Sky has successfully pipped BT Sport with the deal.
It’s understood that Sky have paid significantly more than the current multimillion-pound deal with Sanzar, the umbrella body representing New Zealand, Australia and South African rugby, in order to prevent BT Sport from entering into the international rugby market, the Guardian reports.
The deal, which runs until 2020, includes southern hemisphere tours by England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, including the upcoming three-test Irish tour of South Africa in 2016.
The deal includes 150 fixtures a year which includes matches from the Rugby Championship (the Tri-Nations featuring Argentina) as well as the domestic rugby competitions including Super Rugby, ITM Cup, the Currie Cup and the National Rugby Championship.
Sky’s move blocks any further expansion into rugby by BT Sport who have already outbid Sky for the TV rights to England Premiership Rugby as well as most games from the new European Champions Cup.
“Sanzar is delighted to be renewing its broadcasting deal with Sky Sports that has been our valued partner for the past 20 years since the inception of professional rugby in 1996,” said Mark Alexander, chairman of Sanzar. “We have a very strong fan base in the United Kingdom and Ireland and it is important for us that they can see as much Sanzar content as possible. Sky Sports delivers this for us.”