Coverage of rugby union’s Autumn Nations Series in Europe, starting this weekend and running through November, will be provided in Australia by a combination of the BeIN Sports pay-TV broadcaster and Stan Sports, the streaming platform owned by Nine Network.
BeIN Sports, through its Australian division, will continue to cover all matches played by Australia and New Zealand during the series, while Stan will stream 20 fixtures live and ad-free with full-game replays, highlights and rapid recaps. This will include every game played by Australia and New Zealand, as well as fixtures involving South Africa and Argentina.
Both broadcasters have secured their non-exclusive rights through deals with Six Nations Rugby, the body that arranges the centralised distribution of broadcast rights to the autumn matches of its six constituent countries.
BeIN has held rights to matches from the Autumn Internationals since 2016, while this represents the first year Stan is set to show the action.
The 2021 Autumn Nations Series will feature those southern hemisphere sides listed above travelling through the UK and Europe to face the best national teams the continent has to offer.
Australia face Scotland, England and Wales, while New Zealand will come up against Wales, Italy, Ireland and France.
In addition to the men’s Autumn Series, the women’s Autumn Internationals will be covered on Stan, with 13 matches to be played between the best southern and northern hemisphere sides, with Japan and USA also involved.
BeIN, meanwhile, will again make its coverage available via its various broadcast partners in Australia, including Foxtel, the streaming platform Kayo, Fetch and its own BeIN Sports Connect site.
Martin Kugeler, acting chief executive of Stan, said: “We have had a phenomenal start for Rugby on Stan in 2021, and it is great to see the growing interest for the game. The Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa tours are a proud tradition on the rugby calendar, and we know fans will enjoy our coverage of every match against their northern hemisphere rivals.”
Mike Kerr, managing director of BeIN Asia-Pacific, added: “International rugby is fantastic entertainment and the Wallabies Spring Tour retains a significant legion of fans for BeIN in the Australian market. The Autumn Nations Series is a significant event and we are delighted to showcase it to our sports subscribers watching on Foxtel and Fetch, and streaming on Kayo and BeIN Sports Connect.”
The Autumn Internationals begin on 30 October, with Scotland taking on Tonga, and run through until Ireland play Argentina on 22 November.
Amazon Prime Video, the online retail giant’s video streaming service, holds rights to the series in the UK and Ireland through a multi-year agreement, while last week, US over-the-top subscription service FloSports secured exclusive rights in that country up until 2023.
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.
FloSports negotiated its deal with UK-based sports marketing agency Pitch International, which was acting on behalf of Six Nations Rugby.
In terms of the two Australian broadcasters and their other European rugby union rights meanwhile, BeIN is the home of both top-tier pan-continental club tournaments, the Heineken Cup and the Challenge Cup, while Stan also features England’s Premiership Rugby in its top-tier rights portfolio