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NBC and World Rugby have inked a major deal that gives the network giant exclusive rights to the 2019 and 2023 Rugby World Cups, the 2017 and 2021 Women's Rugby World Cups, the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Sevens, and the World Rugby U20 Championships from 2017-2023.
This is a landmark marriage between rugby and an American broadcaster. The partnership spans seven years, and it will see some of the biggest world events made available in America across NBC's multiple platforms which reach an estimated 40 million homes.
It's anticipated NBC will be utilizing NBC, NBCSN, The Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer product – and possibly other platforms to provide more comprehensive US coverage of the numerous events included in the agreement than ever before.
“The USA is one of the fastest-growing markets for rugby participation and fan growth and this exciting and unprecedented deal with one of the world’s most prestigious broadcasters will ensure that more people than ever before in the USA will be able to access the world’s top men’s and women’s 15s and sevens events. NBC will be the destination for rugby in the USA,” World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said.
“This agreement is the culmination of years of cultivating our rugby portfolio. It began with US collegiate rugby clubs and now, through this unprecedented agreement, includes the greatest tournaments, teams, players and coaches in the world," added NBC Sports Group President of Programming Jon Miller.
“Whether it is men’s or women’s, sevens or 15s, pros or amateurs, rugby fans can rest assured that they will have more access to more premier rugby content than has ever been possible in the US.”