sky-sportsSky Sports has agreed a new five year deal with SANZAR, the umbrella body representing New Zealand, Australia and South African rugby, which will include England’s next three tours down under.
The deal, which runs until 2020, also includes southern hemisphere tours by Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
England will play a three-test series next year with Australia, South Africa in 2018 and a probable tour to New Zealand in 2020.

The 150 fixture-a-year deal includes the Rugby Championship – the annual tournament between New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina – as well as the domestic rugby competitions including Super Rugby, ITM Cup, the Currie Cup and the National Rugby Championship.

Although financial terms were not announced, Sky is believed to have paid significantly more than the current multimillion-pound deal with SANZAR, according to media reports.

Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This deal offers our viewers more mouth-watering fixtures from the world’s best teams that have been entertaining fans throughout the Rugby World Cup. As well as the Rugby Championship, we also have the next two England summer tours, fascinating home nations fixtures and of course, more of the All Blacks, Wallabies, Springboks and Argentina than anywhere else. Add this to our current year round schedule and our viewers can now enjoy more live rugby union than ever before.”

Mark Alexander, SANZAR chairman, commented: “SANZAR is delighted to be renewing its broadcasting deal with Sky Sports that has been our valued partner for the past 20 years since the inception of professional rugby in 1996. We have a very strong fan base in the United Kingdom and Ireland and it is important for us that they can see as much SANZAR content as possible. Sky Sports delivers this for us.”

Will Greenwood, Rugby World Cup winner and Sky Sports analyst added: “As a rugby player, you want to test yourself against the best and there’s no tougher challenge than facing the Southern Hemisphere giants in their own back yards. These are must-see fixtures and this deal offers Sky Sports viewers incredible top-class rugby week in week out. I can’t wait.”

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By Expat