Setanta sells US rights to FOX – US rugby fans despair

Thu, Jan 28, 2010, Posted by   print

Media, Six Nations, Test Rugby

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supporting more rugby on T.V.

FOX Soccer Channel

Currently, the only way to view live rugby in the USA and Canada is with a subscription to Setanta Sports, the Dublin-based international sports channel.

Although Setanta is not available in all markets, and in the US has only recently moved from satellite providers to cable/internet TV providers such as U-verse, it has been an oasis in the empty desert of rugby union broadcasting.

Thus, yesterdays announcement that Setanta was transferring the US broadcast right to FOX Soccer Channel was met with skepticism and worry by current subscribers.

Setanta Sports has today announced that it has reached an agreement with Fox Soccer Channel to transfer select programming rights, including many premium soccer and rugby events. Fox Soccer Channel will acquire these rights effective March 1, 2010.

FOX Soccer has a patchy history with rugby, having once carried a weekly (or semi-regular) rugby program called The Rugby Club. This was actually innovative show, with a pub-style setting that often brought in local teams to interview. Of course, tape-delayed International matches or highlight shows were the main event.

However, The Rugby Club faded into history as did all the rugby coverage on FOX.

What will happen after 1-March-2010 when the Setanta-FOX transfer is finalized is unknown.

Given the uncertainty of the USA Super League and the recent financial shortcomings of the USA 7s, it would appear that the domestic market for rugby is low. This may explain why Setanta canceled all coverage of rugby league in 2009.

The only place where we are seeing MORE rugby broadcasting is from BBC America who are showing 5 LIVE matches from the 2010 Six Nations championship. To my knowledge, live internationals from the Six Nations have never been shown on cable TV in the US.

If you are worried about what’s going to happen to rugby on TV, please be sure to sign our petition to BBC America and BBC Canada. Together, we just might be able to make a difference and get more live coverage of rugby internationals.

Click here to sign the petition
supporting more rugby on T.V.

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17 Responses to “Setanta sells US rights to FOX – US rugby fans despair”

  1. Bob Weir says:

    We want more rugby on TV .  Union is the best !

  2. Vic Drover says:

    Make sure you sign the petition! :)

  3. Ken Matthews says:

    Rugby fans in the USA need an outlet to see the USA Eagles and
    other International matches.  Please continue the rugby
    programing of Sentanta or increase the coverage of rugby.

  4. Jamie Graves says:

    Please keep rugby on TV. It’s needed more so now that it is an
    official Olympic Sport. Thanks.


    We more and more on tv!!!



  7. Russell Hyde says:

    Keep Union Rugby alive on the TV.

  8. TJ Royce says:


  9. Doug Andrews says:

    As Rugby sevens begins its Olympic journey, me thinks it wise
    that TV coverage gets on board and educates the largest
    advertising spending market in the world about the game.  If
    they think it a game only for funny talkers, then they need to
    get out more, do a story on the growth of high school rugby,
    college rugby, mens league and super league. All aboard !

  10. harry yaseen says:

    I cannot believe that s a sport that has a signifcant world
    following, with the USA participating in both the World Cup and
    in 7′s in the Olympics—that we are going to lose the ability to
    watch this game in this, the most media savvy and worldly nation
    on the planet—–short sited if this happens—a very sad day
    for all rugby enthusiasts.

  11. Tex Byrd says:

    Keep Rugby on TV!!

  12. Harmony says:

    We need MORE rugby on TV, not less! It’s in the Olympics! KEEP

  13. jon petrie says:

    keep it on tv…………..

  14. billy Jacobson says:

    There are a lot of men, women, boys and girls who love rugby
    Union, league and would like to keep watching.  The problem
    with Setana was that it was very expensive to order and thus many
    of us found it to be challenging to sign up for.  Remember,
    there’s an old saying in sales “Fast nickel slow dime. 
    Meaning you’ll sell more nickels than dimes and overall make more
    money.  Not to mention more viewers meaning more advertising
    dollars.  Think about it.  I want to watch rugby! 
    as much as I can!

  15. Tony McHale says:

    We need reliable and frequent coverage of international rugby
    union matches…..There’s a sizable base of fans out there who
    will watch if given the opportunity…….

  16. Dr. Troy Doxey says:

    Rugby NEEDS to be on TV. I talked to Matt Brown, who did the
    Rugby Club for FOX and he said that FOX is going to play games on
    the new soccer channel and he and Brian Vizard is going to do
    another weekly show like the one they used to do. LIFE RUGBY

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