Rugby World Cup 2015 hosting preparations have been further boosted by the appointment of TF1 as rights holding television broadcaster for the French market by tournament owners Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL).
The deal, which represents a significant financial commitment for the rights, follows a highly-competitive tender process for the French rights, which are among the highest-rating in the Rugby World Cup broadcast portfolio.
The announcement extends TF1’s partnership with Rugby World Cup after the broadcaster delivered exceptional audience figures in 2007 and 2011 and continues the strong commercial momentum that will see the tournament’s Worldwide Partner portfolio locked down in record time.
The French market delivered 17.8 million viewers for the Rugby World Cup 2011 final, representing an 87 per cent audience share, while 20 million tuned in for the Rugby World Cup 2007 semi-final between France and England, when TF1 was host broadcaster of the record-grossing event.
With Rugby experiencing unprecedented growth in participation, popularity and engagement and Rugby World Cup returning to a strong European broadcast market, England 2015 looks set to raise the bar once again.
Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Rugby World Cup and TF1 have enjoyed a long and highly-successful partnership. Through its passion and dedication for Rugby and exceptional production values, TF1 has played a leading role in the promotion of the sport and Rugby World Cup and we look forward to extending our strong partnership to deliver an exciting experience for sports fans in France.”
“We are extremely excited about our broadcast offering for England 2015, which is on track to deliver record numbers of broadcasters, live hours and digital and we will be shortly announcing a schedule of kick-off times that will maximise exposure and engagement.”
Under the terms of the deal, TF1 will manage the broadcast of live coverage of all 48 matches. The broadcasting giant will also deliver TV, digital and mobile highlights offering.
The announcement is a major coup for the broadcaster, who have a long standing partnership with the sport and Rugby World Cup with the 2015 event being the third successive that TF1 has performed the role of rights holding broadcaster.
TF1 Group Chairman Nonce Paolini said: “The signature of the contract with Rugby World Cup Limited is excellent news for the Group. Following the strong success of previous Rugby World Cups on our channel, the TF1 Group will bring an exciting viewing platform for this magnificent spectacle to viewers across France.”
Rugby World Cup 2015, the eighth edition of Rugby’s showcase quadrennial showcase event, kicks-off on September 18 and will feature the world’s top 20 Rugby nations, playing 48 matches across iconic venues the length and breadth of England and Wales.
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