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Rugby in New Zealand Is Back. So Are 35,000 Fans.

By Victor Mather

In New Zealand, spectators are ready to pack rugby stadiums. Plus, the long-term ripple effects of coronavirus on global sporting events.

Stands Full of Fan-Submitted Cardboard Cutouts. What Could Go Wrong?

By Victor Mather

In Australia, pranksters threw a wrench into the most innocent of plans. Plus: 16 players from a soccer team in Brazil tested positive for the coronavirus.

Sweaty Scrums? How Rugby May Adapt to Return to Play

By Victor Mather

What happens when the rules don’t allow for social distancing? It depends on who you ask. Plus truncated soccer seasons, and the potential return of fans to tennis matches.

After Fanfare for Baseball, Soccer Is Also Back in South Korea

By Victor Mather

A 1-0 win for Jeonbuk over the Suwon Bluewings got unusual attention because of the pandemic, as crowd noise was pumped in and those on the sidelines wore masks.

The Bumpy Road to Restarting Even Small Sports Leagues

By Victor Mather

Social distancing snafus, athletes in isolation and cities uncomfortable with traveling teams. This is not going to be easy.

ESPN’s Live Sport Savior: Korean Baseball

By Victor Mather

ESPN will air six games a week to its sports-deprived audience, at least those who are night owls or early risers. Plus World’s Strongest Man at home, and bumps in the road for Australian rugby.

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.”