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England’s RFU (rugby football union) has struck an international online streaming agreement with YouTube meaning its side’s games can be viewed live in 28 countries around the world.
The pact begins with this year’s England QBE International ties meaning RFU fans in markets that currently do not broadcast the games can watch the side’s games online via the official RFU channel.
The deal began with England’s test match against Fiji, which took place last weekend, and now spans multiple European and Central Asian markets as well as Russia and Turkey, (see at bottom of page for full list).
YouTube and England’s commercial tie-up also means the sports body can also develop its existing official YouTube channel by promoting its archive footage, with the RFU reporting that its channel has pushed past the 2m views mark since England’s 54-12 victory over Fiji last weekend.
The RFU has confirmed to new media age that currently there are no ads served against its content, either in the UK or abroad, although there is the potential for this to change. Plus England RFU’s official shirt sponsor O2 features prominently in the channel’s content, (see video below).
RFUTV - England Rugby on YouTube
Sophie Goldschmidt, the RFU’s CCO, said, “This partnership is about broadening the reach of rugby into territories that traditionally haven’t had access to these games.”
Steve Nuttall, YouTube Sport senior director, highlighted how the deal would help supplement England RFU’s coverage in markets where there is currently no TV broadcast agreements.
The announcement comes as England prepares to line-up against Australia at Twickenham Stadium in tomorrow’s QBE test match with the remaining games against South Africa, on November 24, and New Zealand, December 1, also to be streamed via the YouTube channel.
The 28 countries covered by this live-streaming agreement are: