Journey to Japan: Rugby World Cup matches to be streamed for free in Asia, Host coverage plan revealed
Rugby World Cup 2019 matches will be shown live online in those markets that don’t have broadcast right holders, the competition’s organiser has confirmed.
In a statement, World Rugby said that “reflecting its commitment to growing the sport’s reach in Asia” it would provide a streaming offering for Japan 2019 in territories where broadcast deals are not operational, “meaning that everyone around the globe has access to rugby’s showcase event.”
It also confirmed that 8K coverage will be offered to the Japanese domestic market via NHK.
World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Our mission is to grow the global rugby family and our Rugby World Cup 2019 broadcast plans reflect that mission – providing more content to more people with more innovation than ever before.
“We are excited that new standards will be set in the broadcast and social media presentation of Rugby World Cup, as fans will experience the action from more angles and feel even closer to the world’s top players and the stories that will mark an historic and very special event.”
“We identified the areas where we could enhance the experience and looked at the ways in which we could deliver more content and in ways that rugby viewers have not seen before.”
Japan 2019 will be the first Rugby World Cup where tournament coverage is produced in-house by World Rugby.
The international federation has teamed up with International Games Broadcast Services (IGBS), a joint venture between HBS and IMG Media, to make this happen.
Coverage plan revealed
- 34 cameras will cover the semi-finals and the final, rising from the 28 and 23 camera plans used for other categories of matches during the six-week tournament.
- The access and volume of content produced outside of the match coverage will be four times the volume of the last tournament in 2015, World Rugby said.
- Coverage will be offered through multiple feeds in multiple formats, giving broadcasters the option to tailor content and transmit the tournament in UHD/4K.
- Augmented reality graphics will be incorporated into the coverage, to be deployed for 34 of the 48 matches for elements such as team line-ups, player comparisons, statistics and tables.
- Hawk-Eye Smart Replay technology will be used in the areas of television match officials, medical and fan-engagement.
IGBS co-project director Dan Miodownik said: “We identified the areas where we could enhance the experience and looked at the ways in which we could deliver more content and in ways that rugby viewers have not seen before. By matching World Rugby’s ambition with our experience, I believe we have achieved that objective. It is going to be an exciting project.”
According to World Rugby, Japan 2019 will reach the broadest rugby audience in history with the action broadcast to more than 800 million households in 217 territories.
In 2015 it was available in 683 million homes.
The Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan starts on 20 September. View a full list of rights holders