Rugby League

Challenge Cup

18 Jan 2024

Strong streaming figures in Betfred Challenge Cup First Round

Strong streaming figures in Betfred Challenge Cup First Round

The Betfred Challenge Cup has delivered a bumper start to the 2024 Rugby League season with more than 60,000 viewers clicking on coverage of last weekend’s First Round ties.

BBC Sport’s live stream of the Betfred Challenge Cup Round 1 clash between Forces rivals the RAF and the Royal Navy on BBC iPlayer last Saturday (20 January) attracted 38,500 views – more than any tie streamed in last year’s competition and the fourth highest since 2021.  

24 hours later, 13,000 tuned in to The Sportsman to watch Orrell St James take on Haresfinch – comfortably exceeding The Sportsman’s Round 1 average for the past two seasons of 11,000. An additional 800 people packed into Bankes Avenue to see St James win through to Round 2 and The Sportsman will continue to follow their fortunes in the next round when they entertain National Conference League Premier Division outfit York Acorn (Sunday 28 January). 

Meanwhile, the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) attracted more than 14,000 views of Fryston Warriors v British Army across its Facebook and YouTube platforms. BFBS will provide second round coverage of the Royal Navy versus Thatto Heath Crusaders on Sunday 28 January. 

BBC Sport continues its Betfred Challenge Cup coverage with Leigh Miners Rangers versus Stanningley, live on BBC iPlayer from 12.20pm on Saturday 27 January. 

Round 2 ties (Saturday 27 January unless stated)

  • Clock Face Miners v Siddal (KO 1.30pm)
  • Doncaster Toll Bar v West Hull (KO 1.30pm)
  • Fryston Warriors v Hunslet ARLFC (KO 2pm)
  • Hammersmith Hills Hoists v West Bowling (KO 5pm TBC)
  • Hull Dockers v Wath Brow Hornets (KO 2pm)   
  • Leigh Miners Rangers v Stanningley (KO 12.30pm)
  • Lock Lane v Edinburgh Eagles (KO 2pm)
  • Orrell St James v York Acorn (Sunday 28 January, KO 2pm)
  • Royal Navy v Thatto Heath Crusaders (Sunday 28 January KO 2pm)
  • Wests Warriors v Rochdale Mayfield (KO 2pm) 

The 10 Round 2 winners be joined at Round 3 by 22 semi-professional clubs from the Betfred Championship and Betfred League One, with ties taking place over the weekend of 10/11 February. Widnes Vikings, 40 years on from their 1984 Wembley triumph, will host the draw for Rounds 3 and 4 of the competition on Monday 29 January at 6.30pm. This will be streamed live on BBC iPlayer.

The Men's 2024 Betfred Challenge Cup Final is part of a Finals Day triple-header at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 8 June, alongside the finals of the Betfred Women's Challenge Cup and AB Sundecks 1895 Cup. Tickets are available online now from only £15 Adults and £7.50 Under 16s, with family packages also available starting from just £18.75 for one Adult and two Under 16s.