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After losing the Six Nations, RTÉ retain rights for Ireland's November Tests

The state broadcaster will carry live coverage of the Autumn internationals for the next four years.

The All Blacks are coming to Dublin next year.
The All Blacks are coming to Dublin next year.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

RTÉ SPORT AND the IRFU have this afternoon announced that the state broadcaster has retained the rights to broadcast Ireland’s November Test series for a further four years.

As part of the multi-year extension to the existing contract, RTÉ has been awarded the exclusive Irish free-to-air rights for the Autumn internationals across television, radio, online and mobile until 2021.

As revealed by Joe Schmidt last week, Ireland’s November schedule in 2018 will include a home fixture against New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium while Argentina are also expected to return to Dublin along with a to-be-confirmed Tier 2 nation.

The deal also incorporates the rights to broadcast Ireland’s U20 Six Nations fixtures, as well as live coverage of the final stages of the Ulster Bank League.

It comes as a boost to the organisation, which has seen its sports coverage decimated in recent years with TV3 winning the bidding war for the Six Nations rights from 2018 onwards.

“I’m delighted that RTÉ has retained rights to the Guinness Series of Autumn Internationals until 2021 in addition to the final stages of the Ulster Bank League,” Ryle Nugent, Group Head of Sport, RTÉ, said.

“Ireland taking on the All Blacks next year is set to be a great sporting occasion and RTÉ Sport look forward to sharing that, and many more enthralling fixtures over the next four years across television, radio, online and mobile.”

IRFU CEO Philip Browne added: “We are delighted to be working with RTÉ for the Guinness Series for the next four years. This year’s series featured three sold out games, each of which made for compelling viewing.”

Meanwhile, Sky Sports’ four-year deal, signed in 2013, to carry live coverage of Ireland’s November Tests expired this season and it remains to be seen if the broadcaster will look to renew that partnership with the IRFU.

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