ESPN acquires Rugby site

ESPN has acquired, a leading rugby news, scores and information portal. Launched in 1997, has established a strong and growing presence among worldwide rugby fans. “Rugby has a global fan base,” said Russell Wolff, ESPN Executive Vice President and Managing Director, ESPN International. “This acquisition complements our coverage of rugby across our other platforms in key territories, and is a natural next step for us following our acquisition of in June and the launch of French, German, Spanish and Italian versions of Serving sports fans online around the world is clearly a focus of ours.”

Lynne Frank, Managing Director of ESPN, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “We now offer sports fans world-class online coverage of the top three sports in many of our markets. We are particularly delighted that joins ESPN prior to this year’s Rugby World Cup. In Europe, rugby fans will also be able to watch all the best games from the previous Rugby World Cups on ESPN Classic.”

ESPN has an expansive agreement with the European Rugby Cup as exclusive telecaster of the Heineken Cup through 2010 in Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and North Africa. ESPN will air the 2007 and 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup throughout Latin America including exclusive coverage in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

Paul McFarland, Managing Director of Scrum Ltd, added, “ESPN has been a leader in sports media and an innovator in online sports content for years. I am convinced that ESPN is the right place to take to its next stage of development.”

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