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Sunset+Vine lands World Rugby Sevens Series production contract

UK sports production and media company Sunset+Vine has secured a four-year contract to become the host broadcast partner of the World Rugby Sevens Series.

Rugby union’s global governing body World Rugby selected Sunset+Vine in what has been described as a “competitive” tender process. The contract runs through to 2023, and Sunset+Vine will deliver all host production services, non-live content and highlights packaging for the 12 tournaments per year.

Sunset+Vine has a strong heritage in rugby having produced the English Premiership and European competitions for UK pay-television broadcaster BT Sport since 2013 and international club league the Pro14 for fellow pay-television broadcaster Premier Sports since 2018.

Tom Hill, chief commercial officer of World Rugby, said: “We’re confident that a partnership with Sunset+Vine will be an even more attractive proposition for our broadcast partners. Not only will they help us achieve our vision for the series by leading in the coverage of our events, they will help deliver our commercial partner content in a new and engaging manner. This an exciting development for our sport and for sevens rugby in general.”

Jeff Foulser, chairman of Sunset+Vine, added: “We will use our rugby expertise to take the live coverage to a new level by standardising the production approach across the whole series and by bringing an ‘entertainment’ philosophy to the ‘short-form’ format of the sport.

“We want to offer broadcasters scheduling flexibility without compromising story-telling, so that viewers can quickly get up to speed with the status of the competition whenever a broadcaster joins the transmission. We can’t wait to play our part to broaden the impact of sevens rugby.”

Sunset+Vine’s team will be led by executive producer Helena Sykes, with Mark Dennis as director of technical operations and Adeline Lee as production executive.