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Amazon makes rugby move in shared deal for new Autumn Nations Cup

Online retail giant Amazon has made its first moves into rugby union broadcasting in a deal to show UK coverage of the new Autumn Nations Cup, an international tournament created in the wake of postponed autumn Test tours following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Subscription service Amazon Prime and free-to-air commercial broadcaster Channel 4 have both acquired rights to the tournament, which will take place over four weekends between November 13 and December 6.

Amazon, which holds rights to the English Premier League and tennis’ US Open and ATP Tour in the UK, is to stream 14 of 16 matches from the eight-team tournament.

The competition will feature the Six Nations sides (England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales), along with Georgia and Fiji.

Both Amazon Prime and Channel 4 will show live coverage of the opening match between Ireland and Wales on November 13. Channel 4 will also broadcast Ireland’s matches against England and Georgia.

Channel 4’s head of sport Pete Andrews said: “We’re delighted to have teamed up with Amazon to bring rugby fans this fantastic tournament. It’s thrilling to be offering first class live international rugby on Channel 4 and it’s great to be launching the tournament live on a Friday night with Ireland v Wales.”

Channel 4 already holds a package of free-to-air rights to European rugby’s Heineken Champions Cup.

Alex Green, managing director of Prime Video Sport Europe, said: “We are excited and privileged to work with Six Nations Rugby and the eight participating unions in to bring this new tournament to viewers across the UK on Prime Video. It is a unique event bringing a new level of competitiveness to Autumn international rugby and will offer something back to all the fans who have missed top-level rugby.”

The tournament is being been organised by Six Nations Rugby and the respective national rugby unions and federations. A full list of the fixtures can be found here.