The International Rugby Board has awarded NBC
Sports and Universal Sports the exclusive rights to broadcast the
2011 Rugby World Cup matches in New Zealand and the 2015
tournament in England on US network television.
The deal will see
the final of each Rugby World Cup broadcast on NBC and Universal
Sports network as a key element of a multi-platform approach that
will ensure unprecedented television and digital media coverage in
the United States of all 48 matches from Rugby's premier event.
NBC and Universal Sports has also committed to
broadcasting other key matches from each tournament, while live
and delayed match video will also be accessible on Universal Sports'
website and mobile
Universal Sports' and NBC Sports' match
coverage will feature a studio pre-match show, halftime and
post-match reaction and all the action will be broadcast in high
IRB Chief Executive Mike Miller said, "The announcement further underscores the sport's
rapidly growing profile in emerging Rugby markets, further
accelerated by the IOC's decision to include
Rugby Sevens in the
2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Sports fans across America
will be able to look forward to a Rugby World Cup that will
showcase the very best that our sport has to offer. I am sure that
it will be a hit."
Universal Sports Chief Executive Officer David
Sternberg added, "This is a very significant rights
acquisition for Universal Sports, especially given the growing
popularity of Rugby around the world and in America. We are
delighted to be partnering with the IRB for the Rugby World Cup
and other top events, and we look forward to showcasing global
Rugby, at its highest level, for our audiences across all of our
platforms - television, online and mobile."
Universal Sports also
broadcast the US College Sevens and the Churchill Cup this year,
bringing Rugby to the attention of more sports fans across the
US than ever before.
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