FloSports, the US-based over-the-top live sports subscription service, has secured the exclusive rights to stream rugby union’s upcoming men’s and women’s Autumn Nations Series' in the United States.
The deal was negotiated with UK-based sports marketing agency Pitch International on behalf of Six Nations Rugby, which arranges the centralised distribution of broadcast rights for the autumn matches of its six constituent countries, and runs through until 2023 for the men’s series (30 October to 21 November) but covers just this year for the women’s series (31 October to 21 November).
The swathe of acquisitions brings over 100 hours of new rugby coverage to FloSports, with the action – featuring the Northern Hemisphere sides playing host to the best the Southern Hemisphere has to offer – to be covered across the FloRugby platform and the FloSports app.
The deal also includes the Women's Six Nations Championships and the Men's Under-20 Six Nations Championships from 2022 through to 2024, as well as the 1874 Cup match between USA Eagles and New Zealand on 23 October.
FloSports first secured exclusive rights in the US for the Autumn Nations Series last year, having launched its rugby vertical in early 2018 by acquiring the Rugby Channel, the OTT digital site ultimately owned by the USA Rugby domestic governing body, in May that year.
Ryan Fenton, director for rights acquisition at FloSports, has said: “We’re honoured to bring the Autumn Nations Series and the 1874 Cup to international rugby to fans across the United States and put a spotlight on the unmatched talent of these men and women rugby athletes this Fall and beyond.
“Working closely with our partners at Pitch International and Left Field Live, FloSports will be delivering an expanded rugby offering to a dedicated and ever-growing fan base across the country that continues to seek out quality live rugby content.”
Elsewhere, Amazon Prime Video, the online retail giant's video streaming service, has a multi-year agreement to show all the matches of England, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy from the autumn series in the UK and Ireland, starting from this year.
Ireland’s games this year will meanwhile be shown on RTE, the country’s public-service broadcaster, before being added to Prime Video’s coverage from next year.
It has also been announced today that TalkSport, the UK-based commercial radio broadcaster, has agreed to a three-year audio rights deal for the Autumn Internationals.
It will be the first time the network has covered the series live and follows its coverage of the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa earlier this year.
A total of 50 matches will be broadcast exclusively over the next three years, with 16 live commentary matches this season.
Audio rights to the Autumn Internationals in the UK have previously been held by the BBC, the public-service broadcaster.