PRL agree three-year deal with television duo

Premier Rugby Limited (PRL) have agreed a three-year deal with Sky Sports and Setanta Sports for live televised coverage of the Guinness Premiership in the UK.

Premier Rugby Limited (PRL) have agreed a three-year deal with Sky Sports and Setanta Sports for live televised coverage of the Guinness Premiership in the UK.

The deal, which will come into effect from the 2010/11 season, is worth more than US$78 million, according to competition organisers Premier Rugby.

That represents an increase of approximately 45% on the previous arrangement, which was  solely with Sky Sports. The introduction of Irish broadcaster Setanta will see the number of  televised games more than double from 33 to 69, with 26 broadcast on Sky and 43 shown on  Setanta.

"We are delighted to continue our relationship with Sky Sports and look forward to working with Setanta Sports on delivering more matches from the Guinness Premiership than ever before," said Mark McCafferty, the chief executive of Premier Rugby.
 
"The substantial increase in income and coverage for the Guinness Premiership is fantastic news for our clubs, their supporters and sponsors and is a reflection of the growing attraction of club rugby."

McCafferty added that a free-to-air highlights programme would be run in addition to the pay-per-view deals, as well as mobile and broadband deals.