URC TV, the global streaming subscription service created by the Europe and South Africa-based United Rugby Championship (URC) and Irish public-service broadcaster RTÉ, has chosen Simplestream, the London-based provider of live streaming and live-to-video-on-demand services, to power its platform. 

Under the partnership, Simplestream will provide its media manager – the modular backend to manage content for distribution – and its App Platform framework, which helps with app development and distribution of premium content across multiple devices.

Simplestream has also consolidated the various authentication processes into one for users from both the official URC website and the URC TV service.

URC TV, which shows fans United Rugby Championship matches live and on-demand since its launch in 2021, has also launched new applications for Android and iOS.

Simplestream’s technical director, Ashley Reynolds-Horne, said: “The successful delivery of the URC TV project is another testament to the solid foundation of our architecture, which builds on both proprietary technology and the flexibility of integrating multiple entities as part of a unique architecture.

“The launch also involved new enhancements in terms of branding and frontend customization, to allow the client to bring to their fans a best-in-class experience and to enhance the visual identity of the brand itself.”

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Tom Lister, United Rugby Championship’s chief marketing officer, added: “Reliability is the key deliverable when it comes to streaming live sport as fans expect a seamless, uninterrupted experience from sign-up right through to the final whistle.

“The Simplestream platform has provided an ideal foundation for URC TV to continue to innovate and deliver a top-quality product to our fans.”

Simplestream has similar deals with other organizations such as GAAGO, Telus, Crafter’s Companion, and TalkTV.

Late last year, the URC agreed a strategic partnership with the British and Irish Lions rugby union touring organization and England’s Premiership Rugby competition around the Lions’ tour of Australia in 2025.

The tie-up will involve the Lions working with those two parties and their clubs to “enhance the tour’s offering,” and has been announced following consultation between all parties. The Lions team is made up of players from England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.

Around this time Pay-TV heavyweight Sky Italia secured domestic rights to the URC through the 2024-25 season.

Warner Bros. Discovery previously held rights to URC in Italy, showing the league’s 2022-23 season through the Eurosport 2 linear TV channel, as well as via the Discovery+ OTT streaming platform.