Australian commercial broadcaster Nine Network has secured the exclusive broadcast rights in the country to this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and the 2023 men’s tournament in France.
The deal, announced today (August 23), will see all matches of the premier national team competitions shown live and on demand on Nine’s Stan Sport streaming service.
In addition, all matches featuring Australia and the final of the men’s tournament will be simulcast on Nine’s linear network and its 9Now streaming platform.
The upcoming women’s tournament, the delayed 2021 edition, begins on October 8 and runs until November 12.
The men’s tournament, meanwhile, is scheduled to run from September 8, 2023, to October 28, 2023.
Spark Sport, the New Zealand-based sports streaming service, secured the exclusive domestic rights to the women's tournament this year, while, French commercial broadcaster TF1 secured the domestic rights to the 2023 men's tournament (along with those for the 2022 edition).
Host Broadcast Services, the television production company that is a subsidiary of international sports marketing agency Infront, was named by the World Rugby governing body as the sole host broadcast partner for both editions of the World Cup in January this year.
Martin Kugeler, chief executive at Stan, said: “Since Stan Sport’s launch in February 2021, we have invested significantly to build a fresh and comprehensive rugby offering for fans in Australia.
“From grassroots to world-class internationals and now the pinnacle of the game, the Rugby World Cups, Stan Sport continues to deliver more men’s and women’s rugby content than ever before. Together with our great partners at Rugby Australia, we have grown the audience for rugby significantly and this announcement further highlights our commitment to the game.
“Stan and Nine are uniquely positioned to broadcast the Rugby World Cup to more Australians than ever before with Nine’s total TV assets alongside all of our other channels, including publishing, digital, and radio.”