• Biggest-ever rugby broadcast footprint in India
  • India a major growth market for rugby
  • RWC 2015 set to inspire new audiences worldwide

World Rugby has announced the appointment of SONY SIX, India’s premier sports and entertainment broadcaster, as a Rugby World Cup 2015 rights holding broadcaster.

In a major boost for the visibility and development of rugby in India, SONY SIX and SONY KIX will screen all 48 matches exclusively live to 400 million homes, along with daily highlights of all the action from rugby’s showcase event.

Rugby participation in India has grown by more than 33 per cent since Rugby World Cup 2011 and the ground-breaking deal with the renowned sports broadcaster underscores World Rugby's mission to grow the global rugby family in major markets with a growing rugby audience.

World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: "Rugby is on the rise in India and we are delighted to have secured such a strong platform for Rugby World Cup 2015 to reach new audiences across India and inspire the next generation of players and fans.

"We look forward to working in partnership with SONY SIX to showcase rugby, its character-building values and spirit of entertainment and enjoyment to record audiences within an exciting rugby growth market."

Prasana Krishnan, Business Head, SONY SIX and SONY KIX, said: "Rugby World Cup is seen as one of the most prestigious competitions in the global sporting calendar and we are proud to have this celebrated event in our bouquet of international content. The global value and impact of the sport is growing at a consistent clip and with that it’s our primary aim to raise our viewer experience to the next level through this exciting sports property. The exciting nature of the contests, coupled with their sheer pace and action, should appeal to both our loyal and bench viewers alike."

The England 2015 broadcast platform will be the biggest-ever for a Rugby World Cup, with the eighth tournament set to deliver more than 20,000 hours of broadcast coverage in addition to a record online platform. With World Rugby's objective to deliver free-to-air coverage in emerging rugby nations, more people than ever before will be able to enjoy the sport's showcase event.

World Rugby Head of Commercial, Broadcast and Marketing Murray Barnett added: "Working with the leading sports broadcaster in India underlines Rugby World Cup's global significance and adds to the record-breaking roster of international broadcasters that will be taking Rugby World Cup to the largest audience ever."

Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off with hosts England versus Fiji at Twickenham on 18 September, beginning a six-week event played across 13 iconic venues the length and breadth of England and in Cardiff, culminating in the final at Twickenham on 31 October.