Super League will be shown live on free-to-air television for the first time in 2022 after officials agreed a two-year deal with Channel 4.
The Leeds-based broadcaster will show 10 matches a year, starting with Leeds Rhinos’ opening game against Warrington – Daryl Powell’s first league game in charge of his new club – on Saturday, February 12 with a lunchtime kick-off.
The remaining nine games will be spread across the season and will include two end-of-season play-off fixtures.
The move ends Sky Sports’ 26-year monopoly of live Super League and is a by-product of the new two-year agreement announced with the satellite broadcaster in April.
Sky will continue to show 66 matches a season including the Magic Weekend and the Grand Final and have the first pick of games in each of the regular rounds as well as the play-offs.
Super League chairman Ken Davy said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm a brand-new broadcast partnership with Channel 4. They have a great track record of showing some of the best sporting competitions.
“The opportunity to offer live Betfred Super League action to fans on a free-to-air platform across the whole season is fantastic and one that we hope will continue to serve our current fans, as well as attract many new fans to the sport.
“I must thank our principal broadcast partner, Sky Sports, without whose support this partnership would not have been possible.”
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) November 24, 2021
Channel 4 Head of Sport Peter Andrews said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be bringing Super League to free-to-air television for the first time in its history.
“It’s fantastic news for rugby league fans and it’s a really special addition to Channel 4’s sports portfolio, particularly since it’s one of our first major partnerships since moving to our new national HQ building at the Majestic in Leeds.”
The Super League season will kick off on Thursday, February 10, and the full fixture list will be released on Thursday.