RTÉ has signed a sub licensing deal with eir Sport which gives them the rights to broadcast all of Ireland’s Women’s Rugby World Cup games plus the Women’s Rugby World Cup Final across TV, radio and online this August.
eir Sport retain the rights to show all those games as well as every other match to be played in the tournament to its conclusion in Belfast’s Kingspan Stadium on August 26th.
Ireland’s pool games against Australia on 9 August, Japan on 13 August and France on 17 August will be live on both networks bringing them to as wide an audience as they deserve.
Separately RTÉ has secured radio rights for the tournament from World Rugby with details to be announced at a later date.
The deal to broadcast the games echoes the deal whereby RTÉ themselves shared matches with TV3 during the course of last year’s Euro 2016 finals and reflects a maturity between channels in Ireland that can only be good for the viewing public.
Promotion of the tournament will also add to ambitions to seal out the games and create a real sense of national excitement around the tournament.
The deal was signed between two former colleagues in Ryle Nugent, Head of Sport at RTÉ and Glen Killane who left the state broadcaster to become Head of TV and Sport at eir in 2016.
“eir Sport will be showing up to 30 live games throughout the tournament, including all the Irish women’s games and the final,” said Killane.
“We have also agreed with RTÉ to sub-licence the Irish games and the final on a non-exclusive basis so as to make more games available to Irish Sports fans.”
“The staging of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland will undoubtedly capture the imagination of a sports loving nation in August and RTÉ is delighted to partner with eir Sport, another Irish broadcaster, to ensure that Ireland’s games in the tournament and the final are delivered to Irish audiences free-to-air on TV and online,” added Nugent.
“RTÉ will also bring live radio coverage of the tournament to listeners as part of a comprehensive cross-platform offering so that audiences can follow team Ireland’s games across RTÉ TV, radio and online”.
“The growth of the women’s game is a key priority for World Rugby and I have no doubt that this year’s tournament in Dublin and Belfast will further enhance one of the fastest growing team sports in the world by inspiring girls to take up our great game,” said Bill Beaumont, Chairman of World Rugby.
The fact of a commercially acceptable and audience friendly approach between the two broadcasters sets a positive precedent which will not go unnoticed in the corridors of power by those who will be voting on the destination of the 2023 Men’s Rugby World Cup later this year.
RTÉ Sport and eir are both members of the Sport for Business Community and we will be reporting on their coverage of sport throughout the year through news, analysis, interviews and events that bring you the inside track on sports media in Ireland.