Fiji TV retains Rugby World Cup rights for Japan 2019
Fiji TV, the South Pacific island's main broadcaster, has acquired exclusive rights in the country to this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The agreement with IMG, the agency that sells the media rights on behalf of World Rugby, also gives Fiji TV sub-licensing rights for the Pacific, including the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Fiji TV will show all 48 matches from rugby’s showcase event live, including Fiji's pool stage games against Wales, Australia, Georgia and Uruguay.
Tonga and Samoa have also both qualified for Japan 2019.
The broadcaster has been a long-term rights partner of World Rugby, dating back to the 1999 competition. It showed last year's Rugby World Cup Sevens, and also holds rights to the men's and women's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the World Rugby U20 Championship.
Bill Beaumont, chairman of World Rugby, said: "They [FijiTV] are long-standing supporters of rugby, and with the matches taking place in a favourable timezone, I am sure that Fijians will be out in force to cheer on their team and support the tournament.”
Karen Lobendahn, chief executive of Fiji TV, added: “Fiji TV is once again delighted to be able to secure the official broadcast rights for Rugby World Cup, and is positive it will receive the viewership it deserves. Coming from a rugby-crazed nation, this is a positive investment for the company, and I believe that we will not only give value to our sponsors, but give the viewers compelling content to watch.”
World Rugby and IMG recently closed a 2019 World Cup rights deal in Australia with pay-TV's Fox Sports and commercial network Ten.
The tournament, the first to be held in Asia, runs from 20 September to 2 November.