Featherstone Rovers, Batley Bulldogs and York City Knights Challenge Cup ties all shown live

The Betfred Challenge Cup second round fixtures have been confirmed with all four games next weekend being broadcast live and free.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 12:39 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 1:09 pm
Featherstone Rovers' Thomas Minns scores against Bradford Bulls in the Challenge Cup yesterday. (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)

The BBC will show two ties for the second round running, both on Sunday - the local derby between Swinton Lions and Oldham at 12.30pm, followed by London Broncos versus York City Knights at 2.30pm.

That follows their coverage of the First Round ties between West Wales Raiders and Widnes Vikings, and Featherstone Rovers versus Bradford Bulls.

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

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

The West Yorkshire derby between Featherstone Rovers and Batley Bulldogs, who were the first ever Challenge Cup winners in 1897, will be shown next Saturday with a 12.45pm kick-off.

The Second Round will be completed when Widnes Vikings host Whitehaven on Sunday with a 5pm kick-off.

The Sportsman is a sports news and features website and began its Betfred Challenge Cup coverage by streaming York’s First Round win against Sheffield Eagles at the Keepmoat Stadium last Friday night.

Ben Jones-Bishop scores in York City Knights' Betfred Challenge Cup first round win over Sheffield Eagles on Friday. (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)

The eight teams in the second round will be battling for a double prize, as the four winners not only secure a place in the third round – when they will be joined by the 12 Betfred Super League clubs.

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 Betfred Challenge Cup Final day, Saturday July 17 – meaning the eight teams in the Second Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup next weekend are two wins from playing at Wembley.

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 the Super League, as the focus sharpens on which four clubs will earn places in the Third Round when the network coverage begins.

“The BBC coverage of Gavin Henson’s Rugby League debut for West Wales Raiders, followed by the heavyweight battle between Featherstone and Bradford, helped to generate unprecedented interest in the First Round weekend.

“We were also delighted by the reaction to the first live streaming by TheSportsman.com for the Sheffield-York tie on Friday night, and it’s great that they will be able to double that commitment in the Second Round by showing the other 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.”

Betfred Challenge Cup, Second Round

Saturday 27 March

Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs, 1245pm - on TheSportsman.com website, YouTube & Facebook

Sunday 28 March

Swinton Lions v Oldham, 1230pm - BBC Sport Online, iPlayer & Red Button

London Broncos v York City Knights, 230pm - BBC Sport Online, iPlayer & Red Button

Widnes Vikings v Whitehaven, 5pm - The Sportsman website, YouTube & Facebook

Third Round: April 9-11

Quarter Finals: May 8-9

Semi Finals: June 5

Final (Wembley Stadium connected by EE): Saturday July 17

AB Sundecks 1895 Cup

Semi Finals: June 5-6

Final (Wembley Stadium connected by EE): Saturday July 17

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