Seven live matches per-season and the final will be shown for the next two seasons
Premiership Rugby and ITV have agreed a deal to bring the competition back to free-to-air TV.
Channel 5’s highlights show was axed earlier this season, meaning that the only way to watch the Premiership was through BT Sport.
However, ITV will now show four live matches-per-season as well as the final on ITV4 this season, before showing seven live games-a-season and the final for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 campaigns. There will also be a weekly highlights programme presented by David Flatman and Topsy Ojo on ITV4, and repeated on ITV, throughout. BT Sport will also broadcast the games that are shown on ITV.
Coverage will begin with Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers on Sunday 30 January at 3pm, with the highlights show starting that evening.
Premiership Rugby chief executive Simon Massie-Taylor said: “Our ambition is to grow the game and make Gallagher Premiership Rugby available to as many people as possible. BT Sport have done an amazing job in building the core Premiership Rugby TV audience and the ITV partnership allows us to expand our reach into the households of millions of other rugby fans. This season our average match audience on BT Sport has risen 30% year on year, which shows the potential.
BT Sport’s round 13 Premiership Rugby viewing figures
Highest ever Friday night average audience –252,000 for Bristol Bears v Sale Sharks (peak: 346,000)
Highest ever regular season Saturday average audience on BT Sport – 300,000 for Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs (peak: 374,000)
Second-highest audience ever for a three-game weekend (only eclipsed by Round 10 earlier this season).
38 matches this season to date have reached total peak cumulative audience of 9.6 million
“We also want to make the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final 2022 the most-watched in our history and we believe we can achieve that with the match screened on both ITV4 and BT Sport. A phenomenal proposition for English club rugby’s showpiece occasion.”
“We are delighted to have five games, rising to seven next season, live on ITV but it is also crucial for us to have a weekly highlights programme that is accessible to millions of people. This will allow us to showcase the best of Gallagher Premiership Rugby to the widest possible audience. The highlights show gives a significant, regular presence with a broadcaster that will also show the Six Nations and Rugby World Cup 2023.
ITV director of sport Niall Sloane added: “We are delighted to announce this deal to bring regular free-to-air coverage of top-level club rugby to viewers across ITV’s platforms. It has been a pleasure working with BT Sport and our partners at Premiership Rugby in agreeing this deal and we look forward to showcasing the action and the stories from this elite league over the coming years.”