While StarzPlay will be the live streaming partner for the Lions Rugby Tour in MENA, Elife subscribers in the UAE may also access Premier Sports for an additional fee.
StarzPlay has expanded its sports portfolio with a carriage deal with Premier Sports to exclusively stream the upcoming Lions Rugby Tour in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Subscribers may access the add-on package for USD 15 on the streaming service. BroadcastPro Middle East has also learnt that Etisalat’s Elife subscribers in the UAE may access the Premier Sports channel for an additional fee of AED 55 ($14.97) that is contract-free, which means it can be cancelled at any time. We will share the channel number as soon as we hear from Etisalat. Matches begin July 3 and run until August 7.
Premier Sports acquired the broadcast rights to the 2021 British & Irish Lions Tour of South Africa in the MENA region and through the partnership, rugby fans in the region will be able to watch the hard-hitting enduring game live and exclusively on StarzPlay. We are given to understand that the availability of the channel on Elife is based on a separate deal between Etisalat and StarzPlay.
StarzPlay subscribers across MENA will have the access to all the upcoming matches via the streaming service’s new add-on channel ‘Premier Sports’. This is part of the company’s add-on strategy to expand its existing portfolio to offer a diverse pool of programming for its growing subscribers. Earlier this year, StarzPlay partnered with Abu Dhabi Media to live stream the UFC events via the UFC add on channel on the platform.
Commenting on the deal, Maaz Sheikh, CEO and Co-founder, StarzPlay, said: “Rugby has a new home on StarzPlay where the British and Irish Lions Tour 2021 in South Africa will be streamed live and exclusively. We are delighted to bring the much-awaited league to millions of rugby enthusiasts across the MENA region. Since the launch of UFC, we continue to expand our sports offering and are confident that the newest add-on channel will be enjoyed by rugby fans in the region. We aim to cater to a diverse target audience offering rich and exciting content.”
Michael O’Rourke, CEO of Premier Sports, added: “We are excited to deliver all the Lions Rugby Tour’s action across the Middle East and Africa via StarzPlay. The Lions Rugby Tour has a great heritage and legacy and is one of the much-awaited leagues by rugby fans around the world. We are committed to bringing our customers the very best rugby action featuring the world’s best players and our deal with StarzPlay will further enable us to deliver the action-packed sport to rugby enthusiasts in the region.”
The sport’s famous touring team – the British & Irish Lions – will be heading this year to South Africa and will face the world champions to play an incredible eight-match tour. The British & Irish Lions will play three Test matches against the reigning world champions South Africa on their epic tour in 2021 as well as five other matches.
The Lions are made up of the best rugby players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – traditional rivals coming together to travel to the other side of the world and take on the top sides from the southern hemisphere, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The team currently tours every four years, with these rotating between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in order. The most recent Test series, the 2017 series against New Zealand, was drawn 1–1 (with one match drawn).