-based over-the-top sports subscription service FloSports announced yesterday (August 31), with more deals in the UK, Ireland and France to be announced shortly by the governing body.
It was confirmed earlier this year that South African teams would be included in the two EPCR tournaments from the 2022-23 season, with the Stormers, Bulls, Sharks, Lions, and Cheetahs to feature in the first season of the landmark move.
Tex Teixeira, chief content officer at SuperSport, said: “Our South African teams have a proud tradition and are respected global rugby brands. Now being able to participate in top European competitions against some of the best clubs in the world is great progress for our teams and, more importantly, rugby fans locally and internationally.
"As with the URC, we are committed to collaborating closely with our key partners and to continue to build stars and household names. We will aim to find the right balance between taking care of our traditional and loyal customers while creating alternate, more edgy offerings for younger and more casual rugby fans.”
Dominic McKay, chairman of the EPCR, added: “Broadcast partnerships are a vital component of our strategy to bring the competitions to even wider audiences, and we are very pleased that SuperSport have joined as an official broadcast partner for the new cycle.
“Following on from what was a magnificent finals weekend in Marseille last May, we are confident that SuperSport will deliver for us in terms of viewership growth and innovation as we welcome South African clubs into the EPCR fold.”
Among SuperSport’s other rugby union offerings was the 2022 season of SANZAAR’s Super Rugby competition and its ongoing Championship competition.
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