Universal Sports, NBC, PPV Purveyors Kick Off 2011 Rugby World Cup Coverage


The 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup is in full swing with U.S. coverage on Universal Sports, NBC and pay-per-view.
The eights annual quadrennial competition, unfolding from Sept. 9 through Oct. 23 in New Zealand, features 48 matches involving 20 teams in four pools. The U.S. in Pool C, along with Australia, Ireland, Italy and Russia. Defending champion South Africa is in Pool D, while the 2007 runner-up England is pool B.
NBC and Universal are the U.S. rights-holders and have sublicensed 38 of the matches to pay-per-view distributors, InDemand for cable, Avail-TVN for telcos Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse and DirecTV and Dish Network.
Universal Sports televised the Sept. 9 opening ceremony and the host nation's victory over Tonga in Pool A live. Its 10-match coverage also includes live telecasts of three U.S. encounters, as well as the semifinals and bronze medal games. Universalsports.com will stream all 48 matches, including 41 live, via a subscription package.

In addition to extensive coverage on the website, a Universal Sports iPad app will offer up-to-date broadcast schedules, breaking news from Universalsports.com rugby correspondent Buzz McClain, video highlights, special features and photo galleries.

NBC gets in the action with the U.S.-Ireland match on Sept. 11, and also has same tape-delay coverage of New Zealand-Canada on Oct. 2 and the final on Oct. 23.
For its part, In Demand is offering the pool-play matches for $24.99, with knockout stage matches retailing for $29.99. The content provider will present the matches live, as well as offer encore airings.

Check out the schedules below:

NBC (same-day delay):

•U.S. vs. Ireland on 9/11
•New Zealand vs. Canada on 10/2
• RWC Finals on 10/23

Universal Sports (live):
• Opening Ceremonies on 9/9
• New Zealand vs. Tonga on 9/9
• U.S. vs. Russia on 9/15
• U.S. vs. Australia on 9/23
• U.S. vs. Italy on 9/27
• RWC Semifinals on 10/15, 10/16
• RWC Bronze Final on 10/21

In Demand's Cable PPV Schedule (live and encore):

9/9/ Scotland v Romania 9:00pm 9am Next day
9/9/ Fiji v Namibia 11:30pm 9am Next day
9/10 France v Japan* 2:00am 12pm
9/10 Argentina v England 4:30am 12pm
9/10 Australia v Italy 11:30pm 9am Next day
9/11 Ireland v USA* 2:00am N/A
9/11 South Africa v Wales 4:30am 9am
9/13 Samoa v Namibia 10:30pm 9am Next day
9/14 Tonga v Canada 1:00am 12pm
9/14 Scotland v Georgia* 3:30am 3pm
9/16 New Zealand v Japan* 4:00am 9am
9/16 Argentina v Romania 11:30pm 9am Next day
9/17 South Africa v Fiji 2:00am 9am
9/17 Australia v Ireland* 4:30am 12pm
9/17 Wales v Samoa 11:30pm 9am Next day
9/18 England v Georgia* 2:00am 9am
9/18 France v Canada 4:30am 12pm
9/20 Italy v Russia* 3:30am 9am
9/21 Tonga v Japan* 3:30am 9am
9/22 South Africa v Namibia* 4:00am 9am
9/24 England v Romania* 2:00am 9am
9/24 New Zealand v France 4:30am 9am
9/24 Fiji v Samoa 10:30pm 9am Next day
9/25 Ireland v Russia 1:00am 12pm
9/25 Argentina v Scotland* 3:30am 9am
9/26 Wales v Namibia* 2:30am 12pm
9/27 Canada v Japan 12:00am 9am
9/28 Georgia v Romania* 2:30am 9am
9/30 South Africa v Samoa* 3:30am 9am
9/30 Australia v Russia 10:30pm 9am Next day
10/1 France v Tonga 1:00am 9am
10/1 England v Scotland* 3:30am 12pm
10/1 Argentina v Georgia* 8:00pm 9am Next day
10/1 New Zealand v Canada 10:30pm N/A
10/2 Wales v Fiji* 1:00am 12pm
10/2 Ireland v Italy 3:30am 3pm
10/8 Quarter Final 1* 1:00am (To air delayed at 2:00am) 8am
10/8 Quarter Final 2 3:30am 12pm
10/9 Quarter Final 3 1:00am 12pm
10/9 Quarter Final 4 3:30am (To air delayed at 5:00am) 7pm
10/23 Finals Match* 4:00am N/A