The Scottish Rugby Couch Potato – 2021/22 TV Guide

It’s back for another season – On Top Of The Moon’s guide to being a Scottish rugby couch potato returns with more matches than ever before for fans of the (occasionally) beautiful game to feast their eyeballs on.

Across a span of a little more than 9 months there are at least 68 broadcast matches guaranteed to feature at least one Scottish side – with as many as 13 more theoretically possible depending on Challenge Cup coverage and whether Edinburgh and Glasgow were to end up contesting both the Challenge Cup and United Rugby Championship finals (I did say theoretically…)

As things stand this is what is known so far (some games still have an exact date and/or kick-off time to be confirmed):

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

29 matches will be available free on television or an internet based service. Here are some of the cheapest ways to pick up the majority of games that will be on subscription TV.

Premier Sports

What else is included?

In terms of rugby, every PRO14 fixture (so usually 8 matches per weekend) and they have the UK rights to the French Top 14 for the next two seasons (with 4 live games per weekend). There is also football (La Liga) as well as a cornucopia of niche sports.

What platforms is it available on?

Virgin Media:

  • Premier Sports 1 – ch551; Premier Sports 2 – ch552; FreeSports – ch553
  • £14.99 per month on min 1 month term.
  • £12.99 per month on min 6 months term.
  • £10.75 per month for 12 months paid upfront (£129).
  • All channels available through Virgin Anywhere online.

Sky customers:

  • Premier Sports 1 – ch412; Premier Sports 2 – ch429; FreeSports – ch422
  • £14.99 per month on min 1 month term.
  • £12.99 per month on min 6 months term.
  • £10.75 per month for 12 months paid upfront (£129).
  • Those who subscribe through Sky also get access to the Premier Player (more below) to watch matches online.

Premier Player:

  • 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 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 one device at a time.
  • £14.99 per month on min 1 month term.
  • £12.99 per month on 6 month contract.
  • There is also a premium option for £1.00 extra per month which allows on demand access to a full season of content (the normal package allows for 7-day catchup).

It’s always worth keeping an eye out for offers and promo codes – currently though there doesn’t seem to be anything available and there has been no mention of a discount for season ticket holders which was something included in the benefits last season.

Based on the season dates as they stand, if your only interest is in watching games involving the two Scottish teams, the most efficient / cost effective method would be to:

  • Subscribe for 1 month from 24 September to 23 October (cancel before 23/10 so that it doesn’t roll on).
  • Subscribe for 6 months from 27 November to 26 May.
  • If required, keep the subscription rolling until 26 June to cover the playoffs (first fixture is the weekend of 4 June).
  • The cost would be £92.93 (+£14.99 for the playoffs).

BT Sport

What else is included?

As has been the case for the last few seasons the Champions Cup will be almost entirely on BT Sport. One match per round (including one quarter-final, one semi-final and the final) will be shown free-to-air on Channel 4. BT Sport also have the rights to the Gallagher Premiership.

Outwith rugby they show a rake of matches from the English Premier League plus the Champions League and Europa League as well as cricket, basketball, baseball, Moto GP and UFC among other things.

What platforms is it available on?

There are an awful lot of different ways to get BT Sport. The most straightforward method that is available to anyone is a monthly pass for £25. This will get you two weekends of Champions Cup pool stage action, so 2 fixtures involving Glasgow and another 22 Champions Cup games, plus a month of Gallagher Premiership matches. You’ll need two monthly passes to watch all games in the pools.

Glasgow are guaranteed a 2-legged Round of 16 knockout match (in the Champions Cup if they finish in the top 16 in the pool stages and in the Challenge Cup if they do not). Edinburgh will need to finish in the top 8 in the Challenge Cup pools to progress to the knockouts. A £25 monthly pass would cover the Round of 16 and quarter-finals. Another month’s payment would be needed to see the semi-finals and finals.

Always worth bearing in mind that live TV coverage of the Challenge Cup can be patchy at best so definitely worth confirming what (if any) games are on BT before springing for a monthly pass if the second tier comp is the one that is of interest.

For a good guide to the cheapest route to BT Sport if you are a BT, Sky, EE, Plusnet or TalkTalk customer try this article.

Amazon Prime Video

What else is included?

In total, 17 of the 20 Autumn Tests hosted by the Six Nations’ countries will be shown on Amazon Prime. Ireland’s matches will be live on Channel 4 due to a pre-existing contract but the IRFU have confirmed their Autumn games will also be on Prime in 2022 – so this is more than just a one-year deal.

Amazon don’t have any other rugby – yet…There is a fair bit of tennis (WTA tour, ATP tour and US Open) as well as 20 English Premier League matches in November and December.

Prime chucks an awful lot of other stuff in – inclusive music, movies, TV and books as well as free delivery – to get you to join the Amazon congregation.

What platforms is it available on?

Pretty much anywhere you can think of – smart TVs, game consoles, mobile phones, selected tablets, laptops and other compatible streaming devices. There are a few options for subscribing but the first draw for rugby fans should be the 30-day free trial for new customers. If you start your subscription just before the opening weekend of cup action and decide Prime is not for you and cancel before the first monthly payment comes off it won’t cost you anything to watch the 17 games on Amazon.

  • £5.99 per month for Amazon Prime Video only (no free trial).
  • £7.99 per month for Amazon Prime – includes Prime Video and all other Prime benefits.
  • £79 for 12 months of Amazon Prime (equivalent to £6.58 per month).

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