BBC announces 2016 rugby league coverage

The BBC is promising to cover more rugby league than ever before in 2016 as the Super League celebrates its 20th anniversary.

There will be extensive and comprehensive coverage of rugby league on BBC TV, Radio and Online as the sport marks two decades since the switch to play in the summer months.

BBC Local Radio stations will provide live match commentaries while the BBC’s regional news services and will keep fans up to date with the latest news.

The Super League Show, the only terrestrial TV show dedicated to the sport and the most watched weekly rugby league programme on TV, returns to BBC One for the 2016 season.

BBC Sport will once again show the Challenge Cup on television, having broadcast the competition since 1948, and coverage of the Four Nations with all England games and the final of the tournament live, and extensive highlights of all the other matches.

In addition, BBC Radio 5 live, and its sister station 5 live sports extra, will offer live commentary and coverage on both the Super League and the Challenge Cup.

Charles Runcie, Head of Sport for BBC English Regions, says: “Throughout the Super League era, the BBC has demonstrated its commitment to the game of rugby league.

“So it’s fitting that 20 years on we’re giving fans more coverage than ever before.

“There will be rugby league on BBC TV for more than 40 weeks of the year.

“And our coverage across radio will be unmatched with BBC Local Radio stations and BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra providing rugby league fans with live commentaries from all Super League matches throughout the season.

“We’ve been involved with the sport for nearly 70 years and are looking forward to our best season yet.”

The Super League Show will return to BBC One across the North of England on Monday 8 February at 11.25pm.

Each week the programme will be shown across the country on BBC Two on Tuesdays. It will also be available on the BBC iPlayer.

Once again hosted by Tanya Arnold, the new series will provide extensive highlights of all the weekend’s games, alongside analysis from a panel of experts including Jamie Peacock, Eorl Crabtree, Brian Noble and John Kear.

The Super League Show will run for 30 weeks throughout the season, following all the twists and turns of First Utility Super League XXI and will also feature the World Club Series in February.

The Super League Show is recorded at the BBC’s studios in Leeds and produced by award-winning independent production company PDI Media.

Also on the BBC in 2016, there will be live coverage of seven Ladbrokes Challenge Cup matches across BBC One and BBC Two, made up of two each over the sixth round, quarter finals and semi-finals, culminating in extensive coverage of the Challenge Cup Final on Saturday, August 27.

They will also show highlights of both play-off semi-finals, the ‘Million Pound Game’ and the Grand Final on BBC Two.

Following the Grand Final, the BBC cameras will then cover the Four Nations, which sees England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand go head to head.

The competition is over four weekends starting at the end of October and the BBC will show all England games live across BBC One and BBC Two, with extensive TV highlights of all the other matches.

The Four Nations this year will be a good marker ahead of the 2017 World Cup and the BBC will comprehensively cover that next year on all platforms, which will once more see all England matches live on BBC TV.

Elsewhere across the BBC, Radio 5 live sports extra will offer live commentary of 62 matches throughout the season.

Online, the BBC Sport website has a substantial online offering including news, video packages, features and analysis. All online content will also be available via the BBC Sport App.

Across regional TV, there will regular rugby league coverage in news bulletins to include match previews, highlights package and breaking news stories.