All Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches played behind closed doors in the upcoming 2020/21 season will be broadcast live on BT Sport.
BT Sport subscribers will be able to follow all six games each weekend live across its TV channels, award-winning App and btsport.com. Once crowds can safely return to stadia, BT Sport will revert to the usual broadcast schedule.
Through an agreement between Premiership Rugby and BT Sport, eligible club members will gain free access to home Gallagher Premiership matches on the BT Sport App up until Christmas (round 4) when the provision will be reviewed. The BT Sport Match Pass is designed for members of participating clubs who do not already have a BT Sport subscription and who cannot attend their home matches due to the current restrictions. Eligibility for the Match Pass is at the discretion of individual clubs and is not determined by BT. More information will be made available to members via email.
The new season starts on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate on Friday 20 November, with reigning champions Exeter Chiefs travelling to the Twickenham Stoop to face Harlequins (on air from 7pm). The same evening, an hour later (8pm) on BT Sport Extra 1, Sale Sharks take on Northampton Saints, with the remaining four fixtures live on BT Sport over the remainder of the weekend. The Gallagher Premiership Rugby opening weekend culminates in a repeat of last season’s semi-final between Wasps and Bristol Bears on BT Sport 1 at 12.30pm on Sunday 22 November.
BT Sport will present live coverage from the grounds, led by the team of rugby experts and commentators including Craig Doyle, Sarra Elgan, Martin Bayfield, Ugo Monye, Ben Kay, Lawrence Dallaglio, Austin Healey, Nick Mullins and Ali Eykyn.
Viewers of matches produced by BT Sport and airing on BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport 3 or BT Sport ESPN will be able to watch with pre-recorded dynamic crowd noise. BT Sport will also make selected games available in 4K via BT Sport Ultimate, as well as using its industry-leading remote production capabilities to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “BT Sport is the go-to for club rugby fans this coming season, with every minute of every Gallagher Premiership Rugby match broadcast live, while matches are played behind closed doors. Alongside exclusively live coverage of the Heineken Champions Cup, matches every week from the Premier League, Emirates FA Cup, and live and exclusive coverage of the UEFA Champions League, our viewers can look forward to a packed schedule of sport in the coming months.”
Mark Brittain, chief commercial officer at Premiership Rugby said: “Our fans are the lifeblood of the game so while matches are being played behind closed doors it was crucial we gave them access to watch Gallagher Premiership Rugby live on BT Sport.
“I’m delighted that BT Sport shared in this vision and, in partnership with our clubs, we can also provide the added benefit of ensuring eligible season ticket holders will be offered free access to their club’s home games on the BT Sport App for the first four rounds.”
Simon Matson, CEO of Gallagher’s UK Broking & Underwriting operations said: “With our third season of partnership with Premiership Rugby needing to kick off behind closed doors for reasons of public safety and well-being, we welcome fans being given greater access to engage with all the action as it unfolds through BT Sport.
“In these challenging times, the ability to watch live sport and get behind your local team can be a powerful connector of communities. Community is what counts and everyone at Gallagher is very much looking forward to returning to stadiums when it’s safe to do so to voice our local support in the communities we serve.”
Rugby fans will also have more ways to watch the game they love, with the BT Sport Monthly Pass offering no-contract access for one month at a time, for just £25. For more information visit www.bt.com/monthlypass