a516digital.com will go offline shortly. For the latest updates on Twitter go to @rxtvlog or visit rxtvlog.com.

BBC confirms Rugby League coverage

The BBC has confirmed it has secured the rights to the Rugby League World Cup 2021, and outlined its coverage plans for this year's event.

As well as showing the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup in October/November 2017 the new deal means the BBC will now retain free to air rights to all 31 matches of the 2021 tournament, which is due to be played in England. Live coverage of at least 16 matches will be either BBC One or BBC Two, with the remaining matches available on Red Button and online.

This year's coverage
The Super League season begins on Thursday February 9 as St Helens take on Leeds Rhinos with Radio 5 live delivering full commentary on that match.

There will be 40 weeks of coverage on network TV this year with the Super League Show and Challenge Cup programmes transmitted from February to October. There are more than 50 commentaries a season on BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra from the Super League, the Challenge Cup and England internationals with ongoing coverage on the BBC Sport website including news, analysis, features, video clips and podcasts.

For the first time ever, BBC Sport will also show a match from every round of the Challenge Cup leading up to the final. One match from the early rounds (one to five) will be streamed on the BBC Sport website bringing viewers the latest from the community game. The network televised matches on BBC One and BBC Two start in May from round six onwards.

The 2017 Rugby League World Cup kicks off when England face Australia on October 27 with the 14-team tournament then spanning six weekends, with the final on December 2. BBC Sport coverage will include every England match live on network television alongside action from Wales, Scotland, and Ireland plus highlights shows. Radio 5 live will also bring extensive coverage alongside features, articles and opinion pieces on the BBC Sport website.

Director of BBC Sport Barbara Slater says:
"This is the biggest international event in the rugby league calendar and we're delighted to have secured the rights to it, building on our extensive portfolio of the sport and this year’s World Cup down under. Securing comprehensive rights for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 in England means we will once again bring audiences to the heart of the action via first class coverage on the international stage, and unprecedented coverage of the event will be available on the BBC.”