sport

Ireland agree Sky deal

Ireland's November Test matches will be broadcast live by Sky Sports for the first time from next year.

The Irish Rugby Football Union announced a four-year deal with the broadcaster up to and including 2017 on Thursday.

Ireland's autumn games, which often feature clashes against the likes of New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, are currently screened live by the BBC.

The IRFU also announced a four-year contract extension with broadcaster RTE for the autumn internationals, Ireland Wolfhounds games and Ireland Under-20 fixtures.

RTE already hold rights to the RBS 6 Nations Championship through a direct agreement with the tournament organisers, the Six Nations.

"Irish Rugby and RTE have a long-standing relationship, and we are delighted to be announcing this new agreement which will ensure that Ireland games continue to be seen on RTE channels over the next four years," IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said.

"The addition of Sky Sports as a partner also promises to be beneficial to the game in Ireland.

"Sky Sports has built a reputation as one of the top broadcasters of rugby over the last 10 years and are synonymous with the professional game at both European and international levels.

"The IRFU are delighted to be able to announce this partnership and believe that the quality of Sky Sports coverage of our November internationals will be a wonderful platform for Irish rugby."