World Rugby, the global governing body of rugby union, has launched the broadcast rights tender process for its 2019 World Cup in the UK and Irish markets.
The 2019 edition of the national team tournament will take place in Japan, with commercial broadcasters ITV and TV3 having held the rights in the UK and Ireland, respectively, to last year’s event in England.
World Rugby has issued bidding information to interested parties in both markets and bids for the 2019 World Cup as a stand-alone or coupled with the 2023 tournament will be considered. World Rugby added that the rights holding broadcaster for each market will be announced later this year.
Rugby World Cup 2015 was the most widely viewed rugby event ever. The live audience for the 2015 tournament increased by a factor of 48 per cent over the last edition in New Zealand, with live viewership through 106 broadcasters reaching nearly 724m homes worldwide.
In the UK, host broadcaster ITV achieved peak audiences reaching 11.5m for England's matches against Fiji, Wales and Australia and the final.
In Ireland, TV3 attracted its biggest-ever audiences for Rugby World Cup 2015 matches involving the Ireland team, while Rugby World Cup matches delivered three of the top four broadcast audiences in the Republic in 2015. Ireland is one of the nations bidding to host the 2023 World Cup.