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The Walt Disney Company Africa has announced that it will be broadcasting Australia’s top-level domestic men’s rugby league to audiences across the continent, on its ESPN channels.

The much anticipated 2021 National Rugby League (NRL) tournament will air live on ESPN (DStv 218) and ESPN2 (DStv 219) from March 2021, bringing the best of Australian rugby league direct from the field.

NRL matches are played between 16 teams in both Australia and New Zealand from March to October, and are among the most watched events on Australian television. The season then culminates in the premiership-deciding game, the NRL Grand Final.

Governed by the Australian Rugby League Commission, the NRL is Australia’s most entertaining and popular sport, with a rich history dating back to its creation in 1908.

The season kicked off on 11 March, with a weekend ahead full to the brim of no less than eight matchups.

NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said the Australian and New Zealand competition was excited to be expanding its television footprint throughout Africa.

“Rugby League is exceptional football entertainment, high speed, high ball in play time and features some of the best athletes in the world,” he said.

“We can’t wait to see the NRL on television screens throughout Africa. I’ve got no doubt audiences will love the additional pace and athleticism showcased by our players.

“Rugby Union players have successfully transitioned to rugby league in the past and airing the NRL in Africa may also inspire athletes and fans alike” he added.

Adam Reynolds looks to kick for the Rabbitohs against the Panthers. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

At its heart, the NRL encourages community-driven sport, played by thousands of people across Australia, especially in country areas. In addition, there are countless players who give their time volunteering to ensure boys and girls, teenagers and adults can play the sport they love each weekend.

Kyle de Klerk, Director: Sports Commercial & Business, The Walt Disney Company Africa says: “We are thrilled to have acquired the rights of the National Rugby League, expanding our commitment to bringing premier content to audiences and growing the diversity of programming on ESPN.”

“No strangers to incredible rugby action, we look forward to bringing a jam-packed schedule of incredible action from one of the greatest rugby tournaments in the world to viewers across continent” said Evert van der Veer, Vice President, Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company Africa.

For updates on the NRL and from the world of American and other sports, fans can connect to @ESPNAfrica on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit https://www.africa.espn.com.

ESPN is available on Dstv 218

ESPN2 is available on Dstv 219



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