World Rugby has awarded the UK live radio commentary rights for Rugby World Cup 2019 to the BBC.
The deal means that BBC radio is the exclusive destination for UK rugby fans to hear radio match commentary, offering audiences across the nation extensive coverage throughout the tournament, which kicks off on 20 September.
Rugby World Cup 2019 is the biggest sports event of the year, creating a global community of fans from around the world in what organisers fully anticipate will be a very special celebration of rugby and the host nation, Japan.
The BBC will be at the heart of the action, providing fans in the UK with unrivalled coverage and all the latest news from a tournament that will leave a record legacy of rugby participation and fandom in Asia.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “World Rugby is excited about the appointment of the BBC as the rights-holding radio broadcaster for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, which promises to be a very special and game-changing celebration of rugby.
“The BBC’s passion for rugby, combined with their commitment to the highest standards of production is great news for fans and also the sport’s ability to reach and convert news audiences throughout the UK.”
Head of BBC Radio and Digital Sport Ben Gallop said: “Rugby World Cup 2019 is a key moment in this year’s sporting calendar and I’m thrilled we will be bringing our listeners all the action from the tournament. With commentary of every match on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, and comprehensive coverage on the BBC Sport website, fans will not miss a moment of the home nations’ World Cup campaigns.”
Coverage of RWC 2019 adds to BBC Radio 5 Live’s strong line-up of rugby union, which includes commentary of the Six Nations, the English Premiership and the European Champions Cup.
Asia's first Rugby World Cup is on track to be a game-changer for the development of the sport in the world's most populous and youthful continent. So far, more than one million new participants have been introduced to rugby under the dedicated Asia One Million programme, a core strand of the tournament's Impact Beyond 2019 legacy programme.
Rugby World Cup 2019 is also proving to be the most popular tournament to date with record ticket demand. General ticket sales resume at 18:00 JST on 18 May via www.tickets.rugbyworldcup.com. Ticket-inclusive packages are also available via the official travel and hospitality programmes.