Broadcaster secures rights to show both Men’s and Women’s tournaments.
ITV has secured transmission rights for the sport’s showpiece event for the next two tournaments, the Women’s Rugby World Cup this year, and the World Rugby U20 Championship between 2017 and 2019.
“The Rugby World Cup has become a fixture every four years on ITV, so, following such a successful tournament in 2015, we’re delighted to be able to announce we will continue to be the competition’s home until 2023. And our new deal kicks-off with exclusive coverage of the Women’s tournament in Ireland later this year, which, along with the rights to World Rugby U20 Championship, broadens our association with elite rugby.” – Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport
Under the terms of the new deal, the broadcaster will be bringing viewers all of the action from the Japan 2019 and 2023 tournaments while the Women’s Rugby World Cup, to be held this year in Ireland, and the U20 Championship will be available for the first time on a free-to-air basis.
“We are delighted to be partnering with ITV in an exciting long-term deal that will showcase our biggest fifteens events, including Rugby World Cup, Women’s Rugby World Cup and our annual World Rugby U20 Championship, to a free-to-air audience in the UK.
“Rugby World Cup 2015 set new standards of rugby broadcast innovation and delivery, providing a record number of fans in a record number of nations with every unforgettable moment from the most compelling and competitive tournament to date.
“As host broadcaster, ITV was at the heart of the success story, bringing fans closer to what was the best-attended, most-viewed, most-competitive and most socially-engaged Rugby World Cup ever and while this was a highly-competitive process for one of rugby’s most prized broadcast rights, we were impressed by ITV’s passion for the sport and continued broadcast innovation.
“Great events are built on great partnerships and we are excited to be working with ITV, a long-term supporter of Rugby World Cup, to further fan-experience and rugby growth within the UK over the next eight years.” – World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont
The Rugby World Cup in 2015 was the most widely viewed rugby event ever, significantly outstripping the last edition in New Zealand, with live viewership through 106 broadcasters reaching nearly 724 million homes worldwide. In the UK, host broadcaster ITV achieved peak audiences reaching 11.5m for England’s matches against Fiji, Wales and Australia and the final.
ITV’s portfolio of world-class sports rights also includes exclusive coverage of UK racing, exclusive live and highlights coverage of the England football team’s qualifying campaigns until 2022, as well as coverage of the 6 Nations rugby tournament, the Tour de France and the French Open.