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BYU to face Cal in rugby college championship

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For the fourth consecutive year, the Cal Golden Bears and BYU Cougars will square off in Provo, Utah, for the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup National Rugby Collegiate Championship. NBCSN will present live coverage of the Cal-BYU championship clash this Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

BYU has defeated Cal in each of the three previous iterations of the Varsity Cup dating back to 2012, including last year’s championship, when the Cougars earned a 30-27 win at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City. This year’s game will be played at BYU’s South Field, where the Cougars have never lost a game.

Cal advanced to this year’s championship match following a 14-13 win over Central Washington in the semifinals, while the top-ranked Cougars punched their ticket to the title match with a 68-20 win over Arkansas State. BYU has won 44 consecutive matches dating back to February 2014.

Cal leads the all-time series against BYU 10-4 dating back to 1972, but BYU has had the upper hand recently with three straight wins in the Varsity Cup.

NBC Sports begins inaugural season of Aviva Premiership Rugby coverage this weekend on NBC

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STAMFORD, Conn. – NBC Sports Group begins its inaugural season of Aviva Premiership Rugby coverage this weekend, presenting the first of more than 70 combined Premiership Rugby matches that will be televised on NBCSN and streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app during the 2016-17 campaign.

NBCSN’s coverage begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m. ET, when defending champion Saracens face Worcester Warriors at Twickenham Stadium in London. NBCSN’s coverage continues on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. ET, when Wasps host 2015-16 runners-up Exeter Chiefs at Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

In addition to NBCSN’s telecasts, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will provide live, exclusive streaming coverage of a pair of matches this weekend, beginning on Friday at 2:45 p.m. ET, when Gloucester Rugby host Leicester Tigers. NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will also stream Saturday’s match featuring Harlequins vs. Bristol Rugby at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Each weekend, NBC Sports Group will present the most compelling Premiership Rugby matches on the schedule, often preceding or following live coverage of Premier League soccer. The Premiership Rugby season will culminate with live coverage of the league Final on Saturday, May 27 on NBCSN. Click here to watch NBC Sports Group’s Aviva Premiership Rugby theatrical trailer previewing the 2016-17 campaign.

NBC Sports’ Leigh Diffey will serve as the studio host for NBCSN’s Premiership Rugby coverage. He will be joined by analyst and former Premiership Rugby player Alex Corbisiero, who played seven combined seasons for London Irish and Northampton Saints.

Alastair Eykyn, Lawrence Dallaglio, and Ugo Monye will call the match featuring Saracens and Worcester on Saturday, while Nick Mullins, Dallaglio, and Austin Healey will have the call for Wasps vs. Exeter on Sunday.

Following is NBC Sports Group’s 2016-17 Aviva Premiership Rugby schedule through Round 8 of the season:

Date Coverage Time (ET) Network
Fri., Sept. 2 Gloucester Rugby vs. Leicester Tigers 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Sept. 3 Saracens vs. Worcester Warriors* 9:30 a.m. NBCSN
Harlequins vs. Bristol Rugby 11:30 a.m. Streaming
Sun., Sept. 4 Wasps vs. Exeter Chiefs* 10:30 a.m. NBCSN
Fri., Sept. 9 Worcester Warriors vs. Gloucester Rugby 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Sept. 10 Leicester Tigers vs. Wasps 10 a.m. Streaming
Sun., Sept. 11 Exeter Chiefs vs. Saracens 2 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., Sept. 16 Sale Sharks vs. Gloucester Rugby 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Sept. 17 Saracens vs. Northampton Saints 10 a.m. Streaming
Sun., Sept. 18 Newcastle vs. Leicester Tigers 10 a.m. Streaming
Fri., Sept. 23 Bristol Rugby vs. Exeter Chiefs 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Sept. 24 Northampton Saints vs. Wasps 10 a.m. Streaming
Sun., Sept. 25 Leicester Tigers vs. Bath Rugby* 7 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., Sept. 30 Northampton Saints vs. Exeter Chiefs 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Oct. 1 Gloucester Rugby vs. Bath Rugby* 8 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., Oct. 2 Worcester Warriors vs. Newcastle Falcons* 10:30 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., Oct. 7 Bath Rugby vs. Sale Sharks 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Oct. 8 Harlequins vs. Northampton Saints 10 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., Oct. 9 Saracens vs. Wasps* 11 a.m. NBCSN
Fri., Oct. 28 Northampton Saints vs. Gloucester Rugby 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Oct. 29 Saracens vs. Leicester Tigers* 3:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., Oct. 30 Exeter Chiefs vs. Bath Rugby 10 a.m. Streaming
Fri., Nov. 18 Bath Rugby vs. Bristol Rugby 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sun., Nov. 20 Sale Sharks vs. Saracens 8 a.m. Streaming
Leicester Tigers vs. Harlequins 10 a.m. Streaming

*denotes same-day delay

PREMIERSHIP RUGBY ON NBCSPORTS.COM AND THE NBC SPORTS APP: NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide live streaming of all Premiership Rugby matches airing on NBCSN, as well as exclusive streaming coverage of matches each week, via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are powered by Playmaker Media and available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

NBC Sports Group partners with Premiership Rugby

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Premiership Rugby has a new home: the NBC Sports Group.

Starting the 2016-17 season, the top league in the English club rugby union will be broadcast on NBCSN and Live Extra. Games, which make up 22 rounds of play, will be shown on weekends from September to May. NBCSN will air 25 regular-season matches, highlighted by “Game of the Week” matches, and Live Extra will surround coverage with 50 additional streaming matches.

For NBC, it’s an expansion of its commitment to help grow the sport domestically, a commitment that includes broadcasting the Penn Mutual College Rugby Championship, Varsity Cup and the Rugby Sevens World Series.

“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,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN.

In addition to broadcasting matches, NBCSN will present the first Premiership Rugby match on US soil on Saturday.

“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.”