BBC strengthens sports portfolio with Rugby World Cup radio rights

BBC has expanded its sports streaming portfolio, with the acquisition of exclusive radio commentary rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

It means that each game during the tournament, which features England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, will be broadcast on Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.

The tournament, which runs from 20 September to 2 November, has been won by New Zealand have on the past two occasions, having defeated Australia in the 2015 final at Twickenham.

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.”

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont added: “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.”

Coverage of RWC 2019 expands affirms the network’s continued commitment 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.