ESPN awarded Latin rights for next two rugby showcases

09 April 2015 | Posted in Broadcast, Rugby, South America, | By Ross Jones-Davies

ESPN awarded Latin rights for next two rugby showcases

Rugby World Cup limited (RWCL) has announced ESPN Latin America and ESPN Brazil as the exclusive rights holders for the next two Rugby World Cups, hosted in England and Japan respectively.

ESPN Brazil will be an exclusive rights holder for the first time in the competition’s history, in a move that, it is hoped, will magnify the excitement for the introduction of rugby sevens to the Olympic programme at Rio 2016.

The terms of the deal give the subscription network the right to broadcast at least 16 live matches, whilst also delivering a digital, mobile and radio offering. While Brazil and established rugby-playing nation Argentina are expected to attract the majority of the viewership, ESPN will also air matches in eight other South American countries. 

World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with ESPN Latin America to broadcast the next two Rugby World Cups and welcoming ESPN Brazil to the Rugby World Cup family for the first time.

“This two-tournament deal certainly reflects rugby’s stature as a major growth sport in South America thanks to the ongoing success of Rugby World Cup and Rugby Sevens’ inclusion in the Olympic Games.”

For the first time since 2003, this year’s premier rugby event will feature two South American teams, with Uruguay qualifying alongside Argentina.

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