NBC Sports Group partners with Premiership Rugby


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.”

World Rugby postponing July test matches

AP Photo
1 Comment

World Rugby has postponed July test matches involving southern and northern hemisphere nations because of ongoing restrictions on international travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

The sport’s international governing body issued a statement Friday saying the mid-year test window will be rescheduled when cross-border travel and quarantine regulations are relaxed.

New Zealand had been scheduled to play Wales and Scotland, Australia was set to play Ireland and Fiji and South Africa had planned to host Scotland and Georgia. World Rugby said the postponement is due “to ongoing government and health agency COVID-19 directives.”

Bill Beaumont re-elected as World Rugby chairman

AP Photo

Former England captain Bill Beaumont has been re-elected as World Rugby chairman on Saturday after beating Agustín Pichot, the current vice-chairman.

The sport’s governing body says the 68-year-old Beaumont achieved a first-round majority of 28 votes to 23.

Beaumont says: “I am honored to accept the mandate of the World Rugby Council to serve as the international federation’s chairman once again.”

He begins his four-year term after a council meeting on May 12.

French rugby federation president Bernard Laporte becomes Beaumont’s new vice-chairman.