Guinness PRO14 success for Premier Sports

PRO14 Rugby and Premier Sports are delighted to announce that the first season of their partnership has been highly-successful with subscriber figures ahead of projected targets.

As the Guinness PRO14 enters into the final round of the regular season Premier Sports have delivered on their promise to screen every minute of the action while also providing Free-To-Air access on FreeSports.

With the end stages of Guinness PRO14 season approaching ahead of the Final on May 25 in Glasgow, Premier Sports have reported unprecedented interest throughout the campaign with subscribers joining at a record pace setting an overall figure which has exceeded all expectations and forecasts.

Since kicking off their coverage of the Championship in August, Premier Sports have also added Autumn internationals and Under 18s Six Nations rugby to their package while they have also picked up top-tier football rights with Serie A, LaLiga, Scottish Cup, MLS and Eredivisie all available to customers.

Premier Sports have raised the game for Guinness PRO14 fans with their delivery of:
Dedicated highlights programme with 17-minute edits of each game available every Sunday
The PRO14 Hour, co-produced with eir sport, has provided fans with a dedicated magazine and review show on Wednesday nights

The Premier Player app and desktop site has allowed supporters to watch games on their terms

Martin Anayi, PRO14 Rugby CEO, said: "From the very beginning we knew that Premier Sports understood our vision for what the Guinness PRO14 should be and their commitment to delivering every game live has been rewarded by the interest from supporters all across the UK.

"The production standards have been raised across the board with dedicated pre and post-match analysis from players and coaches who know what it takes to win at the highest level. Our clubs are now getting more consistent exposure and interest in the Championship continues to rise.

"To see Premier Sports adding properties such as LaLiga and Serie A is a welcome boost and it’s terrific to see stars of the Guinness PRO14 billboarded alongside faces like Ronaldo and Messi. The competition in our Championship this season has been really intense and with tries being scored in record numbers it’s great that whether our fans our watching live, on-demand or checking out the highlights programming they’ll never miss a score."

Richard Sweeney, CEO of Premier Sports said: "We’ve been blown away about the partnership we’ve built with Guinness PRO14 in our first season both in terms of our coverage and by the growth of our customer base, with subscriptions ahead of target. We are pleased to be working closely with a world-class production team at Sunset+Vine with the expertise and know-how required to deliver high quality live coverage of seven games every weekend throughout the Championship. 

"We’ve brought together great rugby talent across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for our coverage, believing that if you invest in the right people, you show you’re really serious about providing rugby coverage that customers enjoy.

"We’ve had great feedback from the clubs, PRO14 Rugby and supporters this season, particularly around the opportunity to access so much rugby action, all in one place. Never before has the Guinness PRO14 had such comprehensive coverage and a platform to show every game live."

Premier Sports coverage of the Guinness PRO14 has been powered by the production expertise of Sunset+Vine who have assembled an incredible on-air cast of 20-plus experienced commentators and presenters – bringing together some of the brightest broadcast talent and former players and coaches with international pedigree.

Across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland the likes of Ross Harries, Dougie Vipond and Graham Little have been joined by headliners and giants of the game such as Sam Warburton, Shane Williams, Martyn Williams, Doddie Weir, Al Kellock, Chris Paterson, Jim Hamilton, Stephen Ferris and Andrew Trimble. 

They are joined by accomplished and respected guests, commentators and reporters Sean Holley, Eddie Butler, Rory Lawson, Emma Dodds, Rory Hamilton, Mark Robson, Wyn Gruffydd and Lauren Jenkins.

Premier Sports customers have also enjoyed some star-studded guest appearances during their PRO14 coverage this season including pitchside inside track from current and retired players including Jamie Roberts, John Barclay, Ed Jackson, Peter Stringer, Stuart Hogg, Tom Shanklin and Scott Hastings. 

Welsh talent line-up:
Sam Warburton
Shane Williams
Martyn Williams
Tom Shanklin
Richie Rees
Sean Holley
Eddie Butler
Ross Harries
Lauren Jenkins
Wyn Gruffydd

Scottish talent line-up:

Rory Lawson
Chris Paterson
Doddie Weir
Al Kellock
Jim Hamilton
Hugo Southwell
Dougie Vipond
Emma Dodds
Rory Hamilton

Northern Irish talent line-up:
Andrew Trimble
Stephen Ferris
Paddy Wallace
Graham Little
Mark Robson

Premier Sports is available for £9.99 per month, but every weekend its sister channel FreeSports broadcasts a live game FREE from the Guinness PRO14 with audiences of more than 35,000 tuning to Free Sports for key games.

The "on-the-go" Premier Player has also been a hit with subscribers who can see all of the action from Premier Sports live or on-demand via their iOS and Android apps or by simply logging onto directly on their Smart TV’s or Chromecasting.