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Sky extends and expands Rugby Football Union partnership

The Rugby Football Union, the governing body of rugby union in England, has extended a rights deal with UK pay-television broadcaster BSkyB.

Under the agreement, which will run for five years, from 2015-16 to 2019-20, Sky Sports will become a top-level partner of the governing body with a range of other partnership rights.

The deal comprises exclusive live coverage of England’s autumn home internationals plus international matches before the Rugby World Cups in 2015 and 2019, plus the annual England spring fixture.

The rights also include live coverage of two England women’s team games per season plus additional England U20, U18 and England Saxons youth team fixtures.

Additionally the agreement covers a minimum of 11 live domestic second-tier Championship matches per season and an in-match clips package, which will enable near live match updates to be delivered across websites and social media channels operated by the governing body and Sky Sports.

Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said: “This new deal builds on our already successful partnership with the RFU. It offers our viewers even more live England rugby from the men’s, women’s and age grade game, and includes additional rights to enable us to support the game from the grassroots up to the elite level.”