Article Published: Tuesday 13 February 2007
Editor: Sports Digital Media
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) today announced that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has secured the rights to televise the inaugural Australian Rugby Championship.
ARU Chief Executive Officer Gary Flowers says the ABC has secured exclusive telecast rights through to 2009.
"This is an historic year for rugby in Australia, and the Australian Rugby Championship is a very exciting addition to our calendar," Mr Flowers said.
"The Australian Rugby Championship will be an exciting platform for players keen to step-up to the Super 14 and test ranks and we are extremely happy to have the ABC on board at elite level after an absence of 16 years,” he added.
The last time the ABC covered top level rugby was the 1991 World Cup.
"The ABC has a long history of televising rugby in Australia, most recently at club level," Mr Flowers added.
"Their commitment to at least the first three years of the ARC is very welcome and promises a previously unmatched level of coverage which will see games beamed into Australian homes via nine cameras at each live game.
International interest in coverage of the ARC is also high.
The Australian Rugby Championship will be contested from the 11th of August until October 14th and will comprise teams from Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland, the ACT and NSW.
The ABC has committed to covering 19 ARC games each season, to be televised on ABC1 and ABC2.
"2007 is a massive year for rugby in Australia," Mr Flowers added.
"The Super 14 competition is currently live nationally on Fox Sports, the domestic Tests are televised by the Seven Network and Fox Sports, the Rugby World Cup will be shown on the Ten Network in September and in October and now the ABC is returning to Rugby in a big way," he concluded.
ABC Managing Director Mark Scott said he was delighted the ABC could bring this competition wide coverage to Australian audiences.
"The ABC has a strong and proud history of providing quality sporting coverage to Australian audiences, so we are thrilled to be the home for the Australian Rugby Championship until 2009.
"All Australians will now have the opportunity to watch these matches on free-to-air television," Mr Scott said.