Outrage as World Rugby plot RWC paywall move


An absolutely huge report by the Telegraph last night has outraged many fans, as World Rugby looks set to put future Rugby World Cups behind a paywall in the United Kingdom.

The sport’s governing body are soon set to go to market with the rights for the next two editions of its flagship tournament, which have been held by ITV in the UK since 1991.

Speaking to the Telegraph, World Rugby chief executive, Alan Gilpin says that the sports broadcast landscape is now significantly different from when the rights to the 2017-23 World Cups were sold.

Only the finals of rugby union’s biggest tournaments must be shown free-to-air in the UK by law, unlike its football counterparts, who must show the entire tournament on terrestrial television.

“The starting point is always going to be, ‘Can we make as much of this fantastic competition – in the case of men’s and women’s World Cups – available to the biggest audiences possible?” Gilpin said.

“The secondary consideration to that is, ‘Can we do that in a way that provides the revenues that we need to continue to invest in the growth of the sport?’ So, like any sports event owner, it’s finding that balance – and there is a balance to be found there – across different markets.

“So, no, we definitely won’t look at ’27 in isolation and we definitely won’t look at the UK in isolation. We’ll look at it as part of a broader sort of mix of opportunities.

What do you think of the potential move?

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