The IRB, through Rugby World Cup Ltd., has signed a record deal with France Television for French coverage of the 2003 Rugby World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand. The figure of £15 million is substantially in excess of the rights fee concluded for the 1999 tournament and reflects the growth in popularity of rugby worldwide.

In addition to their coverage of the World Cup, FR2 and FR3 have agreed to screen the IRB’s weekly World of Rugby programme in French speaking territories in Africa. This is in line with the Board’s development policy and once again reflects the growing appeal of the game.

Commenting on the agreement, Vernon Pugh QC., Chairman of the IRB said, ‘This deal shows what an incentive the tournament is to European broadcasters, especially when you consider that the time difference is hardly ideal for viewers in the Northern Hemisphere. We are looking forward to a rewarding partnership with France Television.’

For more details contact:

Chris Rea – Communications Manager
Tel: + 353 1 240 9209