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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

Press Releases

BBC Cymru Wales and S4C announce Magners League deal

This is a joint press release from the BBC and S4C

BBC Cymru Wales and S4C have secured a new four-year deal to broadcast live action from Magners League games until 2014.

The renewed deal between the broadcasters and Celtic Rugby – which runs the league – means that rugby fans in Wales will be able to watch live action of games featuring all of the four Welsh teams on Friday evenings on BBC Two Wales's Scrum V Live and on Saturday evenings on S4C on Y Clwb Rygbi.

Televised rugby action will also be available to watch again on the BBC websites and s4/clic for seven days after the first broadcast.

With the current contract in place until the end of season 2009/10, the new contract – which covers television, radio and online coverage – will run from season 2010/11 through to season 2013/14.

BBC Wales and S4C have broadcast coverage of the competition since it was first established as the Celtic League in 2001.

BBC Cymru Wales's Head of Sport, Geoff Williams, said: "It's fantastic that we will continue our relationship with Celtic Rugby to bring rugby fans the Magners League action that audiences love. The league is now well established as must-see TV, providing competition for Wales's four rugby regions against the best that Ireland and Scotland have to offer.

"During the 2008/09 season, BBC Wales's Scrum V rugby coverage reached 300,000 rugby fans each week and we think fans across Wales will agree it's great news that BBC Wales coverage of the league will continue."

S4C Content Editor Sport, Geraint Rowlands, said: "S4C is delighted to be broadcasting coverage of the Magners League for a further four years. We believe that the joint S4C/BBC Wales deal provides viewers with the comprehensive coverage that this growing competition merits. We will continue to provide top-quality live coverage of the league every weekend, normally on Saturdays, with our highly-respected presentation team."

John Hussey, Chairman of Celtic Rugby, said: "I am delighted to announce the further renewal of the television contracts with BBC Wales and S4C, both of whom have been quality broadcast partners of a quality competition. 

"A measure of the stature of the Magners League is that participating teams have won the Heineken Cup in three out of the last four seasons as well as providing four quarter-finalists in this year's competition.

"In addition to this there were 11 players from Magners League teams in the starting British & Irish Lions side who played South Africa at the weekend as well as six players among the replacements, giving an indication of the growth of the competition. The renewal of these broadcast partnerships will continue to enhance the viewing experience and reputation of the league."

Director of Celtic Rugby, David Jordan, said: "I am very pleased that we have continued our relationship with BBC Wales and S4C. They have always been very supportive partners of the Magners League and have been very important in helping us to create one of the best professional rugby union leagues in world rugby. With the league introducing play-offs next season then we can look forward to an increase in excitement and competitiveness."

WRU Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis, said: "We are delighted that our broadcast partners BBC Wales and S4C are extending their television contract for the Magners League. The ongoing dedication and commitment of the Welsh broadcasters ensures the success of the competition for all parties.

"The introduction of play-offs next season will make the tournament compelling viewing through to the end of the season and we all want to build on the success of the tournament to date."

Notes to Editors

The Magners League matches to be broadcast by BBC Wales and S4C include live games involving the four Welsh regional teams – Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, Scarlets and Ospreys.

Scrum V Live, presented by Gareth Lewis with commentary featuring Gareth Charles and Jonathan Davies, is on BBC Two Wales on Friday evenings at 7.00pm. Digital viewers can press the red button on their remotes during games for Welsh language commentaries and the Fan Scene with Rick O'Shea.

Y Clwb Rygbi is on S4C on Saturdays at 5.30pm. Introduced by Gareth Roberts and Brynmor Williams with commentary from Huw Llywelyn Davies and Gwyn Jones, viewers can also access English language commentary on the red button as well as English subtitles.


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