S4C today announced its line-up of top rugby coverage for the 2008/09 season. The Magners League, Heineken Cup, Principality Premiership, the Swalec Cup, Wales' autumn international matches and the 2009 Six Nations tournament all feature in the channel’s comprehensive package of live action and extended highlights.
And, for the first time, English commentary will be available for live Magners League and Principality Premiership matches via the red button service on S4C Digidol on Sky. The main television soundtrack and match analysis will continue to be in Welsh.
Gareth Roberts, Huw Llywelyn Davies, Gwyn Jones and Brynmor Williams will introduce the start of the 2008/09 Magners League campaign, with two all-important live matches in the space of four days.
First stop will be Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, 6 September (6.10pm) as the Blues play host to last year’s champions, Leinster. Then, on Tuesday, 9 September, there will be live coverage of the Blues' visit to the Liberty Stadium for the first Welsh derby of the season against regional rivals the Ospreys (7.25pm). The coverage will be produced by BBC Wales.
Highlights of Heineken Cup matches will also be available during the season, with a joint partnership between production companies Sunset + Vine and Sports Media Services Ltd winning an open tender recently to produce the highlights packages from October.
Wales' top club competition will also be covered by S4C with 10 live matches from the re-vamped Principality Premiership. The first broadcast will be the Gwent derby match between Ebbw Vale and Newport on 4 October.
In November, Warren Gatland's Grand Slam heroes will face even bigger tests as they welcome South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and Australia to the Millennium Stadium in four-week succession – and all four matches will be live on S4C.
Geraint Rowlands, S4C's Sports Content Editor, says "The strong line-up of rugby matches across a range of competitions emphasises S4C’s continuing commitment to the game at all levels in Wales."
S4C is available in Wales on Sky Digital channel 104 and Freeview channel 4. For viewers outside of Wales, S4C is available on Sky Digital channel 134.
For more information on S4C’s rugby coverage, visit the website s4c.co.uk/sport