Restart Fixtures Confirmed
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs will mark their return to Gallagher Premiership action against Leicester Tigers in front of the BT Sport cameras after it was confirmed today as one of four games the sports channel will broadcast as part of the restart opening day fixtures for the top flight.
Rob Baxter’s side currently head the Premiership by five points from next-best Sale Sharks, but like their rivals they have been inactive since mid-March following the division being suspended due to the global outbreak of coronavirus.
Thankfully, English rugby’s top division is set to roar back into life next week, including the visit of the Tigers to Sandy Park on Saturday, August 15 (2pm).
The clash is one of four fixtures that BT Sport will show over the restart weekend, the first of which will be Harlequins against Sale Sharks on Friday, August 14 (7:45pm).
Exeter’s televised clash is the next to be screened, quickly followed later in the day by Bristol Bears against Saracens from Ashton Gate (4:30pm). The weekend is completed with Northampton Saints against Wasps on Sunday, August 15 (3pm).
It signals the start of a non-stop set of fixtures for all 12 Premiership clubs, which sees a ground-breaking agreement between Premiership Rugby and BT Sport, where fans can watch more lives matches than ever before.
BT Sport is working with Premiership Rugby and its clubs to offer eligible season ticket holders free access to home Gallagher Premiership matches broadcast on the BT Sport App. The BT Sport Match Pass is designed for season ticket holders of participating clubs who do not already have a BT Sport subscription and can’t attend their home matches in person due to the current restrictions. Eligibility for the Match Pass is at the individual clubs discretion and is not determined by BT. Further information will be made available via clubs soon.
Rugby fans will also have more ways to watch rugby’s restart than ever, with the BT Sport Monthly Pass offering no-contract access for one month at a time, for just £25. BT Sport’s Monthly Pass is available on a wide range of devices and platforms including Samsung smart TV, Sony PlayStation, Xbox, Now TV, Apple TV, as well as mobiles and tablets. BT Sport is also available via BT TV, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.
After Round 14, the Chiefs will get even more air-time later this month with their away trips to Sale Sharks on Friday, August 21 (6pm) and Bristol Bears on Tuesday, August 25 (7:45pm) set to be shown live.
Exeter’s home encounter with Worcester Warriors on Sunday, August 30 (3pm) has not been chosen for broadcast, but season ticket holders will be able to catch the action as part of the new BT Sport Match Pass.
Further BT Sport live coverage will include Exeter’s trip to Northampton Saints on Friday, September 4 (7:45pm) and their trip to Saracens on Sunday, September 13 (4:30pm).
Premiership Rugby’s Chief Commercial Officer Mark Brittain said: "We are so pleased that our loyal fans won’t miss a moment of the action as Premiership Rugby returns on 14 August. Huge thanks to our partners at BT Sport for their collaboration to bring viewers the very best Gallagher Premiership Rugby experience possible, in what promises to be a compelling conclusion to the season.”
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “The return of Gallagher Premiership Rugby is an exciting moment for rugby fans and we’re pleased to be bringing more Premiership Rugby than ever before to BT Sport subscribers.
"We are looking forward to broadcasting live domestic club rugby again and bringing new innovations to our customers to give them the best viewing experience. Alongside every fixture from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League in August, live Moto GP and now live rugby, viewers will be in for a packed summer of sport like never before.”
BT Sport will present live coverage from the grounds, led by a team of rugby experts and commentators including Craig Doyle, Sarra Elgan, Martin Bayfield, Ugo Monye, Ben Kay, Lawrence Dallaglio, Austin Healey, Nick Mullins and Ali Eykyn.
Viewers of certain matches on BT Sport will be able to watch with pre-recorded dynamic crowd , while selected games will be made available in 4K HDR via BT Sport Ultimate.
BT Sport’s coverage will include editions of Rugby Tonight on Tour and Gallagher Premiership Rugby Tonight thru the season. On btsport.com, a comprehensive ‘state of play’ round-up will detail the season so far, alongside a club-by-club guide to what fans might have missed during the lockdown.
Premiership Rugby is today confirming the dates and kick-off times of almost every match for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, although they are still in consultation with clubs over the composition of Round 21 and the date of the Premiership Rugby Cup Final. The confirmed fixtures for Round 21 and the Premiership Rugby Cup Final will be announced at a later date.
Premiership Rugby can also confirm that the 2020-21 Gallagher Premiership Rugby season will start on Friday, November 20, concluding with the Final at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, June 26.
Four of the 57 matches in the remainder of the season will also be shown free-to-air on Channel 5 – to be announced soon - while the Premiership Rugby highlights programme will also be on Channel 5 from Monday, August 17.
EXETER CHIEFS RESTART FIXTURES 2019/20 SEASON
Saturday, August 15
Exeter Chiefs v Leicester Tigers (2pm) – BT Sport
Friday, August 21
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs (6pm) – BT Sport
Tuesday, August 25
Bristol Bears v Exeter Chiefs (7:45pm) – BT Sport
Sunday, August 30
Exeter Chiefs v Worcester Warriors (3pm)
Friday, September 4
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs (7:45pm) – BT Sport
Wednesday, September 9
Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester (6pm)
Sunday, September 13
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs (4:30pm) – BT Sport
Exeter Chiefs v London Irish
Sunday, October 4
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs (3pm)
Saturday, October 10 or Sunday, October 11 – TBC
Saturday, October 24 - TBC