Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Releases

BBC Northern Ireland secure rugby broadcasting rights

(L-R): Shane Glynn, Jim Neilly and Shane Logan

BBC Northern Ireland has secured the broadcasting rights for live coverage of Magners League rugby for the next four seasons.

Kicking off at the start of the 2010/11 season in September, BBC Northern Ireland will provide coverage of the league in partnership with BBC ALBA, RTE and TG4.

As part of the deal, BBC Northern Ireland will provide live coverage of all Ulster's home matches and the away matches featuring the other Irish provinces – Munster, Leinster and Connaught – on BBC Two Northern Ireland.

The rest of Ulster's away matches will be available either via the Red Button or online via the BBC Sport Northern Ireland website – – if they are being covered by partner broadcasters in Scotland, Wales and Italy.

The coverage will be presented by Stephen Watson, with Jim Neilly and Ryan Constable in the commentary box.

Peter Johnston, Director, BBC Northern Ireland, said: "We are delighted to be able to announce this new deal, particularly at such an exciting time for Ulster Rugby, with a core of talented young local players set to be joined next season by newly recruited, top class overseas stars.

"This is a great addition to our sports portfolio for Northern Ireland audiences and great news for rugby fans here. We look forward to working closely with the Celtic League, Ulster Rugby and the IRFU over the coming years."

John Hussey, Celtic League Chairman, said: "BBC Northern Ireland has been a long-standing and valued broadcast partner to Irish Rugby at international level. I am sure this new partnership will be a mutually beneficial one and is an indication of the growing strength of both Ulster and Irish Rugby.

"The balance of terrestrial free-to-air coverage of rugby alongside our other broadcast partners is one which is incredibly important for the support of the game at all levels and is a balance which the IRFU will continue to manage in the best interests of the growth of rugby.

"BBC Northern Ireland promises to bring both broadcasting experience and commitment to the league that will be matched by the enthusiasm of the supporters of Ulster Rugby."

Shane Logan, CEO, Ulster Rugby, says: "I am delighted that the BBC has secured the rights to broadcast league ahead of the 2010/2011 season, with BBC Northern Ireland broadcasting all Ulster Rugby games. This will help to increase interest and involvement in the sport of rugby throughout Ulster.

"Since turning professional, a little over 10 years ago, rugby has gone from strength to strength. This move will bring further new audiences for the game and support our development of the sport at grassroots level.

"The BBC has an excellent reputation for covering live sporting events and we welcome top rate live coverage of our matches straight from Ravenhill next season."


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