Channel 4 to show Ireland’s autumn rugby internationals

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Channel 4 has announced that it will broadcast Ireland’s autumn rugby union internationals for the next four years.

The 2018 Six Nations Grand Slam champions face Argentina, the United States and current world champions New Zealand in November and all three matches will be shown live on Channel 4 in the autumn.

Channel 4’s multi-year deal with the IRFU also means the return of Ireland’s autumn international matches to free-to-air television in the UK for the first time since 2013, following a four-year stint on Sky Sports.

The rights are the latest rugby union acquisition by Channel 4, which begins a four-year deal to show live coverage of every round of the Heineken Champions Cup, Europe’s top club competition, this October.

Over the next four years, Channel 4 will also show live coverage of two of Ireland’s World Cup warm up matches in 2019 against Italy and Wales, 2020 autumn internationals against Australia, South Africa and another team to be announced, plus matches in 2021 against the All Blacks, Argentina and another country yet to be confirmed.

Commenting on the new deal, Joe Blake-Turner, Channel 4’s commissioning editor for sport, said:

“Rugby fans can look forward to a match up between the number one and number two teams in the world.

“And looking beyond 2018, Ireland have some fantastic test matches lined up against the might of the southern hemisphere including Australia and South Africa.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to follow the journey of Europe’s finest team as they take on the world’s best.”

The IRFU’s deal with Channel 4 ensures that all of Ireland’s autumn matches will be shown on free-to-air television in both the UK and Ireland, following the extension of RTE’s rights until 2021.

Padraig Power, IRFU director of commercial and marketing added:

“The IRFU are delighted to welcome Channel 4 who have a fantastic track-record of sports broadcasting.

“They join us at an exciting time and we have no doubt that our partnership with them will cover some outstanding rugby moments.”

Further details of Channel 4’s rugby union coverage, including presenting line-up, commentary team and production partner to produce both its Champions Cup and Ireland autumn internationals programming, will be confirmed in due course.

As well three matches at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, Ireland will also play a fourth autumn international fixture this year against Italy at Soldier Field in Chicago on 3 November, though this match is not included in Channel 4’s deal.

Channel 4’s first foray into live rugby union coverage began in the summer when it broadcast Wales’ internationals against Argentina and South Africa.

In addition to Ireland’s home autumn internationals on Channel 4, the BBC will continue to cover Wales and Scotland’s autumn fixtures this year, while Sky Sports retains the rights to show England’s autumn matches until 2019.

SATURDAY 10th NOVEMBER

Ireland v Argentina
Autumn International

18:30

SATURDAY 17th NOVEMBER

Ireland v New Zealand
Autumn International

19:00

SATURDAY 24th NOVEMBER

Ireland v United States
Autumn International

18:30

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