Amazon set to axe S4C from broadcasting Wales’ autumn rugby internationals
Amazon could axe S4C from broadcasting Wales’ autumn rugby international matches, it has been reported.
According to The Rugby Paper, Amazon Prime are declining to allow S4C live coverage of the Autumn Nations Series from 2021, and the highlights package is not guaranteed at this stage either.
The America-based tech company granted S4C access to all of Wales’ Autumn Nations Cup games last year but this time it has been suggested they are of different mind, and could provide their own Welsh language commentary via the red button.
S4C has previously said that talks are “ongoing” to keep the matches on the channel.
The move by Amazon would see all of Wales, England, Scotland, France and Italy’s matches at the Autumn Nations Series in the UK will go behind the streaming service’s paywall, with no autumn rugby Tests being broadcast on free to air channels BBC and ITV.
Ireland’s November matches will be on RTE and Channel 4, but next year Amazon will screen their November fixtures as well.
The Rugby Paper quotes a senior figure in television sports sponsorship who said: “The movers and shakers at Amazon were surprised that S4C’s viewing figures were so high given the low quality of the rugby.
“It didn’t taken them long to twig that a lot of non-Welsh speakers had tuned in to watch the matches free instead of paying a subscription. So now it’s a different ball game.”
Wayne Pivac’s side will face New Zealand, world champions South Africa as well Australia, and Fiji in the series.