New Sky TV deal could see video refs at every game and live Super League matches on BBC

Video referees could be used at every Betfred Super League match from next season as part of the new two-year deal with Sky Sports, competition executive chairman Ken Davy says.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 6:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 6:20 pm

Sky will have first pick of 66 live matches throughout the regular season, as well as the play-offs, in each of the next two years, along with exclusive rights to the Magic Weekend, Grand Final and World Club Challenge.

But 10 Super League matches a season are now set to be aired on free-to-air channels as part of the new deal, which kicks in at the end of the year.

And for the first time Sky has given up its right to show matches outside Super League, freeing up the RFL to negotiate its own deal.

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Video refs could be in action at every game next year as part of the new Sky TV deal. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.

“We are in discussions with a number of broadcast parties and one of the really exciting things about the new Sky deal is that there is going to be enhanced production coverage in 2022 and 2023 of every match so there is going to be a big screen and video referee potentially at every match going forward,” Day said.

“That gives us the opportunity for some free-to-air matches with other broadcasters and also the opportunity to beam every game direct to supporters and the wider public.”

Davy declined to reveal the value of the new deal, describing it as “commercially sensitive”, but it is thought to be worth around £25m a year, down from £40m at present.