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IGBS seals host broadcast deal in new Rugby World Cup strategy

World Rugby, the global governing body of rugby union, has appointed International Games Broadcast Services as host broadcaster for Japan’s 2019 World Cup, the first edition of the national team tournament to be staged in Asia.

IGBS, a partnership between sports production and host broadcasting company HBS and the IMG agency, will be responsible for the world feed delivery to rights-holding broadcasters as well as production innovation and content production.

World Rugby said the decision to appoint a specialised host broadcaster for the first time reflects the body’s commitment to the “highest standards of innovation” and consistency between tournaments, while enabling new innovations and fan-engagement priorities to be delivered.

IGBS chairman Graham Fry said: “Between us, IMG and HBS will provide a unique combination of rugby knowledge, host broadcast experience from major sporting events all over the world and familiarity with working in Japan. IMG has worked with Francis Tellier and his HBS team since the 2002 Fifa World Cup in Japan and Korea. Our experience and expertise complement each other perfectly.”

World Rugby is currently undergoing a process to appoint the rights-holding broadcaster for the 2019 World Cup in host nation Japan.