Sky New Zealand has agreed a wide-ranging deal with World Rugby that secures exclusive rights to premium competitions, including Rugby World Cups, for seven years. Under the deal, World Rugby will acquire RugbyPass, and the two parties have agreed a joint approach to the production of exclusive programming, particularly in the women’s game.
The rights agreement includes every men’s and every women’s Rugby World Cup, the new WXV (international women’s fifteens competition) and the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series between 2023 and 2029.
Sky Chief Executive Sophie Moloney said: “Sky’s goal is to connect New Zealanders with the sport and entertainment they love, in ways that work for them. This agreement secures exclusive access to all of World Rugby’s premium competitions for many years, and we are thrilled to be able to offer them to all New Zealanders on the Sky Box, our streaming services and free-to-air.”
“The partnership includes an agreement to co-produce exciting new programming with an emphasis on the women’s game, a strategic priority for both Sky and World Rugby. We look forward to working together to tell stories that motivate, inspire and challenge.”
“This significant deal also sees World Rugby acquiring RugbyPass, the established destination for rugby fans across the globe with comprehensive rugby news, analysis, shows, podcasts, live match statistics and results. In the last two years RugbyPass has focused on building its audience and network business, and it is an exciting transition for the RugbyPass team to step into the World Rugby family, and to work with World Rugby to deliver on its strategic mission to grow the sport globally.
‘We are delighted with this partnership, and look forward to working with World Rugby to deliver superb rugby content to our customers here in Aotearoa New Zealand, and to supporting their efforts to grow the game of rugby globally.”
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin added: “World Rugby’s mission is to grow the global rugby family. To put it simply, we want more people to be able to access the very best of the sport and be inspired by all it has to offer.
“This landmark deal reflects that mission. Not only does the deal provide New Zealanders with certainty of a world class destination for all World Rugby premium competitions through to 2029, including four Rugby World Cups, in acquiring Rugby Pass, it enables World Rugby to grow the audience for all our stakeholders.
“RugbyPass is an established destination within rugby in terms of the audience footprint it generates on its own channels and, with our combined support and access to content, is perfectly positioned to grow exponentially, providing the platform to accelerate rugby’s advancement in key markets.
“We are excited by this unprecedented deal and its potential to unify a very fragmented rights environment. I would like to thank Sky New Zealand for helping make this possible, and look forward to working in partnership with Sky to deliver our premium competitions to New Zealanders, and to working with our wider stakeholders and the RugbyPass team to supercharge rugby’s reach and engagement.”