WorldRugby secures control of RugbyPass in deal with Sky New Zealand

Rugby Union’s global governing body World Rugby has unveiled a wide-ranging deal with Sky New Zealand, which will see it secure control of RugbyPass, a leading digital destination for rugby fans which has a monthly audience of seven million.

Sky New Zealand acquired RugbyPass in 2019 from Coliseum Sport for $40m. As part of the new deal, Sky New Zealand has secured control of every major World Rugby major event through to 2029, including Rugby World Cups. With a rights deal as part of the arrangement, no headline figure was place on the transaction.

Alan Gilpin

Unveiling the news, World Rugby said the acquisition reflects its mission to grow rugby interest by being more relevant to young people. World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin said: “World Rugby’s mission is to grow the global rugby family. To do that, rugby must create deeper relationships with those who love the game, those who are casual fans and those who are yet to discover our sport. This deal reflects that mission. Supported by our Executive Board, we are undertaking a business transformation to better enable World Rugby to lead the growth of the sport.”

The new partnership includes an agreement to co-produce new programming with an emphasis on the women’s game, a strategic priority for both Sky and World Rugby. 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. With World Rugby’s backing, we will be able to bring more stories to life, reinforcing our position in core markets and making in-roads into new rugby markets.”

World Rugby says it does not intend to change RugbyPass’s editorial tone, ensuring independence from the federation’s existing corporate channels.


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