However, the recent transfer of the broadcast rights to Fox Soccer Channel worried rugby fans around the country as Fox has a spotty record when it comes to broadcasting the sport in America and Canada. Today these fears were confirmed as Fox Sports Plus (a sister network of Fox Soccer Channel) announced their rugby line-up in advance of the March 1 network launch.
Just as American coverage of international rugby begins to fade, USA Sevens LLC announced today that ABC will broadcast the 2010 USA Sevens event from last weekend in Las Vegas. Although it's only a 1-hour program, it's always great to see domestic rugby programming, especially when the Six Nations has a bye week.
Given the uncertainty of the USA Super League and financial shortcomings over the last few years of the USA Rugby 7s championship, it would appear that the domestic market for rugby is low. This may explain why Setanta cancelled 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.
I think it was around the time of the 1995 World Cup that I started following rugby and looking for it on TV. At that time in Canada, I remember a 2-hour show that came on once a week (sometimes, at least) with a few highlights from the semi-pro teams and one test match shown [...]
We the undersigned strongly support BBC America in their live broadcast of the 2010 Six Nations Championship as announced on 21-Jan-2010 and would encourage both BBC America and BBC Canada to schedule more live programming of rugby union.