Sky Sports have delivered another huge boost to the Betfred Championship, with confirmation that they will provide extensive and exclusive coverage of the Summer Bash in Blackpool in May.
Toronto Wolfpack’s mouthwatering trans-Atlantic tussle with fellow high fliers Toulouse Olympique will now launch the Championship programme at the Bash on Saturday May 18 with a 115pm kick-off.
The Greater Manchester derby between Rochdale Hornets and Swinton Lions, which had been due to kick things off in Blackpool, has been put back to a 330pm kick-off.
Then the Yorkshire clubs take over, with an intriguing clash between Featherstone Rovers and York City Knights at 545pm, before Bradford Bulls and Halifax take their local rivalry across the Pennines for the climax of the Saturday action from 8pm.
The three-match Sunday programme begins at 1pm with Mark Aston’s Sheffield Eagles, who have been surprise packets in the promotion race, taking on a Barrow Raiders team who are sure to bring a big following from the Furness to the Fylde.
That is followed by the Heavy Woollen derby between Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams, who will be meeting in Blackpool for the fifth consecutive Bash, this time with a 315pm kick-off.
And the feature match of the Sunday programme will bring together the two Championship teams with the most recent Super League experience as Leigh Centurions face the revitalised Widnes Vikings, with a 530pm kick-off.
Oldham are at home to Coventry Bears on Sunday, May 19, but most fans will be able to remain loyal to the club and watch their favourites in action at the Vestacare Stadium before going home to watch Leigh v Widnes on television.
“The Summer Bash in Blackpool has become established as a popular and enjoyable feature of the Betfred Championship season, and we reckon this year’s could be the best yet,”
said Mark Foster, the Chief Commercial Officer of the Rugby Football League.
“So we’re delighted that Sky Sports will be with us again to show all the action from Bloomfield Road. It’s great exposure for the Betfred Championship clubs, building on the weekly coverage of Toronto Wolfpack – and we’re grateful to both Sky and to In Touch Productions for their continued commitment to covering Championship Rugby League.
“The chat around the game is that this is a really attractive set of fixtures which will showcase the quality of rugby we see every week in the Betfred Championship. With Sky also showing the Betfred Super League game between Catalans and Wigan, it should be a great weekend for the game, whether in Blackpool or Barcelona.”
Betfred Championship Summer Bash
Saturday May 18
13:15 – Toronto Wolfpack v Toulouse Olympique
15:30 – Rochdale Hornets v Swinton Lions
17:45 – York City Knights v Featherstone Rovers
20:00 – Halifax v Bradford Bulls
Sunday May 19
13:00 – Barrow Raiders v Sheffield Eagles
15:15 – Batley Bulldogs v Dewsbury Rams
17:30 – Leigh Centurions v Widnes Vikings