Rugby World Cup 2019 still on the hunt for regional broadcast partners

World Rugby confirms discussions are taking place with potential broadcast partners in the region
Emirates airline is one of Rugby World Cup's worldwide partners.
Emirates airline is one of Rugby World Cup's worldwide partners.

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Broadcast rights in the Middle East for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan are still up for grabs.

Dubai-based broadcaster OSN had the rights to broadcast the last two tournaments, in New Zealand and England, but announced earlier this year that it was ditching all of its sports content.

Rugby fans in the Middle East are being left on the edge of their seats, before a ball has even been kicked, as they await news on whether the third largest sports event in the world will be beamed live on television or streamed over the internet.

Dominic Young, media sales executive at World Rugby, told sister-publication Arabian Business: “We are currently in discussions with the market and when these are concluded I will be able to confirm the broadcast partner.

“For any match that is not broadcast by our broadcast partner these will be available to view via World Rugby’s platforms.”

There are under 60 days to go before hosts Japan kick-off the tournament against Russia in Tokyo Stadium.

Golf fans in the Middle East were left disappointed earlier this year when both the US PGA Championship and US Open were restricted to featured group and featured hole coverage online – both tournaments were previously covered by OSN.

There was better news at the weekend when the Open Championship from Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland was streamed live by the R&A on TheOpen.com.

OSN’s final sports broadcast came at the conclusion of the recent Cricket World Cup in England.

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