Twitch expands RFL deal to cover 1895 Cup

07 May 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

The Rugby Football League (RFL) has partnered with online streaming service Twitch to deliver coverage of the 1895 Cup knockout competition.

The link-up continues Twitch’s support of RFL competitions, with the company having previously streamed three Women’s Super League (WSL) fixtures and the Academy Origin series between Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Twitch will also show the remaining two matches of the Academy Origin series, as well as more WSL games and ties from all rounds of the 1895 Cup. It will share coverage of the 1895 Cup with the RFL’s Our League membership app.

Twitch’s coverage of the 1895 Cup began with Workington Town’s first-round win at Hunslet on Saturday. Twitch also covered the Women’s Challenge Cup match between the Featherstone Lionesses and Stanningley on Sunday afternoon.

Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Twitch’s 15 million daily unique visitors comprise of a hard-to-reach young and digital native audience, so we wanted to be the first sport in the UK to be live on Twitch to achieve another first for rugby league.

“Now we’re broadcasting our own games through Our League, it makes sense for us to make some of those games available through Twitch and other social media platforms, to expose rugby league to a wider audience. We know it’s a great game to watch so the more we can engage a younger audience with it in the way they choose to consume their entertainment, the better for our future.”

The 1895 Cup is a new competition created by the RFL for clubs who play in the Championship and League One, the two divisions below the top-tier Super League. The final of the inaugural event will be held at London’s Wembley Stadium on the same day as the Challenge Cup final.

Twitch is owned by e-commerce giant Amazon and streams major esports events such as Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One, and ESL Pro League. It also broadcasts action from the NBA 2K League, the official esports competition of the North American basketball league.