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17/07/2001

JOINT BBC/S4C FIVE YEAR PLAN FOR WELSH RUGBY COVERAGE

BBC WALES, S4C and the Welsh Rugby Union, have announced a new five-year television deal for Welsh club rugby.
The new contract means the two broadcasters share the broadcasting rights equally to all Welsh club rugby competitions, including the Welsh-Scottish League, the Principality Cup and the new Celtic League.
Starting from the coming season until the end of the 2005/6 season, the new deal provides the exclusive rights in Wales to broadcast on television, radio and online, in English and in Welsh, on analogue and digital platforms.
The package will provide Welsh rugby fans with two live matches every weekend with BBC Wales broadcasting a game on Friday evenings and S4C covering a match on Saturday evenings. Highlights and analysis will be provided in Y Clwb Rygbi on S4C and on Scrum V on BBC Two Wales.
S4C's Chief Executive, Huw Jones, said: "This contract means that we can guarantee S4C viewers in Wales and throughout the UK, top class club rugby for another five years. S4C have invited tenders for the production contract for its rugby programmes in open competition and interviews will be held very shortly."
Menna Richards, Controller of BBC Wales, said: "Our new partnership with the Welsh Rugby Union and S4C is great news for Welsh rugby fans and for the BBC. We are delighted to be back at the heart of Welsh rugby and that Welsh rugby is back on BBC Wales. The new contract will make Welsh rugby available to the widest possible audience, and will promote the game in Wales at all levels. The BBC already has the rights to the Six Nations Championship as well as the Heineken Cup and this latest contract completes a truly comprehensive rugby portfolio for BBC Wales." (CD)
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