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Sky’s the limit as RFU Championship is set to raise the bar

22 September 2011

  • RFU Championship & Sky Sports HD announce joint venture
  • Broadcaster brings you closer to the competition
2011-12 RFU Championship captains at Twickenham for the season launch

Photo: RFU Archive

The RFU Championship, now in its third season, is set to raise the bar over the coming months as Sky Sports look to expand the content of their Championship coverage.

Following agreement with the Championship clubs, Sky Sports will be boosting their coverage of the competition, going further behind the scenes on match day and bringing viewers closer to the teams with player warm-up interviews, half–time comments from the coaches, and exclusive changing room access.

The bonus editorial content shows a further commitment from the RFU Championship clubs, Sky Sports HD and the Rugby Football Union to continue to further raise the profile of the competition which has seen a consistent increase in the standard of professional rugby played for the past three-years.

Speaking on behalf of the RFU Championship clubs, Bedford Blues and Championship Committee Chairman Geoff Irvine said:

“All the clubs are very encouraged by this new venture. Sky Sports play a vital role in showcasing the competition to a broad audience and giving them the opportunity to provide yet more content for viewers is another step forward. We think this additional content will provide viewers with a unique insight into the competition.”

Standard of rugby consistently rising

Last year’s runners up Cornish Pirates are the first to be shown live on Sky Sports HD as they take on promotion favourites Leeds Carnegie on Saturday 24 September. In what is expected to be another thrilling encounter, the cameras will be stepping further into the action and providing up-to-the-moment comment from each side which, as the RFU’s Chief Commercial Officer Sophie Goldschmidt explained, is another important step forward in the competition.

“This new venture with Sky Sports is a further development in the promotion of the competition. The standard of rugby played in the league is consistently rising, with over thirty former and current Championship players now with England and other nations in the Rugby World Cup 2011. This talent development pathway will only strengthen as the competition continues to progress both on and off the field.

Commenting on the announcement, Sky Sports Managing Director Barney Francis said: “Sky Sports are delighted to continue their coverage and support of the RFU Championship, a tournament that has provided some classic matches and memorable moments over the last couple of seasons. 

"Sky’s coverage will bring you even closer to the action, with more player, and behind the scenes access than ever before.  We’re excited to bring our viewers the exciting brand of rugby that has been the hallmark of the RFU Championship and the opportunity to watch the stars of tomorrow”

Upcoming Sky Sports fixtures

Cornish Pirates vs. Leeds Carnegie, Saturday 24 September, 1615
Bedford Blues vs. Doncaster Knights, Saturday 15 October, 1545
Bristol Rugby vs. London Welsh, Friday 21 October, 1945