NBC Sports and World Rugby have a new broadcast deal. It makes NBC the exclusive broadcast partner for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series through 2023.
“After a hugely successful Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco last year, attended by over 100,000 fans, the popularity of rugby sevens is growing rapidly in the United States and we look forward to the opportunities that working with NBC Sports Group will bring in continuing to reach new audiences in this important market over the next four years,” World Rugby CEO Brent Gosper said in a press release.
Rugby will air across multiple NBC platforms. In addition to matches airing on NBCSN, rugby will also be seen on the Olympic Channel, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app.
NBC has never been afraid to try to create a bigger market for niche sports in the United States. Premier League soccer didn’t have a major following in the United States until NBCSN started putting matches on Saturday mornings. The network is also heavily invested in cycling and the new Premier League Lacrosse.
“As we head into an Olympic year, this partnership with World Rugby allows us to add to our portfolio of the most marquee rugby events in the world and help grow the sport both domestically and internationally,” John Miller, Vice President of Programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN said in a press release.
The women’s tournament begins in October. The men’s tournament will begin in December.
Source: Press release