BBC NI to broadcast new Pro14 highlights programme on Mondays

Ulster's Craig Gilroy in action against Glasgow in the first match of this sweason's Pro14
Ulster's Craig Gilroy in action against Glasgow in the first match of this season's Pro14

BBC Northern Ireland has revealed it will broadcast a new one-hour Pro14 highlights programme on BBC iPlayer and BBC Two NI on Monday evenings.

Rugby fans will be able to watch the highlights from the weekend's seven games on the programme which will be shown first on BBC iPlayer from 19:00 GMT and then on BBC Two at 23:15 GMT.

The agreement starts with coverage of all round six matches which includes Ulster's key trip to Munster, Connacht against champions Leinster and Edinburgh against the Dragons.

The programme, which is part of a two-year deal signed by BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Scotland and BBC Wales with Pro14, will see action from the competition back on BBC Northern Ireland television.

The deal will cover the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons and includes the play-offs as well as highlights of the finals.

The final next year takes place in Cardiff on 20 June.

'Great news for rugby fans'

BBC Northern Ireland's Executive Editor for Sport, Neil Brittain said: "This is great news for rugby fans. The Pro14 is a fantastic tournament. We have a long history of broadcasting the competition, so I'm delighted that it's back on BBC Northern Ireland television.

"The new programme will of course include Ulster games but there will be highlights of all the matches from each round so viewers will get to see some of the world's best players and best teams every week in the competition.

And it really reinforces our commitment to our audiences to bring them the best sporting action - complementing our coverage of football, GAA and bikes."

Dermot Rigley, Commercial Director of Pro14 Rugby said: "BBC's return to the Guinness Pro14 is terrific news for our fans and adds yet another committed broadcast partner to our Championship.

"As a tournament we have set a new standard by ensuring every single game is available live to our viewers in the UK and now with our highlights available to free-to-air audiences via the BBC, rugby fans will have unprecedented access to the matches.

"The BBC was on hand at our very first Celtic League final in 2001 and played a part in our journey over the subsequent years, so it is fantastic that they return at a time when the Championship has never been so strong."

As well as the highlights package, BBC Radio Ulster will continue with its coverage and live commentary of all Ulster matches.