Sky Sports The Lions to be the home of the British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa
Sky Sports to show all eight matches of The Lions Tour of South Africa live and launch dedicated pop-up channel on 17th July to 10th August
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• ‘Sky Sports The Lions’: 24 days of non-stop coverage for the British & Irish Lions Test matches against South Africa. Including exclusive live coverage, highlights, documentaries, and archive footage
• The pop-up channel will feature the Lions Breakfast Show on Sunday mornings, taking a look back at the previous day’s events, paper talk and more
• With the famous Sea of Red unable to be in South Africa, The Sky Sports Fan Van brought to you by Laithwaites will tour across the UK to get the fans’ view
Sky Sports has announced a jam-packed schedule of programming for its coverage of the British & Irish Lions 2021 Castle Lager Series in South Africa – complete with archive footage, documentaries and exclusive behind the scenes content available in addition to five Lions warm-up games and of course the three Test matches.
Sky Sports The Lions will be the home of the British & Irish Lions 2021 Castle Lager Series in South Africa. The pop-up channel – available on Sky and NOW – will provide round the clock coverage of the tour for 24 days of coverage as Warren Gatland’s squad take on the World Champions.
Rugby fans will be able to watch a total of eight live games from the tour, kicking off with the first warm-up game against the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg on 3rd July. On the 2nd of July, Sky Sports and NOW viewers will be able to see the Lions’ opposition in action as South Africa take on Georgia in a warm-up game for the hosts.
Replacing Sky Sports Action from Saturday 17th July until 10th August, the new pop-up channel will be the place to take in the final warm-up game for the Lions against DHL Stormers before the three Test matches get underway. Rugby fans will of course be able to watch the preceding four warm-up games in South Africa live on Sky Sports Action until the pop-up channel launches on 17th July.
There will be a star-studded line-up to guide viewers throughout the tour. Host Alex Payne will be joined by legends of the game including former Lions and Wales captain Sam Warburton, Ireland’s leading points-scorer Ronan O’Gara as well as England’s World Cup winners Will Greenwood and Maggie Alphonsi. Four-time Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan and Nigel Owens – the highest capped referee of all time – will also add their expert insight and analysis from the studio, Reporter Sarra Elgan will be on the ground in South Africa with former South Africa winger Bryan Habana. Conor McNamara will provide the commentary for every match of the Tour to complete the Sky Sports line-up.
With the series being played behind closed doors meaning that the iconic Lions supporters will be unable to travel to South Africa, former Lions legend Scott Quinnell will be Sky Sports’ roving reporter from the Sky Sports Fan Van brought to you by Laithwaites as he travels the length and breadth of the UK to hear the stories of fans and ex-players cheering on the touring side from the UK. Lions fans can look forward to daily content across social media as well as live broadcasts from pubs and rugby clubs across the country.
The coverage of the Lions tour will include an hour of build-up and post-match analysis, increasing to 90 minutes of build-up for the Test matches. In addition, following the launch of the pop-up channel, rugby fans can enjoy a leisurely start to Sundays, as they take in the Lions Breakfast Show – a look back at events from the previous day’s matches, dissecting newspaper analysis, and much more.
What’s more, Sky Sports and NOW customers will have access to Chasing The Sun – a five episode documentary on Springbok rugby that looks into themes on and off the pitch, and culminating with South Africa captain Siya Kolisi lifting the 2019 World Cup. And if that isn’t enough Lions content, Will Greenwood’s podcast will feature throughout the tour – featuring special guests including Gregor Townsend and South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber – which will be available to listen on skysports.com and other podcast platforms.
Sky Sports Managing Director, Jonathan Licht said: “We’re thrilled to be working with the British & Irish Lions to bring our viewers a seventh consecutive Lions tour – a partnership that has now entered its 25th year – and we’re looking forward to seeing some thrilling rugby played in South Africa against the current World Champions. With fans unable to cheer on the Lions in person, we’re pleased to be able to bring the best of the action to the Sea of Red back home.”
The Lions Tour of South Africa adds to an already busy line-up of sport on Sky Sports this summer. Cricket’s newest format, The Hundred gets underway on 21st July, while England welcome Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India for international cricket this summer. Golf sees The Open take place at Royal St. George's from 15th July. As well as that, Sky Sports is the home of domestic football with the Premier League, EFL and Scottish Premiership being joined for the first time by the FA Women’s Super League. On top of that, Anthony Joshua is scheduled to face Alexandr Usyk in September live on Sky Sports Box Office and much, much more!
June 28, 2021 4:20am ET by SKY