UK public-service broadcaster the BBC has renewed its rights deal for rugby league’s Challenge Cup. It agreed a five-year extension, from 2012 to 2016, with the Rugby Football League, English rugby league’s governing body.
The corporation will show live coverage of matches from the fourth and fifth rounds, the quarter-finals and semi-finals, and the final.
Last year’s final between Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos attracted an average audience of 1.61 million on BBC1, a 19-per-cent increase on the 2010 final.
The average audience for live Challenge Cup coverage on the BBC across the 2011 competition was also up on previous years, to 1.07 million viewers, a five-year high for the broadcaster.