The Rug World Cup has seen significant commercial growth since its inception in 1987, positioning itself as one of the largest sporting events in the world. With over 2.5 million tickets sold for the upcoming France 2023 tournament, it is expected to attract a global television audience even larger than the 857 million viewers in 2019. The tournament’s success can be attributed to its global appeal and the involvement of major stars in the sport.
Technology has played a vital role in reaching new markets and expanding the Rug World Cup’s audience. While traditional rug nations such as the UK and France generate significant broadcast revenues, non-traditional rug nations have also shown interest. The tournament’s duration and inventory of weekend games make it an attractive proposition for sports-specific services, resulting in lucrative broadcast deals.
Digital operations have evolved over the years, with the introduction of official websites, social media channels, and mobile applications. The Rug World Cup now boasts a substantial presence on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. The upcoming France 2023 tournament will witness the launch of World Rug’s direct-to-consumer platform, RugPass TV, offering exclusive content and live streams of matches in markets without a local broadcast deal.
World Rug’s broadcast strategy aims for wide reach through both free-to-air (FTA) coverage and over-the-top (OTT) distribution. Host Broadcasting Services (HBS) will provide global feeds for this year’s tournament, emphasizing remote production technologies to reduce carbon emissions and align with sustainability goals. Commercial broadcaster TF1 will broadcast 20 live matches, while the remaining fixtures have been sublicensed to other broadcasters.
In the UK, the Rug World Cup is not on the government’s protected list of events that require mandatory FTA coverage, allowing pay-TV channels like ITV to bid for the rights. This setup has led to increased contract value over the years, with the 2015 tournament held in England garnering significant interest from the British public.
The growth and digital transformation of the Rug World Cup have revolutionized the way the tournament is experienced audiences worldwide, ushering in a new era of accessibility and engagement.
– Rug World Cup Financial Reports