Home Nations yet to agree TV deals for Rugby World Cup warm-up games

EXCLUSIVE: Rugby’s Home Nations are yet to agree TV broadcast deals for World Cup warm-up matches, with their attempts to get a better deal yet to pay off as Sky, ITV and Amazon Prime hold fire

  • The Home Nations have not yet fixed up TV deals for World Cup warm-up games 
  • Rugby’s usual broadcast partners are reluctant to commit to showing all of them 
  • The countries taking charge of selling TV rights themselves has not yet paid off 

The Home Nations have yet to agree television deals for their World Cup warm-up matches this summer, with the rugby’s usual broadcast partners reluctant to commit to showing the number of games on offer.

Sportsmail has learned that the Six Nations have taken charge of collectively selling the TV rights for the six European sides ahead of the tournament in France in the hope of getting a better deal, but this approach has yet to pay off.

ITV have bought the exclusive rights for the World Cup in France, but have yet to bid for the warm-up games despite numerous attractive matches being available. 

England play Wales home and away in August, as well as facing Ireland and Fiji, whilst South Africa and Australia will also be in Europe ahead of the tournament for matches against Wales and France. 

In addition, New Zealand are due to face South Africa at Twickenham.

Home Nations are yet to agree TV deals for their World Cup warm-up matches this summer

The World Cup will take place in France in September and October, with the usual broadcast partners yet to bid for warm-up games despite numerous attractive matches being available

The likes of ITV, Sky and Amazon Prime are reluctant to commit to the full number of matches

Sky Sports bought the rights for England’s warm-up games prior to the 2019 World Cup in Japan, but the satellite broadcaster have scaled back their rugby coverage over the last four years and it is unclear if they will bid again. 

The August fixtures also clash with the start of the Premier League season and Sky’s coverage of the Hundred, which would lead to scheduling issues for Sky.

Amazon Prime outbid Sky to win the rights to broadcast the Autumn Internationals for the last three years.

However, that move was part of a deliberate strategy to buy up sports content in the build-up to Christmas and the streaming giant have yet to bid for summer events in the UK. 

Whilst ITV are long-term rights holders of both the World Cup and Six Nations, their focus is on casual fans who tune in for big events rather than international friendlies.

Source: Read Full Article