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Rugby World Cup Final: South Africa Crushes England

By Joe Ritchie

The Springboks won the country’s third world championship, 32-12, extending the dominance of teams from the Southern Hemisphere.

South Africa Crushes England in Rugby World Cup Final

By Joe Ritchie

The Springboks won the country’s third world championship, 32-12, extending the dominance of teams from the Southern Hemisphere.

At Rugby World Cup, South African Star Cherishes His Chance

By Joe Ritchie

After a life-threatening health crisis, Bongi Mbonambi is in the starting lineup for the World Cup final as part of a vanguard of black players reshaping their country’s national team.

Eddie Jones Has England Rugby Right Where He Wants It

By Joe Ritchie

The tempestuous and successful coach will lead England against South Africa in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final.

Rugby World Cup: South Africa Edges Wales to Reach Final

By Joe Ritchie

With a 19-16 semifinal victory, the Springboks will get a chance at their third title. England stands in their way.

Rugby World Cup: England Upsets New Zealand in Stunner

By Joe Ritchie

The All Blacks, the defending champions, lost 19-7, and England will face either Wales or South Africa in the World Cup final.

It’s North Versus South (Hemispheres) in the Rugby World Cup

By Joe Ritchie

New Zealand, the two-time defending champion, faces England, and Wales plays South Africa in the semifinals in Japan.

Japan’s Success at World Cup Buoys Hopes for Rugby at Home

By Ken Belson

Can a World Cup do for Japanese rugby what an earlier one did for Japanese soccer?

Japan Braces for Typhoon Hagibis, With Millions in Its Path

By Motoko Rich

Cancellations were announced as cities, railways and airlines scrambled to prepare for the incoming storm, which is expected to make landfall over the weekend.

Rugby World Cup in Japan Is Disrupted by Storm

By Joe Ritchie

With a supertyphoon bearing down on Japan, for the first time ever, organizers canceled two pool matches, citing safety concerns.

Rugby World Cup in Japan Disrupted by Super Typhoon

By Joe Ritchie

With a super typhoon bearing down on Japan, for the first time ever, organizers canceled two pool matches, citing safety concerns.

Japan Braces for Typhoon, Canceling Rugby World Cup Games and Flights

By Motoko Rich

The cancellations were announced as cities, railways and airlines scrambled to prepare for the incoming storm, which is expected to make landfall over the weekend.

Storm in Pacific Ocean on Path Toward Japan

By Karen Zraick

The center of Super Typhoon Hagibis was in the Pacific Ocean, and could hit Tokyo this weekend.

Storm in Pacific Ocean on Path Toward Japan

By Karen Zraick

The center of Super Typhoon Hagibis was in the Pacific Ocean, and could hit Tokyo this weekend.

Japan’s Rugby World Cup first in 8K format

By Julian Clover

The organisers of Rugby World Cup 2019 are anticipating record audiences for the tournament that gets underway on September 20.

It’s estimated Japan 2019 will reach the broadest audience to date with the action being seen in 800 million households in 217 territories, surpassing the 683 million homes record in 2015.

Coverage is being offered to broadcasters through multiple feeds in multiple formats, meaning broadcasters will have the opportunity to tailor content and transmit the tournament in UHD/4K format.

Meanwhile, the innovative public broadcaster NHK will bring coverage in 8K to the Japanese domestic market.

“We identified the areas where we could enhance the experience and looked at the ways in which we could deliver more content and in ways that rugby viewers have not seen before,” said International Games Broadcast Services (IGBS) co-project director Dan Miodownik. “By matching World Rugby’s ambition with our experience, I believe we have achieved that objective. It is going to be an exciting project.”

A total of 34 cameras will cover all angles for the semi-finals and the final, rising from the 28 and 23 camera plans used for other categories of matches during the six-week tournament.

Augmented Reality graphics will be incorporated into the coverage, in 34 of the 48 matches for elements such as team line-ups, player comparisons, statistics and tables. IGBS will also provide a range of content, including infographics for social and digital platforms.

