Of course, nothing beats the thrill of watching live rugby league in the flesh, but over the coming season there may well be games that you’d like to watch which you can’t make it to and there are an increasing number of options to enable you to get your regular fix of the greatest game.
We take a look at the options for tuning in and finding what is available on the small screen over the coming weeks from the traditional broadcasters and those not quite so apparent.
Sky continue to cover Super League and NRL over the 2023 season with two or three games from the regular rounds, most of the play-off games, and the entire Magic Weekend from Newcastle. The opening fixture is the game between the Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos at 8pm on Thursday 16th February.
The BBC will again show the Challenge Cup from its earliest rounds which will be streamed online through the BBC Sport website or iPlayer and sometimes on the red button, and in later rounds through live broadcast on their free to air terrestrial channels. The opening game is that between Edinburgh Eagles and Saddleworth Rangers on the 11th February at 13:15. They will also host the midweek highlights show in the form of the Superleague Show.
Channel 4 have again contracted a number of Super League games over the coming season and will usually broadcast on a Saturday lunchtime, a spot which got them good viewing numbers last season. The opening fixture which they have selected for broadcast is the game between Hull KR and Wigan Warriors on the 18th February at 13:00. All games are free-to-air.
The RFL’s own streaming platform will also continue to show games from the Championship, Championship One and Amateur game with both men’s and women’s fixtures, to registered users on both a free-to-air and pay-per-view basis. The first of these will be on Saturday afternoon with the Championship opener between Barrow and Toulouse Olympique XIII with a pay-per-view offering which can be pre-booked for £4.95. Games will usually be announced with short notice and it is always worth checking what is coming up.
Usually left to select games which the other broadcasters don’t want , The Sportsman broadcast through YouTube and again usually leave their announcements until a few days before the games that they will cover. They will cover games from both the men’s, women’s, and wheelchair leagues and cups and will start with Wigan St Patricks and Ince Rose Bridge in a Men’s Challenge Cup local derby on Saturday 11th February at 15:00.
ViaPlay is the new name for Premier Sports and they have the rights to show Championship games throughout the season, usually choosing to broadcast on a Monday evening. Subscription costs £11.99 a month and in most months that will get you three or four games. First up is the game on the 6th February between Keighley Cougars and Featherstone Rovers with a 19:45 kick off.
Clubs Own Streams
Some clubs now have their own streaming packages for all home games, and possibly some away games, these are sometimes packaged as a perk for season ticket holders or a separate subscription service. Check with individual clubs what is available but it is unlikely that you would be able to subscribe to individual games in this way.
If you are only interested in the game from down under then there is a subscription channel available from the NRL for £25 a month or £130 per season.
YouTube and Others including viàOccitanieTV
Keep your eyes peeled for other games on YouTube and through other channels including the French domestic game and some amateur fixtures.