ST HELENS’ bid to become the best in the world will be free for the nation after a deal was struck with Channel 4.
The four-times defending Super League champions will head to Australia to face NRL premiers Penrith in the World Club Challenge on Saturday, February 18.
But that will now be on terrestrial TV after Channel 4 picked up the rights.
Saints’ bid for glory will start at 7am, meaning the station will show two rugby league matches that day, with the Super League clash between Hull KR and Wigan following that afternoon.
A deal to hold the World Club Challenge has finally been agreed, with Saints taking a leaf from Wigan and Leeds’ book by heading to Australia.
Paul Wellens’ side will also play a warm-up game against St George-Illawarra Dragons on Saturday, February 11.
2023 will see the World Club Challenge held for the first time since 2020 because of Covid-19.
However, Penrith were not willing to travel to the UK, meaning Saints have to either go Down Under and miss the start of the Super League season, or not have the match at all.
Channel 4 are believed to have secured the rights as part of their deal, which sees 10 top flight games broadcast on free-to-air TV.
The two-year agreement comes to an end next year but the ratings this season, as well as those for the Rugby League World Cup, have seen Super League bosses look to build on that, with as many if not more games lined up for terrestrial when the next broadcast deal begins in 2024.
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