The Australian TV and digital media rights for the Rugby World Cup have finally been sold.
But did holding out until just six months before the tournament save the broadcasters money?
They had to gamble that nobody else in Australia would be interested in the rights – a gamble that proved worth taking.
The rights to the Japan tournament were acquired by ITV back in 2017. A year later TVNZ and Spark acquired the right for New Zealand.
Finally on the weekend it was revealed Fox Sports and Network 10 will show the matches in Australia.
These highlights from statements from the broadcasters:
Foxtel’s Fox Sports has secured the streaming and broadcast rights to the Rugby World Cup 2019. All matches of the tournament will be made available live and ad-break free during play on a dedicated channel and, for the first time, live in 4K Ultra HD, exclusive for Foxtel sports subscribers.
The biggest sporting event of 2019, the Rugby World Cup 2019 will be held in Japan from September 20 to November 2 meaning that matches are scheduled in prime viewing times for Australian audiences.
Fox Sports will live stream and broadcast all 48 matches of the tournament to Foxtel subscribers. This will include all of the Wallabies’ pool matches, all four Quarter Finals, both Semi-Finals, the Bronze Final for 3rd place and the Final.
Kayo Sports will also stream Fox Sports’ live coverage to its subscribers and all matches will be available to stream on-demand.
Fox Sports’ coverage will be broadcast on a dedicated Rugby World Cup channel, which will include match previews, daily highlights, review programs, archive matches from previous Rugby World Cup tournaments and analysis from the best commentators in the business.
Head of Fox Sports Peter Campbell said: “The Rugby World Cup 2019 is the biggest sports event this year and the only place to see all 48 games live and ad-break free during play is on Fox Sports.
“The rights we have acquired will also allow all matches in the tournament to be streamed on the new sports only service Kayo Sports, as well as Foxtel Now. Eligible Foxtel customers can also stream the Rugby World Cup 2019, where and when they want, with Foxtel’s mobile app, Foxtel GO, which is available at no additional charge with a Foxtel subscription.”
Fox Sports’ app and website, www.foxsports.com.au will also provide additional coverage of the Rugby World Cup 2019 with live match centres and video to ensure a one stop destination for rugby fans.
Network 10 scores with FTA rights for 2019 Rugby World Cup
Network 10 will be the free-to-air home of the 2019 Rugby World Cup after securing broadcast and digital rights, including live streaming and catch-up, to the biggest games of the tournament.
As part of the agreement, Australians can enjoy 10 of the very best games from the Rugby World Cup live and free on Network 10 and 10 Play, including every Wallabies game, right up to and including the final.
Network 10’s chief executive officer Paul Anderson said: “The 2019 Rugby World Cup is one of the biggest international sporting events of the year and the crown jewel in the rugby calendar. As the long-time home of Australian rugby, we’re super excited that we can continue to bring coverage of this great game to Australians live and free, wherever and however they choose to watch it.”
Network 10’s head of sport Matt White said: “It’s fantastic for the game and for fans to see the Rugby World Cup expand into a new emerging market like Japan. And for Australian fans, the great thing is that matches will be played in a country with a similar time-zone. The tournament fits perfectly into our schedule, complementing other major sporting events in our calendar. We can’t wait to bring the best games of the tournament to Australians across all of our platforms.”
The 2019 Rugby World Cup joins other major sporting events on 10 in 2019 including the Supercars Championship, the MotoGP, the Australian Formula 1, The Rugby Championship, the Bledisloe Cup and the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Anderson continued: “In the lead-up to summer, 10 will be the home of event television. We’ll have a full schedule of sport – live and free – with the Rugby World Cup, our Supercars coverage in Bathurst, the Gold Coast, Sandown and Newcastle, the Australian MotoGP, and the four events across the Melbourne Cup Carnival – Derby Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Oaks Day and Stakes Day. This gives us a fantastic head start to launch our summer programming strategy to millions of Australians, setting us up well for 2020.”