Sky Italia to be home of the United Rugby Championship in Italy

sky italia Sky Italia has secured a first-time deal with the BKT United Rugby Championship (URC) to make it the home of the international rugby league in Italy.

The Comcast-owned broadcaster will air every Benetton and Zebre Parma game live, including other selected matches each weekend through to the 2024/25 season in the region.

The partnership comes ahead of coverage of the Rugby World Cup on the Italian platform.

According to the URC, the league has broken its viewership records twice with the 2022/23 season drawing an audience of 37.4 million including 4 million viewers who tuned into the play-offs.

Sky Italia becomes the ninth broadcaster in the league’s core territories alongside BBC Wales, BBC Northern Ireland, S4C and Viaplay (UK), RTE, TG4, Premier Sports (Ireland) and SuperSport (South Africa).

“Partnering with Sky Italia for the first time shows the appeal of rugby and the BKT United Rugby Championship to new audiences. Since the introduction of the South African teams in 2021, our league has become more exciting and unpredictable which is exactly what a major broadcaster like Sky Italia expects for their viewers,” commented Martin Anayi, CEO of United Rugby Championship. “This two-year deal offers both the BKT URC and Sky Italia to build on the broadcaster’s coverage of the Rugby World Cup and focus on a growth strategy to drive more interest in the sport.”

Marzio Innocenti, president of the Italian Rugby Federati, said: “We have a ten-year collaboration with Sky Sport and now the decision to include the BKT United Rugby Championship matches of our franchises in its schedule for the next two seasons is very exciting. Benetton Rugby and Zebre Parma are the homes of our Azzurri and the BKT URC is an essential tournament for the high-level ambitions of our national team, both from a sporting and commercial point of view.

He added, “offering the Italian public the opportunity every week to support their favorite players  drives a bond with the national team and guarantees the continuity we need to keep growing the sport in Italy. The BKT URC is a challenge every week given all that Italian, South African, Welsh, Irish and Scottish rugby has to offer.”

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