Rugby Union

Latest Features

The battle between Sky and Spark for control of New Zealand’s sports broadcasting and streaming market has resulted in a major revenue increase for rugby union rights-holders New Zealand Rugby and Sanzaar.

Pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus is facing a big loss on international rights to the French Top 14 rugby union competition following difficulties securing distribution in key markets.

Public broadcaster France Télévisions renewed its free-to-air rights to the final of the country’s Top 14 rugby union club competition for the 2019-23 cycle at around the same level as its previous deal, SportBusiness Media understands.

French commercial broadcaster TF1 was expecting to recoup 40 per cent of its outlay on the 2019 Rugby World Cup from its ill-fated attempt to find a sublicensee, SportBusiness Media understands.

The value of Rugby World Cup rights in Australia has declined sharply after a big increase at their last sale, hit by a strong downturn in interest in rugby union in the territory.

Roger Davis, the chairman of Super Rugby team the NSW Waratahs, has warned that the competition's Australian teams are in financial peril unless their upcoming domestic media rights deal delivers a revenue…

Rugby Australia has said it is in “general discussions with the broader market”, including Foxtel, amid reports the pay-television operator may end its long-running association with the sport’s national gover…

Discovery-owned Eurosport is in talks with pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus to sublicense some of the latter’s rights to the Pro D2, France’s second-tier rugby union club competition, SportBusiness Med…

Highlights from rugby union’s Pro14 will return to public-service television in the UK after the BBC struck a deal to show an hour-long programme on Sunday and Monday evenings.

Features

The Ligue Nationale de Rugby’s desire for greater revenues drove the shift to a minimum guarantee from a pure revenue share in its renewal of the Top 14 international rights distribution contract with Canal Plus.

Pay-television platform Sky Italia and Perform Group’s OTT service DAZN will probably both be happy with the outcome of an intense period of rights negotiations in Italy.

RDA to pay minimum guarantee of about £500,000 per season for Pro14 international rights The agency is understood to have already secured more than £1m per season in sales

The Pro14 cross-border rugby union league will almost double the value of its UK and Ireland media rights once it completes its remaining deals for 2018-19 onward.

Telco Spark acquired rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup last week, outbidding Sky New Zealand in a deal which could shake up the country’s media-rights market.

European Professional Club Rugby has agreed four media-rights deals in recent weeks which it hopes will increase the exposure of its competitions.

In the latest interactive monthly data report, TV Sports Markets analyses the media-rights landscape in rugby union.

The media-rights value of the Six Nations is dominated by those nations that compete in the tournament: England; France; Ireland; Italy; Scotland and Wales. International rights represent about 5.3 per cent of the global media-rights value in 2018.

The annual value of Six Nations media rights in Asia has been cut almost in half following a new deal with OTT service RugbyPass.

French commercial broadcaster TF1 has acquired rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup after taking up an option in its deal for the 2015 tournament, TV Sports Markets understands.

The Irish Rugby Football Union roughly doubled the value of domestic rights to Ireland autumn internationals in a deal with public-service broadcaster RTÉ, and is still to sell rights in the UK.

Australian public-service broadcaster SBS has renewed its deal for non-exclusive rights to the national rugby union team’s ongoing matches for roughly the same annual fee.

Rugby union experts expect the value of international media rights to Europe’s club competitions to decline in any new deal, with a tender covering a new cycle issued this week.

The Six Nations last week secured a long-term deal with media company NBCUniversal in the US, but is understood to have suffered a 40-per-cent fall in the value of its rights in Italy.

The Pro14 cross-border rugby union league secured the medium-term future of its new format with the agreement of a lucrative deal across sub-Saharan Africa earlier this month.

The expansion of the cross-border Pro12 rugby union competition, following the addition of two South African teams this week, has been driven by three factors: the desire to improve the competitiveness of the league, the aim of bringing its media-rights revenues closer into line with its rivals, and the availability of the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings.

European Professional Club Rugby increased the value of its media rights in France by about 50 per cent late last month from deals with beIN Sports and France Télévisions.

The Six Nations has increased the value of its international media rights by at least 20 per cent in a renewal with Pitch International, while choosing to retain rights in the US and Canada.
USA

Media group NBCUniversal extended its commitment to rugby union in the US this week, buying World Rugby rights for a significantly higher guaranteed fee.