Universal Sports Network Launches Social Scrum Online Portal for 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup

Universal Sports Network, in partnership with BumeBox, launched Social Scrum, an online platform that aggregates social media and allows fans to interact throughout the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup. Available at www.universalsports.com/socialscrum, fans can engage with the event as well as each other as they cheer on their favorite team and catch up on scores, standings, and updates. Social Scrum will display Twitter feeds from fans around the world who are talking about the Rugby World Cup and provide live updates from the event.

Social Scrum is an exciting initiative for us and continues our goal of providing fans with extensive coverage of the sports we broadcast, as well as enhancing the fan base through our vast multimedia offerings,” said Elliott Gordon, vice president and general manager of digital media for Universal Sports. “We are pleased that during one of rugby’s biggest events we can unite the sport’s passionate fans and give them a way to connect and engage online.”

Universal Sports’ Social Scrum platform will complement its extensive multi-platform offerings of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup. Fans can watch upcoming events including a re-air of the USA vs. Italy match today at 8 p.m. (ET) on Universal Sports, New Zealand vs. Canada on October 2 at 3 p.m. (ET) on NBC, and the New Zealand vs. Canada re-air on October 2 at 7 p.m. (ET) on Universal Sports.

In total, Universal Sports and NBC Sports will broadcast 10 of the tournament’s 48 matches, with the remaining 38 matches available live on a residential and commercial pay-per-view basis from leading cable, satellite, and iPV providers. Viewers should check TV listings for complete details.

In addition, online streaming of all 48 matches, including 41 live contests, are available at UniversalSports.com on a subscription basis. Users are able to purchase individual matches or a full-tournament package.

The Rugby World Cup is the latest Universal Sports Network event to highlight the network’s national marketing campaign alerting viewers about its transition from multicast to a multi-platform, high definition service beginning in 2012.  Viewers can make their voices heard by calling 1-800-55-GET-US to speak with their TV providers and demand access to Universal Sports Network and upgrade their experience through Universal Sports in HD or by following this link: I Want Universal Sports.

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