NBC Sports Group Inks Multi-year Premiership Rugby Rights Deal
NBC Sports Group has partnered with Premiership Rugby on an exclusive multi-year U.S. media rights agreement, which begins with the 2016-17 season. NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will combine to present more than 75 Aviva Premiership Rugby matches each season, highlighted by “Game of the Week” matchups.
The Premiership Rugby regular season consists of 22 rounds, which take place on most weekends from September until May, and culminates with the semifinal and championship rounds at the end of May. NBCSN will air approximately 25 matches throughout the regular season and playoffs, with an additional 50 matches to stream exclusively on NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets and connected TVs.
In addition, NBCSN will present the first ever Premiership Rugby match on U.S. soil this Saturday, March 12 at 3 p.m. ET, featuring London Irish vs. Saracens, from Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.
“Our multi-year partnership with Aviva Premiership Rugby is an expansion of our well-documented commitment to the sport and growth of rugby in the U.S.,” says Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “Aviva Premiership Rugby is another cornerstone within our growing and unprecedented rugby portfolio and our unparalleled collection of international sports properties, which includes the Premier League, the Open Championship, Formula One, French Open, and Tour de France.”
“This new agreement with NBC Sports Group is an historic milestone for us,” said Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive at Premiership Rugby. “It takes the Aviva Premiership Rugby brand to a bigger audience than we have ever had in the U.S.”
NBC Sports Group’s multi-year agreement with Premiership Rugby adds to its growing slate of rugby properties, which includes the Rugby Sevens World Series, the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups, the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup, and exhibition matches featuring the USA Eagles, New Zealand All Blacks, and Qantas Wallabies.
In addition, the sport makes its return to the Olympics this year for the first time since 1924 with rugby sevens at this year’s 2016 Summer Games in Rio.