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Major League Rugby answered one of the biggest lingering questions heading into its maiden season Tuesday, announcing a broadcast deal with the worldwide leader, ESPN. The deal will see every game not carried live on cable television via CBS Sports Network streamed live across ESPN's online platforms, making every MLR match available to cable subscribers who get both ESPN and CBS Sports Network.
The move fortifies ESPN's rugby offerings, putting MLR on the same platform as the HSBC Sevens World Series, Super Rugby and the Americas Rugby Championship. ESPN's family of networks is also the current home of USA Sevens and the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship.
“We are excited to have ESPN as a partner of ours,” said Major League Rugby Commissioner Dean Howes in a release. “ESPN is one of the most powerful brands in sports, and we couldn’t be more pleased to provide our fans with access to MLR content through ESPN platforms.”