ESPN Latin America, Brazil Win Exclusive Rights to Rugby World Cup 2015

Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) has announced the appointment of ESPN Latin America and ESPN Brazil as the exclusive South America rightsholder for Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.

The deal also sees ESPN Brazil appointed as an exclusive rights holder for the first time, underscoring the growing excitement around rugby ahead of Rugby Sevens’ debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Under the terms of the deal, ESPN Latin America and ESPN Brazil will broadcast live coverage of at least 16 matches and will also deliver a comprehensive TV, digital, mobile and radio offering, delivering an unprecedented broadcast footprint for rugby in South America.   ESPN Latin America will also air all of the matches in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with ESPN Latin America to broadcast the next two Rugby World Cups and welcoming ESPN Brazil to the Rugby World Cup family for the first time.  This two-tournament deal certainly reflects rugby’s stature as a major growth sport in South America thanks to the ongoing success of Rugby World Cup and Rugby Sevens’ inclusion in the Olympic Games.  ESPN  Latin America and ESPN Brazil shares our passion for rugby and I am sure that their extensive coverage of England 2015 will reach out and inspire new audiences and participants across the region.”

World Rugby Head of Commercial, Broadcast and Marketing Murray Barnett said: “We are delighted to continue our long term partnership with the leading sports channel network in Latin America who has shown such a strong commitment to innovation and the sport of rugby.”

“ESPN has uninterruptedly aired the Rugby World Cup in Spanish-speaking Latin America since 1999,” said Guillermo Tabanera, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Latin America.  “It is an honor for us to have the RWC once more on our platforms.”

“We have seen a dramatic spike in rugby’s popularity since we began airing the Rugby World Cup on ESPN in Brazil in 2003,” said German Hartenstein, managing director, ESPN Brazil.  “We are committed to supporting the sport and to showing Brazilian fans where to find the best of world rugby.”

ESPN Latin America and ESPN Brazil’s addition to a strong global portfolio of Rugby World Cup 2015 rights holding broadcasters is a further boost to an event that is on track to be a record-breaking global celebration of rugby and the host nation, beginning on September 18 and concluding with the Final on October 2015.

The tournament will feature two South American teams for the first time since 2003, with Uruguay claiming a place through Repechage to join Argentina at the world’s premier rugby event.