Sky Italia will become the home of the BKT United Rugby Championship in Italy broadcasting every Benetton and Zebre Parma game live until the 2024/25 season.
The BKT URC and Sky Italia have joined forces for the first time as the league looks to add to its recent record-breaking audiences with the help of Italy's top Pay TV player.
In the first two seasons as the 'URC', the league has twice broken its viewership records with the 2022/23 season drawing in a cumulative audience of 37.4million including 4million that tuned into the Play-Offs.
As Sky Italia prepare to screen every game of the Rugby World Cup in France, fans in Italy can see over 300 international players return to action in the BKT URC once the new world champions have been crowned.
Fans in Italy will be able to watch every Benetton and Zebre Parma game live with other selected matches also screened by Sky Italia each weekend.
United Rugby Championship, CEO, Martin Anayi, said: "Partnering with Sky Italia for the first time shows the appeal of rugby and the BKT United Rugby Championship to new audiences. Since the introduction of the South African teams in 2021, our league has become more exciting and unpredictable which is exactly what a major broadcaster like Sky Italia expects for their viewers.
"This two-year deal offers both the BKT URC and Sky Italia to build on the broadcaster's coverage of the Rugby World Cup and focus on a growth strategy to drive more interest in the sport."
Marzio Innocenti, President of the FIR, said: "We have a ten-year collaboration with Sky Sport and now the decision to include the BKT United Rugby Championship matches of our franchises in its schedule for the next two seasons is very exciting. Benetton Rugby and Zebre Parma are the homes of our Azzurri and the BKT URC is an essential tournament for the high-level ambitions of our national team, both from a sporting and commercial point of view.
"Offering the Italian public the opportunity every week to support their favorite players drives a bond with the national team and guarantees the continuity we need to keep growing the sport in Italy. The BKT United Rugby Championship is a challenge every week given all that Italian, South African, Welsh, Irish and Scottish rugby has to offer."
All 151 games of the BKT United Rugby Championship are broadcast live over the world, with Sky Italia becoming the ninth broadcaster in the league's core territories alongside BBC Wales, BBC Northern Ireland, S4C and Viaplay (UK), RTE, TG4, Premier Sports (Ireland) and SuperSport (South Africa).
Internationally, FloSports provide live and exclusive coverage in the United States with fans in selected territories across the rest of the world able to access the action on the award-winning URC.tv streaming service.