Shute Shield to air on 7TWO

by staff

The Shute Shield has secured its 2017 broadcast deal with 7Two for 2017, on the eve of the season's kick-off.

This year's competition will be broadcast live in NSW on 7TWO and 7Prime and live in New Zealand  on the Rugby Channel, preceding Super Rugby games, with a delayed broadcast into Queensland on 7TWO.

It will be the first time New Zealand has broadcast the competition, a boon for the Shute Shield.

With the help of sponsors and commercial partners, the Sydney Rugby Union has been able to pay the broadcast fee without governing body contribution and broadcast rights holder Nick Fordham said the support they had was invaluable.

"Without sponsors our broadcast is not possible and without a broadcast every club would not be in the position they are in to add significant value to current sponsors and attract new ones," he said.

"Companies are seeing the value of connecting at grass roots and investing in club rugby which is rich with tribalism and community.

"On behalf of every club I want to thank our commercial partners and our broadcaster the Seven Network (7TWO) who have believed in us from day one.

"We have had and continue to face hurdles but in 2015, when we were the only ones there to step up and make this happen by personally underwriting the broadcast with our own money, I guess makes you work a little harder to make this happen and ensure it's successful."

SRU president David Begg said he was pleased to be able to confirm the deal.

"The Shute Shield competition remains the number one club rugby competition in the world and we are delighted to be able to showcase it as the only free to air rugby offering that is presently broadcast.

"We are also delighted at the innovations that Club Rugby TV (CRTV) have planned for 2017, including taking the game into NZ, and taking at least one coverage into regional NSW. It promises to be a great season.”

The 2017 Shute Shield season kicks off on April 1.