With six months and 12 days to go until the start of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, World Rugby has reached broadcast deals for coverage of the 48-game tournament in Australia – with Fox Sports Australia and Network 10 – securing the rights to the tournament.
Under the deals, Fox Sports will broadcast all 48 tournament matches, while Network 10 (continuing its theme as the home of big event sport) will broadcast 10 of the best matches from the tournament live, including every Wallabies game. Both Fox Sports and 10 are Rugby Australia’s incumbent local broadcast partners.
Each broadcaster, for the matches that they are broadcasting, has secured not just broadcast rights but live streaming and on-demand rights as well. Fox Sports’ streaming of the games will be available through the Kayo Sports app, while 10’s online coverage will be via 10 Play.
While Fox Sports has been the recent mainstay broadcaster in Australia of Rugby World Cups (it has broadcast the last two tournaments, along with Channel Nine), this is 10’s first foray back to rugby’s showpiece event since 10 covered the 2007 Rugby World Cup from France, where the coverage was hosted by Bill Woods (who now appears on Fox Sports News).
This year’s tournament is perfectly placed for Aussie broadcasters as Japan’s timezone is closely aligned with Australia’s, meaning games will be broadcast live at prime viewing times. This will be the same for Seven, when it broadcasts the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next year.
Network 10’s head of sport Matt White said:
“It’s fantastic for the game and for fans to see the Rugby World Cup expand into a new emerging market like Japan. And for Australian fans, the great thing is that matches will be played in a country with a similar time-zone. The tournament fits perfectly into our schedule, complementing other major sporting events in our calendar. We can’t wait to bring the best games of the tournament to Australians across all of our platforms.”
World Rugby Chairman, Bill Beaumont, said of Fox Sports’ acquisition of the rights:
“We are delighted to be welcoming FOX SPORTS as rights holding broadcasters for Rugby World Cup 2019. They are long-standing supporters of rugby in Australia, broadcast innovators and with all of the big matches being shown in prime-time slots, will be a destination for Australian sports fans in September, October and November.”
While Network 10’s coverage will be live and free, the kicker for those watching on Fox Sports is that all games will be available on Foxtel 4K and on a dedicated Fox Sports rugby channel.
The rugby world is coming to Japan later this year and it is great to see that Australian fans will be able to follow every moment across Fox Sports and Network 10.
This writer lives and works in Japan and can report first hand that excitement is building to the first ever Rugby World Cup in Asia.