The Autumn Nations Cup will be aired on Amazon Prime as the tech giant makes its first foray into rugby… while England’s clash against Ireland will be free-to-view on Channel 4
- Amazon Prime have secured the broadcast rights for the Autumn Nations Cup
- The revamped competition was set up amid the coronavirus crisis in rugby
- Channel 4 will show three games, including England v Ireland, free to air
- Amazon said it was ‘excited and privileged’ to work with the Six Nations
Amazon Prime will broadcast the emergency Autumn Nations Cup rugby tournament this November and December – with three of 16 matches free to view on Channel 4.
As Sportsmail exclusively revealed on Sunday, the internet giant has made its first foray into live rugby and will show all games aside from Ireland’s pool matches against Wales and Georgia, which will be on terrestrial television.
England v Ireland will be broadcast on both Channel 4 and Prime on November 21.
Amazon have taken their first steps into rugby by winning rights to the Autumn Nations Cup
England’s clash against Ireland on November 21 will be aired on both Prime and Channel 4
Usually England’s autumn fixtures are shown by Sky Sports, whose deal ran out this summer, but Amazon won the bid for this revamped competition set up after the southern hemisphere giants refused to travel to Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Amazon subscribers will be able to watch the tournament at no extra cost to their Prime membership and the coverage will be led by Gabby Logan and South African legend Bryan Habana.
‘We are excited and privileged to work with Six Nations Rugby and the eight participating unions in to bring this new tournament to viewers across the UK on Prime Video,’ said Alex Green, MD Prime Video Sport Europe.
England will begin the revamped tournament with a match against minnows Georgia
‘It is a unique event bringing a new level of competitiveness to Autumn international rugby and will offer something back to all the fans who have missed top-level rugby.
‘We will be offering mouth-watering clashes featuring the top international teams in the Northern Hemisphere exclusively to UK Prime members at no additional charge to their membership.’
Ben Morel, CEO Six Nations Rugby commented: ‘We are delighted to welcome Amazon Prime Video on board as a broadcast partner for the Autumn Nations Cup, and to have such a major global player demonstrate their commitment to rugby is a tremendous endorsement for our game.
‘Amazon Prime Video has already established a reputation for delivering high level production in live sport which we have seen through their coverage of the Premier League, ATP and WTA Tennis, and NFL. We are hugely excited by their initial plans for the Autumn Nations Cup and are confident rugby lovers will thoroughly enjoy the coverage.’
Amazon have already seen a successful foray into hosting Premier League games last season
Channel 4 already have rights to some Heineken Champions Cup games, and have shown Wales and Ireland Tests in the past.
Channel 4’s Head of Sport Pete Andrews said: ‘We’re delighted to have teamed up with Amazon to bring rugby fans this fantastic tournament. It’s thrilling to be offering first class live international rugby on Channel 4 and it’s great to be launching the tournament live on a Friday night with Ireland v Wales. The England Ireland match-up the following week is a mouth-watering prospect live on Channel 4.’
The Autumn Nations Cup will consist of eight nations in two Pools. England line up against Wales, Ireland and Georgia, and the other group contains France, Scotland, Italy and Fiji.
There will be one set of Pool games and then a ‘finals weekend’ where teams will play the equivalent finisher in the other group.