Welsh language coverage of Guinness PRO14 rugby union will continue for at least the next three seasons after S4C secured a deal to broadcast live coverage of the Welsh regions in the competition.
One game per round from the Guinness PRO14 will be screened by S4C, ensuring that Welsh language commentary remains a part of the championship’s coverage.
S4C’s coverage, which will continue to be produced by BBC Wales, will also be broadcast live on TV and online via the new-look S4C Clic service, with only Welsh language match commentary available.
Of the 21 games to be shown on S4C, 17 will be simulcast live in conjunction with primary-rights holder Premier Sports with a further four games – all Welsh derbies – also screened via delayed coverage on S4C.
Should a Welsh region be involved, S4C will also broadcast live coverage of the Guinness PRO14 final in May, while further coverage will also be available on an as-live basis.
The agreement continues the free-to-air broadcaster’s long-standing relationship with the PRO14, one that stretches back to the Championship’s inception in 2001.
With selected games involving the Welsh regions also ear-marked to be broadcast on Free Sports, it ensures a regular free-to-air presence in conjunction with new primary rights holder Premier Sports.
Commenting on S4C’s continued PRO14 rugby coverage, Owen Evans, S4C Chief Executive, said:
“I’m delighted that S4C will be continuing with live coverage of our four Welsh regions in the Guinness PRO14, one of the world’s leading club rugby competitions.
“This three-year agreement underlines our commitment to broadcasting rugby in the Welsh language, and we hope the news will be welcomed by all supporters of Welsh rugby. It is important to us and our audience that we can continue to offer Free-To-Air coverage of the Guinness PRO14.”
Martin Anayi, PRO14 Rugby CEO, added:
“We have been working hard in the background to ensure the Guinness PRO14 remains on S4C because they have been passionate supporters of the Championship since the very beginning. Free-To-Air access remains a vital part of our broadcast offering while we also recognise the affinity that fans have for local language broadcasters such as S4C and TG4 in Ireland.
“I would like to thank everyone involved from Premier Sports, S4C and our team at PRO14 Rugby for bringing this all together – it’s a great result for the broader fan base in Wales and for the Championship itself.”
As well as on TV nationwide, viewers across the UK can also watch S4C on S4C Clic, BBC iPlayer, tvcatchup.com, tvplayer.com and YouView and the S4C app.