With Ireland going for a Six Nations Grand Slam this weekend and currently holding number one position in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings Powered by Capgemini, excitement for the tournament in France is already at fever pitch across the Irish rugby family.
The agreement will see all 48 matches being broadcast free to air on Irish television across RTÉ television, RTÉ Player and Virgin TV and Virgin Player. Ireland’s matches will be shared across the broadcasters with the Rugby World Cup Final being broadcast simultaneously live on both RTÉ and Virgin. RTÉ has also secured live radio broadcast rights for Ireland’s matches.
The deal completes the major rugby broadcast market line-up for Rugby World Cup 2023, which is on track to be the most widely viewed Rugby World Cup ever.
World Rugby Chief Executive Officer Alan Gilpin said: “There has perhaps never been a better time to be an Ireland rugby fan. Number one in the world and going for a Grand Slam this weekend adds to the anticipation ahead of what promises to be a very special Rugby World Cup 2023 in France. We are delighted that RTÉ and Virgin Media will be telling every moment of the France 2023 story on their free-to-air platforms. They share our passion for Rugby and its ability to attract new audiences and we look forward to working together to make this tournament a tournament to remember.”
RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes said: “Over the last number of years, we have been focused on acquiring sports rights to ensure that our national games and our national teams in action are shared with the widest possible audience. We are delighted to make this latest agreement with World Rugby ensuring that the entire Rugby World Cup tournament is brought to Irish audiences free to air across RTÉ and Virgin Media Television. It’s the jewel in the crown of international rugby and given the Irish team’s phenomenal performance, the excitement is building towards September. It’s a fantastic result that ensures Irish audiences won’t miss any of the action”.
Virgin Media Television Managing Director Paul Farrell added: “We are delighted to have acquired the Rugby World Cup rights and be able to give all Irish sporting fans the chance to support this incredible Irish Rugby team in September. Once again, we are putting Irish sports fans first by freeing up sport, giving them free-to-air access to the highly anticipated Rugby World Cup in France. Irish sports fans can enjoy another historic partnership with RTE, on the back of a very successful joint Guinness Six Nations.”