NBC Sports Group, World Rugby Ink Four-Year Deal for HSBC World Rugby Sevens
NBC Sports Group and World Rugby have announced a four-year partnership to exclusively present the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series across NBC Sports platforms in the U.S. through 2023.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, an annual series of international rugby sevens tournaments featuring national teams from 17 countries in men’s and women’s competition, will provide more than 300 hours of programming annually across NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app. It will also be available with a digital subscription through NBC Sports Gold’s Rugby Pass — NBC Sports Group’s premium-subscription product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs.
Information about Rugby World Cup offerings for NBC Sports Pub Pass – the Peacock’s new customizable Over The Top (OTT) platform developed specifically for the retail pub/restaurant market in the U.S. – will be available soon.
“We are excited to welcome back the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series to the NBC Sports family,” says Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports & NBCSN. “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.”
The Women’s Sevens Series tournament begins this October while the Men’s tournament starts in December 2019. The top four teams in both the Men’s and Women’s Sevens Series in 2019 earned automatic qualification for the Olympics. The USA men’s and women’s teams both finished last season ranked No. 2 in the world which secured their spots at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Independent Nielsen research has found USA to have the highest proportion of rugby fans worldwide with more than 33 million people who are either ‘interested or very interested’ in the sport, demonstrating the huge potential for the growth of rugby in the USA.
World Rugby CEO, Brett Gosper comments: “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.”
The HSBC Sevens Series – which was an NBC Sports property from 2010-2016 – joins an extensive collection of rugby programming across NBC Sports platforms which spans the calendar year, including the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan beginning in September, Gallagher Premiership Rugby beginning in October and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.