Sky secures rights to Ireland’s Rugby World Cup warm-ups

UK and Ireland pay-television broadcaster Sky has acquired exclusive live rights to Ireland’s Rugby World Cup warm-up matches against Scotland and Wales, according to multiple reports in the Irish media.

The deal for the games at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on August 15 and August 29, respectively, means that there will be no live coverage on Irish terrestrial television of at least three of the reigning Six Nations champions’ games ahead of this year’s World Cup.

Sky already holds the live rights to England’s matches outside the Six Nations, which means that it will also broadcast the game between England and Ireland at Twickenham on September 5.

The Irish Times newspaper said public-service broadcaster RTE will show a one-hour highlights package of Ireland’s two home games later on the night of the matches and is optimistic that it will secure a similar arrangement for the away match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on August 8, as well as the clash against England.

The game in Cardiff is the only one of Ireland’s warm-up matches for which live rights are yet to be assigned.