The climax to a compelling Aviva Premiership Rugby season takes place at Twickenham on Saturday 28th May as Harlequins and Leicester compete to be crowned 2011-12 champions.
ESPN will be the only place for fans to watch the drama unfold as it broadcasts exclusive live coverage of the finale to the English club rugby season.
The 2012 Aviva Premiership Final is between the teams who finished first and second in the league after 24 gruelling rounds, and pits eight-time finalists Leicester Tigers against Harlequins, who are appearing in their very first final.
Leicester reached the final after overcoming Saracens 24-15 in the semi-final thanks to an impressive performance by 19-year-old Welsh fly-half George Ford, who replaced the injured Toby Flood to score 14 points.
Harlequins reached the Twickenham showpiece after a narrow 25-23 victory against Northampton Saints which saw them come from 15-23 down in the last 15 minutes to secure a dramatic win.
As well as ESPN’s exclusive live coverage of the final, extended highlights of the match will be shown on Sky Sports, along with free-to-air highlights on ITV1 and ITV4. Read SOTB’s guide below.
ESPN will be the exclusive live broadcaster of the Aviva Premiership Final from Twickenham on May 26.
For the first time ever, ESPN will provide 3D television coverage of the final via Sky’s dedicated 3D channel.
Mark Durden-Smith anchors ESPN’s extensive live coverage, alongside regular analysts and former England internationals Austin Healey and Ben Kay.
England international and Sale winger Mark Cueto and Worcester Warriors captain Pat Sanderson, along with other guests, will join the ESPN rugby presenting team for its coverage on the day to offer their insight and analysis throughout the broadcast.
Commentary on the 2012 final comes from Nick Mullins, together with Healey and Kay who will provide expert analysis and insight throughout the match.
Chief rugby reporter Sarra Elgan will bring viewers all the latest news and player interviews from the touchline.
ESPN’s 3D coverage, which begins shortly before kick-off, will be available to ESPN subscribers who have a Sky World subscription with a Sky+HD box and a 3D TV, and will also be available in the more than 1,500 Sky 3D pubs nationwide.
“We’re really looking forward to bringing fans one of the biggest rugby matches on the calendar,” said Jeroen Oerlemans, ESPN Europe’s Vice President.
“This year ESPN has built on a great first season of Aviva Premiership Rugby coverage, continuing to offer fans a unique perspective on the game with authority and personality.”
John Cassy, director of Sky 3D, said: “We are delighted to be broadcasting the Aviva Premiership Final in 3D, it’s going to be a fantastic event.
“By working with channel partners and continuing to invest heavily in our own 3D sports coverage, we’re able to offer our customers a fantastic array of sport in 3D this summer, with rugby, football, cricket and tennis all available in immersive 3D over the next few months.
“Sky 3D customers can look forward to a monumental summer of sport.”
Coverage will also be made available in high-definition on ESPN HD.Saturday 26th May Aviva Premiership Final LIVE – ESPN – 2pm-5.30pm ESPN 3D: Aviva Premiership Final LIVE – Sky 3D – 2.45pm-5.15pm
Sky Sports will screen extended highlights of the Aviva Premiership Final from Twickenham just a few hours after the match has concluded.
Commentary comes from Miles Harrison and Ieuan Evans. The programme will be repeated at various times throughout Sunday.Saturday 19th May Premiership Rugby Final Highlights – Sky Sports 3 – 9.30pm-11pm
Free-to-air coverage of the Aviva Premiership Final will be shown on ITV1 and ITV4.
Craig Doyle presents all the highlights from Twickenham, as Leicester and Harlequins play out the final act of the season for the right to become champions.
Expert analysis comes from Martin Bayfield, with commentary provided by the ESPN team of Nick Mullins and Ben Kay.
The programme will also look back on an exciting season of Premiership rugby, and will air first on Saturday night on ITV4 at 11pm, followed by repeats on Sunday on both ITV1 and ITV4.Saturday 26th May Rugby Highlights: Aviva Premiership Final – ITV4 – 11pm-12am Sunday 27th May Repeats – ITV4 – 8pm-9pm | ITV1 – 11.15pm-12.15am