Setanta Sports North America Secures Exclusive Broadcast Rights for 2007 IRB Rugby World Cup
Building on the growing global passion for world-class rugby, Setanta Sports North America today announced it has secured exclusive live rights to broadcast the 2007 IRB Rugby World Cup, the third-largest sporting event in the world. France will play host to this sixth Rugby World Cup tournament in September and October, and Setanta Sports will cover the entire event, presenting the energy and excitement of this highly-anticipated international tournament in its original and authentic form.
Between 200,000 to 250,000 people in North America play rugby, according to Rugby Magazine, and that number is growing every day. With this coveted new programming, rugby-following expatriates as well as North American fans alike are guaranteed live coverage of all their favorite teams and matches, exclusively through Setanta Sports.
Coverage begins when host nation France takes on Argentina at the Stade de France on Friday, Sept. 7, 2007, in Group D. This group, also known as the group of death, includes the popular outside favorite Ireland, who kicks-off against Namibia on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007.
Inspired by rejuvenated 2003 World Cup hero Johnny Wilkinson, England defends the Webb Ellis Cup against the United States in Lens on Sept. 10, 2007.
New Zealand’s 2007 team, considered to be the greatest international rugby side of all time, will perform its world-famous “Haka” war dance before the opening Pool C match against Italy on Sept, 8, 2007.
Also on that day, former double world champion Australia will play its first match against Japan.
Canada begins its World Cup campaign against Wales on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007, with former World Cup champions South Africa playing their opening game on the same day.
“We are proud to once again bring this highly-anticipated event to international rugby fans across North America, and beyond,” said Roger
Hall, CEO of Setanta Sports North America. “The World Cup ranks as one of
the world’s most watched sporting events, behind only the Olympics and FIFA
World Cup, and this year’s matches are destined to be some of the best in
recent history. Thus, it naturally follows that Setanta will bring this event live and in its original format to sports fans who follow rugby, which is now the fastest growing sport in North America.”
In addition to broadcasting these events live, Setanta Sports will air
delayed matches, previews and highlights of the tournament. All programming
will be available via satellite, cable, CCTV, Residential PPV, IPTV, broadband, as well as the soon to be confirmed mobile and pda. Language rights include English, Japanese, Italian and Spanish commentary. In addition, fans in Bermuda, the Caribbean and the Republic of Ireland will also be able to tune in to the World Cup on a non-exclusive basis.
The IRB Rugby World Cup compliments Setanta Sports’ impressive array of
rugby broadcasting coverage which includes the RBS Six Nations rugby, Super
14, Guinness English Premiership, Magner’s League, as well as Heineken
European Cup, all being broadcast this month.