New US rugby union competition Major League Rugby has completed its distribution package for its maiden season by agreeing a partnership with the AT&T Sports Networks division of US telco AT&T.
The agreement for the 2018 season, which commences on April 21, means AT&T Sports Networks will carry a 17-game package with rights to six MLR teams including Austin Elite Rugby, Houston SaberCats and NOLA Gold on AT&T SportsNet -Southwest region.
Root Sports in the Northwest will carry Seattle Seawolves matches and AT&T SportsNet -Rocky Mountain region will host Glendale Raptors and Utah Warriors games. MLR said San Diego Legion will have a separate local rights agreement for its market.
The networks will televise home and away broadcasts of all games except the MLR Game of the Week, playoffs and championship match, which will air on CBS Sports Network. MLR programming will run in prime weekend time slots on Saturday afternoons and Sunday evenings on the networks.
MLR last month agreed a rights distribution deal with sports broadcaster ESPN. ESPN will carry an 18-game package covering regular-season games on its platforms both in the US and worldwide. As well as game coverage, ESPN.com will feature other league-related content.
In November, MLR signed a multi-year rights deal with the CBS Sports division of US network CBS. CBS Sports will show a 13-game package with 10 weeks of regular-season coverage. Its coverage will include a game of the week and two weeks of post-season action in 2018.