Scottish rugby fans will be spoiled for choice this season as every single Edinburgh, Glasgow and Scotland game will be covered live on TV. With the vast majority of fixtures on subscription telly though there are some hard choices to be made as to just how much is too much when it comes to red hot rugby action beamed into your front room. Allow On Top Of The Moon to be your guide to the details released so far.
All in all there will be 60 matches (plus possible playoff / knock-out games) involving Scottish teams before the season is out. 50 of those have confirmed TV coverage so far:
- Only 3 of the confirmed matches clash or overlap so there’s plenty of coverage available for the discerning viewer!
- The broadcaster for Scotland’s home Autumn Test series has yet to be confirmed. Last season all 3 games were on BBC and BT Sport simultaneously. Will it be more of the same this year or was that the prelude to the games moving to BT to bring in more revenue?
12 of Glasgow’s games and 13 of Edinburgh’s matches have been confirmed as exclusive to Premier Sports. Of the Round 18-21 fixtures where coverage has still to be decided only Glasgow v Cheetahs looks a likely candidate for FreeSports (Premier Sports’ free-to-air channel which will show one match per round in the PRO14) so expect the remainder of the pro teams’ matches to also be on subscription channels.
- Premier Sports 1 – ch551; Premier Sports 2 – ch552; FreeSports – ch553
- Should be free until 22nd September.
- From then on it will cost £9.99 per month to subscribe so £90 if you want to watch right through to the Grand Final on 25th May.
- Premier Sports 1 – ch412; Premier Sports 2 – ch435; FreeSports – ch422
- The first month should be free.
- Renewing at £9.99 per month so if you start subscribing from 31st August it will cost £80 to the end of the season.
- There’s also an annual subscription option – £99 for 12 months. Season ticket holders should get a discount code to get £10 off so they can get a year for £89.
- Those who subscribe through Sky also get access to the Premier Player (more below) to watch matches online.
- For those without cable or satellite there’s the Premier Player – an internet / app-based viewing solution that can be played through a phone, tablet or laptop.
- Chromecasts are officially supported so the Premier Player can be cast to a TV. Other devices (eg Amazon Fire) and smart TVs may work as well but Premier Sports don’t make any promises on these…
- You can only watch on 1 device at a time.
- The cost is £9.99 per month with 7 days on demand catch-up – with the first month free. If you pay £11.99 per month you can watch back any coverage from the ‘current season’. So that’s either £80 or £108 from 31st August until the end of the campaign.
- If you’re sticking with free-to-air TV there will be one game per week on FreeSports (channel 95) with another on S4C (channel 4 in Wales or available on their website elsewhere).
If you attend every home match and your only interest in Premier Sports is to see your team’s away matches then it might be worth picking and choosing which months you subscribe, taking the cost down to £60 for the season (before any introductory offer).
1/9/18 – 30/9/18 – covers Connacht match
27/10/18 – 26/11/18 – Munster + Ospreys
22/12/18 – 21/1/19 – Edinburgh + Benetton
16/2/18 – 15/3/19 – Cardiff Blues + Zebre
12/4/19 – 11/5/19 – Leinster + playoff QF
17/5/19 – 16/6/19 – Playoff SF + Grand Final
31/8/18 – 30/9/18 – Ospreys + Ulster + Leinster
30/11/18 – 29/12/18 – Munster + Glasgow
26/1/19 – 23/2/19 – Kings
2/3/19 – 1/4/19 – Benetton
5/4/19 – 4/5/19 – Scarlets + Glasgow + playoff QF
17/5/19 – 16/6/19 – Playoff SF + Grand Final
If you pay by debit / credit card then monthly subscriptions require 5 working days notice for cancellation.
After 2 seasons of being split with Sky the Champions Cup will be almost entirely on BT Sport. One match per round (including 1 quarter-final, 1 semi-final and the final) will be shown free-to-air on Channel 4.
BT TV customers:
- £6 per month to add on BT Sports. (Check the small print as to whether this extends your existing contract.)
BT Broadband customers:
- Watch on phone / tablet / laptop for £9 per month. There’s an offer to get the first 3 months free but be wary as this is likely to entail extending your BT Broadband contract for a further 18 months!
- 3 months free then £5 per month (only watch on your phone) or £15 per month (to be able to cast to a TV).
- £5 per month on top of YouView TV (which itself costs £5 per month plus £58 up front for the box).
Sky / Virgin customers:
- 12 month contract – 3 months free; £27.99 thereafter; £20 activation fee.
- 1 month contract – £27.99 + £35 activation fee.