ITV has signed a new deal with World Rugby, giving it exclusive rights to both the men and women’s Rugby World Cups until 2023.
The first event of the new deal will be the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup which will take place in Ireland.
ITV was the host broadcaster of the Rugby World Cup in England in 2015, producing the world and domestic feeds for all 48 matches. The deal renewal will take its partnership with rugby union’s showcase global event to eight editions.
Bill Beaumont, chairman of World Rugby, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with ITV in an exciting long-term deal that will showcase our biggest 15s events, including Rugby World Cup, women’s Rugby World Cup and our annual World Rugby Under-20 Championship, to a free-to-air audience in the UK.
The next men’s Rugby World Cup will be played in Japan, the first time the tournament will be hosted by an Asian country.
In the UK, the World Cup final is the only rugby union event protected for free-to-air live coverage under the so-called ‘crown jewels’ legislation.