Live PRO12 matches return to Saturday evenings on S4C


Live Guinness PRO12 rugby matches will return to Saturday evenings on S4C from the start of the 2016-2017 season.

Following discussions with Guinness PRO12 organisers, the regions, clubs, provinces of the four nations and partner broadcasters, the channel's big live match kick off will be on Saturdays at 7.35pm. The Clwb Rygbi programme coverage will begin at 7.15pm.

The coverage begins on Saturday, 2 September when Clwb Rygbi broadcasts Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh Rugby from the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. Kick off 7.35pm. Other matches during the first seven rounds include champions Connacht v Ospreys, Blues v Leinster and two mouth-watering derbies, Scarlets v Dragons and Ospreys v Dragons.

The live and exclusive games will be available with English-language commentary on the red button and audio selection services, in addition to English subtitles. The coverage will be available in HD on the Sky and Freesat platforms.

Sue Butler, S4C's Content Commissioner, Sport said, "We are delighted to be broadcasting our live Guinness PRO12 matches on Saturday evenings once again. For many years, it was the established slot for top club rugby matches and is preferred by viewers."

S4C's Clwb Rygbi coverage is produced by BBC Wales. Siân Gwynedd, Head of Welsh Language Programmes and Services at BBC Wales, said, "The start of a new Guinness PRO12 rugby season is always keenly anticipated and the return to this slot is sure to please fans. BBC Wales is proud to bring all the live action to the audience from our expert presenters, commentators and award-winning production team."

Martin Anayi, managing director of PRO12 Rugby, added, "With 70 of the first 78 matches scheduled for live television, we have more free-to-air matches than ever before. What is exciting is that, in Wales, we have managed to open a weekly Saturday evening slot on S4C – with the amount of Sunday games reduced to just three across the whole season – including two on New Year's Day. This is something the fans in Wales had been asking us for and we are happy we could get it in place for this season."

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