FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 19th, 2018
NBC SPORTS GROUP ACQUIRES EXCLUSIVE U.S. MEDIA RIGHTS TO CHAMPIONS CUP RUGBY
NBC Sports Group to Present More Than 150 Hours of Champions Cup Coverage During 2018-19 Season
Multi-Year Agreement Bolsters NBC Sports Group’s Robust Rugby Portfolio, Which Includes Rugby World Cup, Six Nations Championship and Premiership Rugby
All Champions Cup Matches to Stream Live on NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports Digital’s Direct-to-Consumer Live Streaming Product
STAMFORD, Conn. – March 19, 2018 – NBC Sports Group has partnered with European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) on an exclusive multi-year U.S. media rights agreement for the Champions Cup, both parties announced today. Per the agreement, NBC Sports will present more than 150 hours of Champions Cup coverage next season across NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports Digital’s direct-to-consumer live streaming product.
The Champions Cup is an international club rugby competition comprised of the top clubs across elite European rugby leagues, including Aviva Premiership Rugby (England), Top 14 (France), and Guinness PRO14 (Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy).
“We’re excited to partner with European Professional Club Rugby and the Champions Cup, which represents the best rugby teams in Europe,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports Group. “The Champions Cup enhances our robust rugby portfolio, which features the Rugby World Cup, Six Nations, and Premiership Rugby. NBC Sports is the unquestioned home of rugby in the United States, and we’re committed to super-serving this expanding fanbase.”
“We are delighted to be working with NBC Sports, who will greatly expand our coverage of European professional club rugby in the USA, which is a key market for us,” said Carsten Couchouron, EPCR Marketing and Commercial Director. “Their existing portfolio of rugby rights means that NBC Sports will bring significant editorial and production experience to the transmission of outstanding rugby experiences from the Champions Cup in future seasons.”
NBC Sports’ 2018-19 coverage of the Champions Cup will feature more than 65 matches across NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and NBC Sports Gold, including live coverage of the final on NBC. NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will provide streaming coverage alongside matches airing on NBC and NBCSN. NBC Sports Gold will provide live streaming coverage of all matches throughout the duration of the agreement, and NBC and NBCSN will present at least 15 matches each season. Pricing for Champions Cup coverage on NBC Sports Gold will be announced soon.
Additionally, as part of the agreement, NBC Sports Gold will provide streaming coverage of the quarterfinals, semifinals, and final for the Challenge Cup, which features additional clubs across elite European rugby leagues that do not qualify for the Champions Cup.
European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) is the organiser of the European Rugby Champions Cup, the European Rugby Challenge Cup and the European Rugby Continental Shield with the stated mission of creating outstanding rugby experiences for all touched by its competitions.
Established in 2014 with headquarters in Switzerland, EPCR has the following shareholders: Federation Francaise de Rugby (FFR), Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR), Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), Rugby Football Union (RFU), Scottish Rugby, Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR), Premiership Rugby (PRL) and Pro Rugby Wales.
The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup feature clubs which have qualified on merit from their respective domestic leagues – the Aviva Premiership, the TOP 14 and the Guinness PRO14, with the latter also featuring two qualifiers from the Continental Shield.
ABOUT NBC SPORTS GROUP
When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN, Golf Channel, NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital, which includes NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com, GolfChannel.com, the digital assets of the NBC Sports Regional Networks, Rotoworld, the NBC Sports Talk franchise, multiple apps, and two transactional sports businesses, GolfNow and SportsEngine. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, The R&A, PGA of America, Churchill Downs, Premier League, Rugby World Cup, Six Nations Championship, Tour de France, French Open, IndyCar and many more.
ABOUT NBC SPORTS GOLD
NBC Sports Gold — NBC Sports Digital’s direct-to-consumer live streaming product — launched in 2016 with a “Cycling Pass,” which included the 2016 Tour de France, Vuelta a España, Monument Classics such as the Paris Roubaix, and more. In addition to its “Cycling Pass,” which this season includes more than 25 races, in 2017 NBC Sports Gold expanded its offerings to include a “Track and Field Pass,” offering access to more than 25 major events; a “Rugby Pass,” including every Premiership Rugby match, select Women’s Rugby World Cup matches, the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens and the 2018 Six Nations Championship; a “Pro Motocross Pass,” featuring the entire 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship season; a “Premier League Pass” giving fans in the U.S. exclusive access to 130 live Premier League matches plus the most robust offering of Premier League shoulder programming ever available in the U.S.; and an international “Notre Dame Football Season Pass,” offering fans in 13 international countries access to every home game during the 2017 season. NBC Sports Gold is available on Apple iOS, Android, Apple TV V4, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and online at NBCSportsGold.com. NBC Sports Gold is powered by Playmaker Media, NBC Sports Digital’s technology service which provides end-to-end support for companies in need of best-in-class live streaming and VOD solutions.
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