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World Rugby to continue Mena RWC rights talks

Rugby World Cup rights-holder World Rugby remains hopeful that it will find a buyer for the Middle East and North African broadcast rights to the 2019 tournament with negotiations in the region still ongoing.

Regional news website Arabian Business reported that rights-holder World Rugby was in negotiations with broadcasters across the region after pay-TV broadcaster OSN, which held the rights to the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup tournaments, elected to close its six sports channels in early 2019.

World Rugby has said that any games not broadcast on television will be made available through its online platforms.

World Rugby broadcast manager Dominic Young told SportBusiness Media that those platforms would include World Rugby’s video platform on its website or via its social media channels on Facebook and YouTube.

It does not have a dedicated OTT platform and would show matches through its own social channels rather than look to strike deals with Facebook or YouTube.

Young told SportBusiness Media that “market conversations” are ongoing in worldwide in territories where deals were yet to be signed.

The Rugby World Cup 2019 will take place in Japan and begins on September 26.