- Users registered in Ireland, as well as certain territories in Europe, Asia and the MENA region to access them
- Rugby Australia describes move as “stopgap solution” in the absence of TV deals
World Rugby and Rugby Australia (RA) have announced a partnership that will see the world rugby union’s governing body live stream Super Rugby AU matches through its digital platforms in select key international territories.
The broadcasts will be made available free of charge to registered users in the UK, Ireland, select European countries, Asia (excluding Japan), North Africa and the Middle East.
Access to the World Rugby platform will be geo-blocked in territories that already have broadcasting agreements holding the rights, including South Africa (SuperSport), New Zealand (Sky TV), the Americas (ESPN) , the Pacific Islands / PNG (Digicel), France, Italy and Spain (Telefonica).
The first game broadcast via World Rugby platforms will be Western Force against the Melbourne Rebels on March 12, before the Brumbies face the Queensland Reds on March 13.
World Rugby claims its digital streaming platform has proven to be very effective for the Rugby World Cup, HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and other international fixtures.
RA Managing Director Andy Marinos said: “The broadcast landscape has changed dramatically since the disruption of Covid-19, and although this is an interim fix for the 2021 season, we are extremely excited about the partnership with World Rugby.
“It’s an innovative solution that ensures that our great Australian game is freely accessible in the overseas territories, and I know it will delight both Australian expats living abroad as well as international fans.”
Internationally, World Rugby has confirmed the postponement of the 2021 Rugby World Cup, with the women’s tournament in New Zealand now due to be played in 2022.
The governing body’s executive committee also revealed a £ 2million (US $ 2.7million) high performance fund for qualifying nations and teams still competing in the qualification process.
Super Rugby AU matches set to be broadcast live on World Rugby digital platforms