The Betfred Super League has announced a new partnership with Channel 4, the British broadcaster, which will see the sport broadcast on free-to-air television in 2022 - bringing a large audience to rugby league and adding to Channel Four's collection of free-to-air sport.
The initial two-year partnership will see matches broadcast for free for the first time in the competition's 26-year history, starting with Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves at Headingley on February 12th, 2022.
Channel 4 will broadcast ten live games each season, with the first being the aforementioned clash, and the other nine games will be spread across the rest of the season, with two post-season Play-Off fixtures being included in the ten.
The 2021 Betfred Super League season saw record viewing figures with more games than ever attracting over 200,000 live viewers. The figures are expected to continue in growth through the 2022 season as it allows sports fans to watch via a free-to-air broadcaster.
Speaking on the recent deal, Super League chairman, Ken Davy had this to say:
“We are delighted to be able to confirm a brand-new broadcast partnership with Channel 4. They have a great track record of showing some of the best sporting competitions.
“The opportunity to offer live Betfred Super League action to fans on a free-to-air platform across the whole season is fantastic and one that we hope will continue to serve our current fans, as well as attract many new fans to the sport.
“I must thank our principal broadcast partner, Sky Sports, without whose support this partnership would not have been possible.”
Peter Andrews, Channel 4's Head of Sport also added: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be bringing Super League to free to air television for the first time in its history, it’s fantastic news for Rugby League fans and it’s a really special addition to Channel 4’s sports portfolio particularly since it’s one of our first major partnerships since moving to our new National HQ building at the Majestic in Leeds.”
The Betfred Super League's Full Fixture List will be released on Thursday 25th November 2021, with the season set to commence on Thursday 10th February.