Universal Sports launches new OTT platform ahead of Rugby World Cup

Universal Sports Network, the year-round destination for Olympic, endurance and action sports programming, announced today the launch of WatchRWC2015, a digital streaming pay-per-view (PPV) product designed for the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2015. Live streaming and on-demand access to all of the six-week tournament’s 48 matches will be available both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms exclusively via WatchRWC2015 in the US and US territories.

Located at UniversalSports.com/WatchRugby, the new WatchRWC2015 over-the-top (OTT) platform offers viewers the ability to purchase and stream all 48 Rugby World Cup matches in HD. The service will be available via the web on desktop and mobile devices from a single online destination, as well as selectconnected TV, iOS and Android apps. WatchRWC2015 also features a mobile responsive design that adjusts to the user’s device for optimal viewing on mobile and tablet devices.

Exclusively through WatchRWC2015, fans are able to purchase a 48-match tournament package for $199.99 or individual matches at $27.95 per game through an easy-to-navigate interface. After setting up an online account at UniversalSports.com/WatchRugby, consumers can easily select and purchase matches with a credit card through a secure website. All purchases will be available on-demand throughDecember 1, 2015.

“Universal Sports Network will offer more access points to watch the Rugby World Cup in the United States than ever before,” said Scott Brown, President of Universal Sports Network. “This new over-the-top product enables us to deliver one of the biggest sporting events in the world across multiple platforms allowing fans to follow every minute of the action from England.”

To develop the WatchRWC2015 digital platform, Universal Sports Network used Cupertino-based 1 Mainstream, the leading platform for broadcasters, networks and pay TV companies to distribute premium content to connected devices. In addition, 1 Mainstream’s cross-platform authentication enables users with a subscription to watch Rugby World Cup matches on multiple devices.

“WatchRWC2015 helps us provide the broadest possible access for fans to watch the entire Rugby World Cup 2015 tournament,” said Universal Sports Network SVP of Digital Media and Strategic Partnerships, Edward Derse. “This platform will be the only online destination available to watch the entire 48-match tournament, and also ensures that fans will have a seamless viewing experience no matter the device from which they choose to stream matches.”

In addition to live pay-per-view streaming, Universal Sports and NBC will broadcast nine of the tournament’s 48 matches. Individual matches also will be available live on a residential TV pay-per-view basis from cable and satellite providers in the coming weeks.

Universal Sports Network acquired multi-platform media rights to the Rugby World Cup in a multi-year deal with World Rugby (previously known as the IRB or International Rugby Board) prior to the 2011 edition which allowed for Universal Sports and NBC to broadcast the quadrennial tournament LIVE for the first time in the United States.

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