A LIONS match will be shown on terrestrial television in the UK for the first time in almost 30 years with Channel 4 being named as broadcaster of the pre-tour fixture against Japan at Murrayfield on 26th June.
Channel 4 will also show highlights of all three Tests against South Africa this summer, and highlights of all other tour matches will be shown on All4.
It’s the latest coup from Channel 4 Sport which earlier this year brought free-to-air live Test cricket back to television screens after a 16-year break with its coverage of England’s our in India.
“We are delighted that Channel 4 are our broadcast partners for our first match on home soil since 2005,” said British & Irish Lions Managing Director Ben Calveley.
“I am looking forward to the excellent coverage and analysis that Channel 4 will no doubt provide and going on the recent squad announcement I’m sure the interest and numbers tuning in will be considerable for this clash.”
Channel 4’s Head of Sport Pete Andrews said: “This is set to be a mouth-watering contest with Alun Wyn Jones leading the Lions against the reigning World Champions.
“It’s fantastic news for rugby fans who will relish the opportunity of seeing the British & Irish Lions in action on free-to-air television.”
The Lions matches, presented by Lee McKenzie, are the latest addition to Channel 4’s rugby portfolio which includes live coverage of the Heineken Champions Cup Final between La Rochelle and Toulouse on 22nd May and live coverage of Ireland’s Autumn Internationals against the All Blacks, Argentina and another country, yet to be confirmed.