RTÉ Sport has extended its rights deal with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) to broadcast the Ireland national rugby union team’s autumn internationals until 2021.
The Irish public broadcaster’s four-year extension includes exclusive Irish free-to-air rights to the games across television, radio, online platforms and mobile.
RTÉ Sport will show all games live and free-to-air on RTÉ2, RTÉ Player and on RTÉ Radio. RTÉ Player will also have a 21-day catch-up service for all games, as well as extras including interviews and analysis.
In addition, the broadcaster will have the rights to show Ireland’s Under-20 Six Nations Championship matches, as well as having live coverage rights to the final stages of Ireland’s second-tier club league, the Ulster Bank League.
RTÉ Sport agreed a four-year deal with the IRFU in 2013 to screen Ireland’s matches in the autumn internationals alongside UK-based pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports.
“I’m delighted that RTÉ has retained rights to the autumn internationals until 2021, in addition to the final stages of the Ulster Bank League,” said Ryle Nugent, group head of sport at RTÉ. “Ireland taking on the All Blacks next year is set to be a great sporting occasion, and RTÉ Sport look forward to sharing that and many more enthralling fixtures.”
"We are delighted to be working with RTÉ for the next four years,” added Philip Browne, chief executive of the IRFU. “This year’s series featured three sold-out games, each of which made for compelling viewing.
"Live sporting events are some of the only programmes that can continue to gather the entire family around the TV, so we are look forward to working with RTÉ to bring these big games into people’s living rooms each November."
Ireland will play their first 2018 Test when New Zealand visit the Aviva Stadium in November.