beIN Asia Pacific acquires Rugby World Cup rights | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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Pay-TV network beIN Asia Pacific is to air the forthcoming Rugby World Cup, following a media rights deal with the event’s governing body World Rugby.

Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 logo 8 August 2019Viewers in Cambodia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Singapore will be able to catch all the action from Japan on the operator’s new dedicated channel, beIN Sports Rugby. The tournament’s 48 matches will also be available to live stream on beIN Sports Connect.

“The rugby fanbase in Asia has grown considerably since the last Rugby World Cup. With the tournament set in Asia for the very first time, it will be an amazing spectacle and a game-changer for the sport. We are incredibly excited to be a part of this momentous event and are committed to bringing high-quality coverage and enhancing fans’ experience across beIN’s multiple touchpoints,” said Mike Kerr, MD, beIN Asia Pacific.

Along with live match coverage, the new channel will carry news, views, analysis, highlights and special features. In the lead up to the event, fans will be treated with greatest moments, best tries, near hits and misses from the past Rugby World Cups.

Sir Bill Beaumont, World Rugby chairman, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming beIN Asia Pacific to the Rugby World Cup 2019 rights-holding broadcast family. As home region for the tournament, Asia is a very important market for rugby participation and fanbase growth and we are excited about the comprehensive platform that will be provided by beIN, a passionate leader in sports’ broadcasting. In partnership with them we will reach and convert a new fanbase, benefitting the sport long after the tournament has finished.”

Inaugurated in 1987, this year’s is the ninth edition of the Rugby World Cup. Twenty of the best teams in the world will battle it out across stadiums in Japan in a bid to lift the Webb Ellis Cup. Host country Japan will meet debutant Russia at the tournament’s curtain-raiser on 20 September at 6.45pm (SGT/HKT).

beIN Sports Rugby will be available on pay-tv platforms in Cambodia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Singapore from 6 September to 10 November.

According to Nielsen research, Asia is home to a rugby following of more than 283 million (the largest regional following). The Philippines has a following of 10.5 million, while Indonesia’s rugby base is now almost 7.5 million. Hong Kong and Singapore have a rugby following of two million each.