Sky NZ buys OTT rugby provider

By Julian Clover

New Zealand’s Sky Television is spending €37 million on the acquisition of RugbyPass, which runs a live streaming rugby service across Asia, Australia and Europe.

Dublin-based RugbyPass reaches 40 million rugby fans a month and is the rights holder of SANZAAR, the international competition involving Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in 62 countries across Asia and Europe, including 39 exclusively.

“RugbyPass has established itself as an important player in the sport streaming world. It has the ability to reach rugby fans in markets that are not currently well-served with rugby content, and a strong growth plan for more markets,” said chief executive Martin Stewart. “Sky’s investment will support that growth plan, including by leveraging our capabilities of developing rugby communities and providing high quality and engaging rugby content.

Sky, which is completely separate to Comcast’s European company has been bolstering its rugby coverage against telephony provider Spark. On Wednesday it launched the Sky Sport Now app that gives online access to Sky Sport channels online within New Zealand.

“We’re delighted to be joining the Sky family. RugbyPass was created as a market disruptor to help bring rugby to a younger, internet savvy audience on a global scale. Rugby is a growth sport globally and we estimate there are 120 million rugby fans around the world, many of them in developing rugby markets where rugby is a secondary sport and access to content can be difficult,” said Tim Martin, chief executive, RugbyPass.

Launched in 2016, RugbyPass broadcasts live in 63 countries and is the largest publisher of Rugby content in the world.

NENT Group secures Nordic rights to Rugby World Cup 2019

By Broadband TV News Correspondent

All 48 matches from Rugby World Cup 2019 will be available in the Nordic region following the rights’ acquisition by NENT Group.

The tournament, being held in Japan from September 20 to November 2, will be streamed on NENT’s Viaplay service.

First held in 1987, the Rugby World Cup is contested every four years between the world’s top rugby union nations. New Zealand are the current champions after defeating Australia in the final of Rugby World Cup 2015 – a competition that attracted a dedicated following among Nordic fans when streamed live on Viaplay.

Kim Mikkelsen, NENT Group Head of Sport: “Rugby union continues to grow around the world – Japan is set to host Asia’s first-ever Rugby World Cup and in the Nordic region the game is captivating more and more fans. Our coverage of the previous Rugby World Cup and the Six Nations has found an enthusiastic audience on Viaplay, and now NENT Group is showing all 48 games from Rugby World Cup 2019 live. Yet again we’re proving that, when it comes to the world’s best live sports, Viaplay is the only place to stream.”

Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland are all growth territories for rugby, with World Rugby estimating that the Nordic region currently has 24,000 rugby players (9,000 registered). Sweden has more than 820,000 rugby fans, the majority of whom are under the age of 34 and female, reflecting the sport’s ability to reach and inspire new audiences. All four Nordic teams took part in qualifying matches for Rugby World Cup 2019.

Childs to head Premiership Rugby

By Julian Clover

Outgoing UKTV chief executive Darren Childs has been confirmed as the new boss of Premiership Rugby.

Childs will replace Mark McCafferty, who will step down in June 2019, at the end of the current season.

“As the game evolves under new ownership, we are excited about the expertise and insight that Darren will bring from his experience leading fast-growing media businesses. The Board looks forward to working with Darren to further develop the Premiership Rugby brand, product, digital and media execution,” said Ian Ritchie, chairman, Premiership Rugby.

In February, Childs announced he would be leaving UKTV after eight years in the role. During that time he saw profits triple as the broadcaster that includes Dave, Home and Really among its brands ramped up its original production.

Said Childs: I have always admired the values Rugby demonstrates on the pitch and in the community and it will be a fantastic opportunity to work with the Clubs, and the Board to create even more fans of the sport. Premiership Rugby and European Professional Club Rugby are full of thrills and the future will certainly provide many more.”

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