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Amazon has successfully bought the primary TV rights for this year’s 8 Nations Cup.
There has been a lot of speculation in recent weeks about whether the streaming giant was bidding or not. Ultimately, they were and they fought off the likes of Sky and BT to secure the deal.
Amazon Prime Video announced this morning that they would be showing 14 out of the 16 games from the 8 nations tournament. The competition opens on the weekend of the 13th/14th/15th of November. Each team will play four games over four consecutive weekends. Meaning, the final round of games will be played on the 5th and 6th of December.
International rugby is coming to Prime Video! 🏉
Watch 14 top-class Autumn Nations Cup matches live in November and December 🙌 pic.twitter.com/scTfbp48eh
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) September 11, 2020
Irish fans won’t suffer
The news is not all bad for Irish fans however. Ireland’s three pool stage matches will be available to watch on RTE and Channel 4. The Irish host Wales in the Aviva at 7pm on the 13th of November for the opening game. The two free-to-air channels are both showing this game.
Next, Ireland’s trip to Twickenham on the 21st of November will be on Amazon Prime. It is the only Irish from the pool stages to not be on RTÉ. Yet, Channel 4 has struck a deal to co-broadcast it. Thirdly, Ireland’s final group game against Georgia, again listed for the Aviva, is also on RTÉ.
The only Irish game from the 8 nations tournament that will be exclusively on Amazon is the final round. In this, Ireland will be play one of France, Scotland, Italy, or Fiji. The rankings of each team in their pool will determine their final game. For example, if Ireland finish second in Pool A, they will play the second-place team from Pool B. As a result, Ireland’s opening two games against Wales and England are perhaps the most important.
RTÉ and Channel 4 will have free to air coverage of Ireland's matches this November and December as part of the new @autumnnations Cup.
Amazon Prime will have coverage of the tournament in the UK.https://t.co/6AVlHSovzo
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) September 11, 2020
Amazon’s coverage will be led by Gabby Logan and Bryan Habana. Other big rugby names joining them are yet to be confirmed.
Venues for the games are subject to change among reviews to Covid-19 restrictions. But it seems certain that rugby fans have a big winter schedule to look forward to. Beginning on the 24th of October, the Six Nations resumes with Ireland vs Italy. Simultaneously, other Six Nations teams will play a friendly match among each other to warm up for competitive fixtures. Then, on the 31st of October, the final round of the Six Nations takes place. This will be nine months after the competitions opening round.