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Amazon Prime confirmed as Autumn Nations Cup main broadcaster

FTA network Channel 4 to show three games from eight-team rugby union tournament.

11 September 2020 PA

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UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4 has teamed up with streaming service Amazon Prime Video to ensure England’s clash with Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup on 21st November will be shown on free-to-air television.

The British network will show two other matches from the international rugby union tournament, which was created by Six Nations Rugby in response to the autumn tours being abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ireland’s fixture with Wales at the Aviva Stadium on 13th November will kick off the Autumn Nations Cup and Channel 4 will show that encounter.

After England’s battle with Ireland, the network will finish its live coverage with Ireland’s match against Georgia on 29th November.

Channel 4 will have highlights from all rounds of the inaugural competition, which has France, Scotland, Italy and Fiji involved alongside England, Ireland, Wales and Georgia.

Internet giant Amazon secured the majority of TV rights for the tournament, with 14 games to be broadcast to Prime members including England’s match with Ireland.

Pete Andrews, Channel 4’s head of sport, said: “We’re delighted to have teamed up with Amazon to bring rugby fans this fantastic tournament.

“It’s thrilling to be offering first-class live international rugby on Channel 4 and it’s great to be launching the tournament live on a Friday night with Ireland v Wales.

“The England-Ireland match-up the following week is a mouth-watering prospect live on Channel 4.”

Channel 4 will also be showing live coverage of the Heineken Champions Cup Final on 17th October.

Meanwhile, England are cautiously optimistic that fans will be able to attend their Autumn Nations Cup matches.

“While it has not been possible to go ahead with our four originally scheduled Quilter Internationals, we have worked hard with the Six Nations and other unions to make sure we can deliver an exciting updated schedule given all the challenges Covid-19 has placed on international travel,” said Bill Sweeney, the chief executive of England's Rugby Football Union (RFU).

“We remain cautiously optimistic about the return of fans to the stadium and look forward to hearing from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the detail following the government’s update. We will provide more information in due course.”

Elsewhere in international rugby union, Australia will host the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship, with this year’s tournament to include New Zealand and Argentina but with World Cup winners South Africa still not confirmed.

12 matches will be played over six weeks from 7th November to 12th December in the states of New South Wales and Queensland, the joint organisation South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby (SANZAAR) said in a statement.

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