The BBC and Premier Sports have secured the rights to broadcast this year’s Rugby League World Cup.
The BBC will bring live coverage of all of England’s games in the tournament to television and radio, starting with the Opening Ceremony which features England’s first match against Australia.
England’s Group A games against Ireland and Fiji will also be covered live, as well as a quarter-final, semi-final showdown at Wembley and the Rugby League World Cup Final at Old Trafford on November 30.
The BBC will also show regular highlights programmes on television throughout the tournament, which will incorporate all the action from matches not shown live, and there will be extensive coverage on Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport ‘app’.
Premier Sports will screen every match from the much-anticipated tournament live.
RLWC2013 Tournament Director, Nigel Wood said “This is fantastic news for RLWC2013. The BBC is arguably the number one terrestrial sports broadcaster in the world. Their incredible coverage of the London Olympics further enhanced their reputation and so for them to cover the next international sporting event in the UK is a great fit for them and for us.
“We’re delighted fans will be able to watch the showpiece events live on terrestrial TV. The BBC will help RLWC2013 bring new audiences to our amazing sport and will enable our established fan base to immerse themselves in five weeks of fantastic, world class sport.
“Premier Sports do a great job for Rugby League showing Kingstone Press Championship, every NRL game and the State of Origin matches. Their coverage will enable fans to see every minute of the tournament live.”
Barbara Slater, Director BBC Sport says “BBC Sport is committed to bringing major national sporting events to the widest audience, so we’re very excited to be adding the Rugby League World Cup to our portfolio. This is a great opportunity to showcase Rugby League across all BBC platforms, and it’s an added bonus that the 2013 tournament is on home soil.
“BBC Sport has extended its commitment to Rugby League with broadcast rights confirmed for the Four Nations in 2014 and 2016, and the World Cup in 2017 to add to our current coverage of the Challenge Cup and Super League.”
The deals have allowed World Cup organisers to start discussing the schedule of kick-off times and hope to have final confirmation soon.