FloSports Builds Rugby Streaming Destination with ‘Historic’ Rights Deals with Leading International Leagues
Rugby fans rejoice — FloSports has agreed to a U.S. rights deal with three of the world’s top rugby leagues to bring a whole host of matches to viewers over the next three years. This week, FloSports announced that it had reached a media rights deal with three pro rugby leagues — European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), TOP 14 Rugby, and United Rugby Championship (URC). FloSports will be the exclusive U.S. broadcaster for the three leagues and will stream nearly 450 matches representing over 600 hours of live rugby annually. The three-year partnership begins on Sept. 3, 2022, with the start of the TOP 14 Rugby season and will run through the 2024-25 season.
“This is a major step forward in supporting the growth of rugby union in the United States. Combining the rights to the United Rugby Championship alongside the Top 14 and EPCR competitions helps position FloSports as the destination for international club rugby in the US and that audience will be of a great benefit to all of our competitions,” said Martin Anayi, CEO of United Rugby Championship. “There is a major Celtic, Italian, and South African diaspora in the United States, and rugby’s passion and excitement are great to connect to their heritage and identity. Collaborating on an international rights deal across our three tournament bodies is also a historic move and its success will help foster more opportunities for work together and grow the game of rugby union across the world.”
The new agreement kicks off with TOP 14, France’s top-level rugby competition. These TOP 14 clubs are at the apex of the league system created by the French National Rugby League (LNR). URC is an annual professional rugby union club competition involving the best sixteen professional teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa, and Wales. The competition includes the four best teams from Ireland, two of the best teams from both Scotland and Italy as well as the four best teams from both South Africa and Wales.
We’ll also see the EPCR, which operates two tournaments — the Heineken Champions Cup and the EPCR Challenge Cup. The Heineken Champions Cup is an annual professional rugby union club tournament featuring the best clubs from the U.K., Ireland, France, Italy, and South Africa. Clubs qualify via their final positions in their respective domestic leagues (the English Premiership, TOP 14 Rugby, and United Rugby Championship) or via winning the EPCR Challenge Cup. It serves as European rugby’s version of the UEFA Champions League. The EPCR Challenge Cup consists of teams who finished second to the Champions Cup teams in their respective leagues and gives them a shot to play for the Champions Cup.
“The Heineken Champions Cup is the pinnacle of international club rugby, and we are delighted to enhance the global reach of this competition, and the EPCR Challenge Cup, through this exciting partnership with FloSports alongside two of our leagues – the URC and Top 14,” said Dominic McKay, Chairman, EPCR. “The US market is a key strategic priority for EPCR as we build the audiences and awareness of our world-class competitions in new markets. With the Heineken Champions Cup, EPCR Challenge Cup, URC, and Top 14 available from this season at the home of US rugby, more rugby fans than ever will be able to watch the very best of international club rugby. This is our first foray into collaborating on international media rights deals with our leagues and it is great to announce this partnership with FloSports today.”
FloSports has quickly become the home for rugby with its last few announcements. Recently, FloSports has reached media rights agreements with the Autumn Nations Series, the Women’s Six Nations Championships, the Men’s Under-20 Six Nations Championships, Rugby Europe Men’s, Women’s, and 7’s Championship as well as the Men’s Super Cup.
Combined, every major pro rugby union league including Gallagher Premiership, Super Rugby, TOP 14, and URC along with all USA Eagles will air on FloSports. The stockpiling of a single sport mirrors ESPN’s content strategy with hockey and lacrosse, as well as Paramount Global’s goals for soccer on Paramount+. Both entities nabbed up numerous leagues of the same sport to create a cohesive strategy and offer a destination for fans of individual sports in order to give them a one-stop streaming shop. Now, rugby fans also have a home — FloSports.
FloSports is a subscription video streaming service with unlimited access to live events across 25+ sports, plus over 300,000 hours of sports competitions live or on-demand, exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage and interviews, original programming, news, expert commentary, films, documentaries, weekly studio shows, podcasts, and more.
When you sign up, you have the choice of picking “your sport.” The lineup includes baseball, basketball, bowling, cheer, combat, cycling, dance, football, football, gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse, racing, rodeo, rugby, soccer, softball, swimming, track, volleyball, wrestling, and more. Once you choose a sport, you can choose from the “Monthly” plan ($29.99/month) or the “Yearly” plan ($12.49/month). The annual plan lets you save $210 per year. Both annual and monthly subscribers have access to premium content across the entire FloSports network.