RWC 2019 – Broadcasting to 800 Million

With less than a month to go month to go until Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, World rugby has revealed detail about some of the broadcast innovation that the tournament will deliver to fans around the world.

Japan 2019 is the first Rugby World Cup where broadcast production will be completely produced and controlled by World Rugby. The international federation has teamed up with International Games Broadcast Services (IGBS) to push the boundaries of rugby broadcasting and to ‘enrich fan experience.’

The tournament will reach the broadest rugby audience in history with the action broadcast to more than 800 million households in 217 territories, surpassing the 683 million homes record in 2015.

It will also provide a streaming offering for markets where broadcast deals are not operational, meaning that everyone around the globe has access to rugby’s showcase event.

“Our mission is to grow the global rugby family and our Rugby World Cup 2019 broadcast plans reflect that mission – providing more content to more people with more innovation than ever before,” said World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont.

“We are excited that new standards will be set in the broadcast and social media presentation of Rugby World Cup, as fans will experience the action from more angles and feel even closer to the world’s top players and the stories that will mark an historic and very special event.”

A total of 34 cameras will cover all angles for the semi-finals and the final, rising from the 28 and 23 camera plans used for other categories of matches during the six-week tournament.

Outside of the match coverage there will be four times the volume of content as was produced in 2015.

Coverage will be offered through multiple feeds in multiple formats, meaning broadcasters will have the opportunity to tailor content and transmit the tournament in UHD/4K format. Meanwhile, 8K coverage will be offered to the Japanese domestic market via NHK.

Augmented Reality (AR) graphics will be incorporated into the coverage, to be deployed for 34 of the 48 matches for elements such as team line-ups, player comparisons, statistics and tables.

IGBS will also provide a range of content, including infographics for the @rugbyworldcup social and digital platforms. Hawk-Eye Smart Replay technology will be used in the areas of television match officials, medical and fan-engagement.

“We identified the areas where we could enhance the experience and looked at the ways in which we could deliver more content and in ways that rugby viewers have not seen before,” said IGBS Co-Project Director Dan Miodownik.

“By matching World Rugby’s ambition with our experience, I believe we have achieved that objective. It is going to be an exciting project.”

World Rugby will also geo-target fans via the official tournament and App, ensuring that everyone knows when and where to tune in to Rugby World Cup 2019, while exclusive behind the scenes and daily digital and social media packages will keep fans entertained between matches.

Coverage here in Ireland will be via eir Sport who will show all 48 games live and in full, and RTÉ Sport who will have live coverage of all Ireland’s group stage games and the matches from the knock out stage all the way through to the final on November 2nd.



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