Challenge Cup second-round details confirmed

ALL four of this weekend’s Betfred Challenge Cup second-round ties will be streamed live and free.

As in the first round, the BBC will show two ties, both on Sunday – Swinton versus Oldham at 12.30pm and London Broncos versus York at 2.30pm.

Those matches will be broadcast live on BBC iPlayer, Red Button and BBC Sport digital platforms.

The other two ties will be streamed on, YouTube and Facebook.

Featherstone versus Batley, the first Challenge Cup winners in 1897, will be on Saturday (12.45pm).

Widnes versus Whitehaven is on Sunday (5pm).

The Sportsman is a sports news and features website and began its Challenge Cup coverage by streaming Friday’s first-round tie between Sheffield and York.

The eight teams in the second round are battling for a double prize.

The four winners will secure a place alongside the twelve Super League clubs in the third-round draw.

They will also qualify for the semi-finals of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, the competition for non-Super League clubs with a final at Wembley on Challenge Cup Final day, Saturday July 17.

Mark Foster, the RFL’s chief commercial officer, said: “After such a successful first-round weekend, which marked the first competitive action for more than a year for the 16 clubs involved, we’re delighted to have secured coverage of all four second-round ties.

“To have two ties broadcast live by the BBC for the second consecutive round is another significant boost for the profile of the Betfred Challenge Cup and the clubs outside Super League.

“The BBC coverage of Gavin Henson’s Rugby League debut for West Wales Raiders (against Widnes), followed by the heavyweight battle between Featherstone and Bradford, helped to generate unprecedented interest in the first round.

“We were also delighted by the reaction to the first live streaming by for the Sheffield-York tie on Friday, and it’s great that they will be able to double that commitment in the second round by showing two ties.

“With the Our League platform allowing us to stream the other five first-round ties, and all the fixtures in the early rounds of the Betfred Championship starting with seven matches over the Easter weekend, we have also been able to allow clubs to recoup some of the significant costs of staging matches behind closed doors – either by offering greater value to their season-ticket holders, or by introducing Earlybird rates and day or weekend passes to watch matches.

“The revenue generated for all matches so far has comfortably exceeded production costs, and we are hopeful that more fans at all levels will join our growing Our League membership, which is now more than 170,000, to watch the quality Rugby League available in Betfred Championship, League 1 and the Challenge Cup.”