HomeBroadcastWorld Rugby acquires RugbyPass, Enters Direct-To-Consumer Market

World Rugby acquires RugbyPass, Enters Direct-To-Consumer Market

World Rugby acquires RugbyPass, Enters Direct-To-Consumer Market

Rugby Union’s international governing body, World Rugby, has purchased RugbyPass and it’s global stable of digital properties, as part of a wide-ranging rights deal with Sky New Zealand.

Rugby Union website, RugbyPass, presents fans with comprehensive news, analysis, shows, highlights, podcasts, documentaries, fixtures and results, and has built up an audience that sits at 7 million across the companies’ properties.

The purchase signals World Rugby’s ambition to grow the sport globally by accelerating it’s direct-to-onsumer content.

Commenting on the acquisition, World Rugby chief executive, Alan Gilpin, said: “World Rugby’s mission is to grow the global rugby family.”

“To do that, rugby must be more accessible and more relevant to more people more of the time and we must create deeper relationships with those who love the game, those who are casuals and those yet to discover our sport. This deal reflects that mission.” He said

This deal, combined with World Rugby’s rights deal with Sky New Zealand will see a collaborative effort to produce new content with an emphasis on the women’s game from both organisations.

Continuing, Gilpin added: “Rugby Pass is an established destination within Rugby in terms of the audience and 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 emerging markets.

“We are excited by this deal and it’s potential to unify a very fragmented rights environment and support our unions be creating an engaged and unified audience that benefits everyone,” he said.

RugbyPass interim CEO Hazel Dodd, added: “The acquisition of our digital brands and platforms by World Rugby is a win-win for both parties, strengthening our combined content creation capabilities and doubling our audience reach.”

“RugbyPass is all about bringing fans closer to the game, telling the stories that matter in an authentic and entertaining way.

“With World Rugby’s backing, we will now be able to bring more of those stories to life,” he said.

World Rugby does explicity state that they do not wish to change ‘RugbyPass’s authentic and impactful editorial tone’ and ensure it will be kept separate from existing corporate channels.

This deal follows the announcement that World Rugby had struck a landmark deal with French IT company, Capgemini to partner the women’s game.

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