TNT Sports secures exclusive deal for England’s Premiership Women’s Rugby coverage
TNT Sports, the prominent UK pay-TV broadcaster, has unveiled a multi-year partnership with England’s newly rebranded Premiership Women’s Rugby (PWR).
This landmark agreement solidifies TNT Sports (formerly known as BT Sport) as the exclusive rights holder for both the premier men’s and women’s domestic rugby union competitions in England, along with coverage of the top European club rugby tournaments.
Ahead of the 2023-24 PWR season-opener on November 18, TNT Sports is set to deliver a thrilling line-up of rugby action. Throughout the season, it will broadcast one match every weekend from the nine-team league, in addition to providing extensive coverage of both semi-finals and the championship final.
This momentous deal was crafted in partnership between TNT Sports, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery and the Women’s Sport Group, a pivotal player that joined as a competition partner in late June. In total, fans can look forward to over 20 games, which will be available on both traditional linear channels and modern digital platforms.
Beyond live match coverage, TNT Sports will offer a comprehensive array of content, including highlights, match reports and exclusive interviews. All of this will be accessible on TNT Sports’ and Warner Bros. Discovery’s various online and mobile platforms, including the popular Discovery+ streaming service.
It’s all about visibility 🙌
— Premiership Women’s Rugby (@ThePWR) November 9, 2023
Kicking off this partnership is the inaugural game featuring Sale Sharks against Bristol Bears on November 18.
“We are delighted to be able to bring live coverage of arguably the best women’s domestic rugby competition in the world to TNT Sports viewers,” said Scott Young, WBD Europe’s senior vice president for content and production.
“There are many stories to be told across women’s rugby and we are delighted to partner with Premiership Women’s Rugby to tell these stories with a fresh approach that reflects the family-friendly, competitive nature of the competition.”
TNT Sports already holds the rights for men’s Premiership Rugby through a deal struck with BT Sport in 2020, extending through the 2023-24 season.
Previously, domestic coverage of women’s rugby in the UK was provided by the BBC, with one game broadcast per round on its iPlayer streaming platform, the BBC Sport app, and its website.
Belinda Moore, the chief executive of Premiership Women’s Rugby, emphasised the transformative nature of this partnership.
“This is a pivotal moment in the history of women’s club rugby in England, as we will see at least 21 Premiership Women’s Rugby matches broadcast live on TNT Sports and Discovery+ this season,” Moore said.
“For the first time, this ground-breaking partnership with TNT Sports will allow us to create an appointment to view each weekend for our fans and clubs, fundamentally changing the profile of the league.=
“We are ambitious to deliver significant growth in women’s rugby in England as we head towards [hosting the] Women’s World Cup in 2025 and this partnership with TNT Sports will help us deliver that goal.”
Launched in June, the rebranded PWR, formerly known as Premier 15s, aims to implement a ten-year strategy for women’s rugby in England. This endeavour is the result of a collaborative effort between the Rugby Football Union and the ten clubs participating in the Premiership Women’s Rugby competition and the Allianz Cup.
In early-October, the competition further fortified its position by partnering with the global sports and entertainment agency IMG to propel its new digital and content channels strategy.
England is the No.1-ranked women’s rugby team in the world, last weekend defeating New Zealand 33-12 in Auckland in the final of the inaugural WXVI tournament to avenge its loss to the Black Ferns in last year’s World Cup decider.