Irish broadcaster, TV3, has been granted domestic rights to show all 48 live games at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. In a joint press conference with Rugby World Cup Limited in Dublin earlier this week, TV3 outlined its broadcast schedule that will include the live free-to-air screening of all 48 games together with a TV, digital and mobile highlights package.
“TV3 is honoured to have been awarded these prestigious rights by the International Rugby Board,” explained David McRedmond, TV3 Group CEO. “As Ireland’s leading commercial broadcaster, TV3 is building its strongest ever schedule of originated programming. The Rugby World Cup win is an endorsement of the strategy to invest in the most relevant content for Irish audiences and advertisers.”
The breakdown of TV3’s anticipated coverage will see it broadcast roughly 20 matches on TV3 and the remainder on 3e, although sub-licensing agreements with other Irish broadcasters is also a reported consideration. The broadcaster has also confirmed that it is in discussions with respective platforms regarding the launch of TV3 HD during the first half of 2015.
Nigel Cogley, TV3 Group director of broadcasting and executive producer of the broadcaster’s World Cup coverage, added, “TV3’s recent investment in one of the most advanced HD studios in these islands and the replacement of core technology will allow TV3 to show the World Cup at its best. Over the coming year, we will build the best rugby broadcast team to delight our viewers.”
The news follows a period of relative upheaval in Irish sports broadcasting rights, with Sky gaining a bulk of the country’s GAA coverage (Gaelic football and hurling) from TV3, while Setanta Sports confirmed that the two European club rugby tournaments – the European Rugby Champions Cup (formerly the Heineken Cup) and the Challenge Cup – will be broadcast live to Setanta Sports subscribers via BT Sport from 2014.