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ITV seals Rugby World Cup rights extension

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has extended a rights deal with World Rugby, the global governing body of rugby union, for the Rugby World Cup national team tournament. The deal was first reported in TV Sports Markets 20:20.

The exclusive agreement covers the World Cups in 2019 and 2023, the 2017 Women’s World Cup and the World Rugby U20 Championship between 2017 and 2019.

Under the new deal, this year’s Women’s World Cup in Ireland and the World Rugby U20 Championship will be available on free-to-air television in the UK for the first time.

ITV has broadcast free-to-air coverage of the Rugby World Cup in the UK since 1991. Its coverage of the 2015 tournament in England attracted peak audiences of 11.5m for the host nation’s matches against Fiji, Wales and Australia and the final.