Tata Communications to deliver rugby union matches to 100 countries
Tata Communications has announced that it will be the Official Broadcast Partner as the top rugby union teams of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres clash in three matches in France and Hong Kong.
The video feeds of the three matches will be distributed live in high-definition to broadcasters, including Setanta Sports, Eurosport Australia and l’Equipe 21, using Tata Communications’ Video Connect service. Video Connect enables broadcasters to deliver live video feeds from anywhere in the world over Tata Communications’ IP network, with connectivity to over 240 countries and territories. Underpinned by the world’s largest wholly-owned subsea fibre network, it ensures a seamless, high-quality viewing experience for sports fans.
“Up to 20 million rugby fans across 100 countries are expected to tune in for these games, featuring some of the biggest names in the sport, so there is no room for error,” says Brian Morris, vice-president & general manager, Global Media and Entertainment services, Tata Communications. “In the same way as we harness our superfast fibre network to enable F1 to reach its fans worldwide, regardless of race location, we will use our sports broadcasting and content delivery expertise to bring these historic rugby matches to people’s living rooms.”
In the first match, taking place on February 5 in Toulon, France, the reigning European champions RC Toulon will face The Sharks from South Africa, one of the top teams in the Super Rugby, the pre-eminent professional rugby union competition in the Southern Hemisphere.
The second match, taking place in Hong Kong on February 6, will be a clash between five-time French champions Racing 92, and the reigning Super Rugby champions, New Zealand’s Highlanders. This match will see Dan Carter, World Rugby Player of the Year and one of the greatest fly-halfs of all time, lead his new French side against a squad that includes six All Blacks players, as they battle it out for the 2016 Natixis Cup.
In the third match, taking place on February 11 in Toulouse, France, The Sharks will face Stade Toulousain, 19-time French champions and an institution of European rugby, with the winning side taking home the Hemispheres Cup.
“There are 10,000 kilometres and several time zones between the match locations, so we need a partner with the reach and capability in both Europe and Asia to distribute these matches internationally,” says Phillipe Spanghero, director of SL Events, which organises the matches. “Working with Tata Communications will enable us to deliver a brilliant viewing experience for fans, as the best teams of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres battle it out on the pitch.”