ESPN agrees Rugby World Cup archive deal
Monday, November 30 2009, 10:34 GMT
By Andrew Laughlin,
ESPN has agreed a rights deal to broadcast archive matches and footage from the history of the Rugby World Cup on ESPN Classic.
Until 2013, the channel will be able to select up to 40-hours of content per year from the Rugby World Cup archive, including long and short-form match footage, magazine programmes and official films.
Under the deal, ESPN Classic will also intensify its rugby union coverage in the run-up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
"With appetite and interest in rugby across the world increasing, we are delighted to be able to offer the most comprehensive coverage of the Rugby World Cup to our viewers," said ESPN EMEA vice president of TV channels Jeroen Oerlemans.
"We'll soon be counting down to the 2011 tournament in New Zealand with great anticipation and what better way than to re-live some of the greatest moments and players in rugby union history with the official films and match footage, helping us deliver a first class rugby archive."
Rugby World Cup managing director Mike Miller added: "This deal will benefit rugby as a whole, the partnership with ESPN will extend the reach and interest in the game beyond the core audiences throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa.
"Opening up the Rugby World Cup archive to a global broadcaster will allow viewers to relive the special moments from each Rugby World Cup to date."
Coverage from the 2011 tournament will be screened on ESPN Classic in May 2012. The deal also includes video on-demand rights and live streaming on ESPN's portfolio of websites.