Sky finalises Lions rights deal for South Africa Tour

Pay-television broadcaster Sky has acquired exclusive rights in the UK and Ireland to the 2021 British and Irish Lions’ three-Test rugby union series against South Africa as well as the Lions’ five warm-up matches.

In addition to showing live coverage on Sky Sports from the eight matches, which take place in South Africa, the broadcaster will provide tour-related content on Sky Sports News and on the Sky Sports website and social-media channels.

The three Test matches are scheduled for July 24, July 31, and August 7. The warm-ups are scheduled for July 3-17.

Sky has shown the six previous Lions’ Tours dating back to 1997.

The 2021 Tour dates clash with the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, which will now take place from July 23 to August 8. However, the Lions’ Tour organisers decided not to move the series as none of the matches will cross over with the Olympics due to time-zone differences. The Lions games will kick-off 6pm South African time, which is 1am in Tokyo.

The Lions’ previous test-match series against South Africa was in 2009.