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Major sporting event watched by millions could disappear from free-to-air TV



RUGBY fans could be forced to part with their hard-earned cash to watch the next World Cup.

The tournament – which is currently going on in France – has been free to watch in the UK on ITV since 1991.

But the tournament could go behind a paywall if a radical reform goes through

But proposed radical reform to the tournament could potentially see the sport’s showpiece event go behind a paywall.

That’s according to the Daily Telegraph, who claim World Rugby will put the next two tournaments on the “market”.

Rugby bigwigs, however, are adamant the next Women’s World Cup will remain free to air.


The finals of the men’s tournaments will also remain free to watch as UK law prevents them from going behind a paywall.

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Rugby fans didn’t hold back in voicing their disappointment at the prospect of the tournament no longer being free to watch, with one saying: “NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Another said: “Dumb simple as that.”

And another said: “Further killing off the game to a worldwide audience! Let’s hope it doesn’t happen.”

One remarked: “Great way to finish off a sport that is already struggling.”


Another sarcastically chimed in: “Absolutely great idea I’m sure everyone will want this.”

World Rugby are contemplating putting the next two World Cups in a bid to further expand the global reach of the sport.


CEO Andrew Gilpin said: “The starting point is always going to be, ‘Can we make as much of this fantastic competition – in the case of men’s and women’s World Cups – available to the biggest audiences possible?’

“The secondary consideration to that is, ‘Can we do that in a way that provides the revenues that we need to continue to invest in the growth of the sport?’

“So, like any sports event owner, it’s finding that balance – and there is a balance to be found there – across different markets.

“So, no, we definitely won’t look at ’27 in isolation and we definitely won’t look at the UK in isolation.

“We’ll look at it as part of a broader sort of mix of opportunities.

“A brilliant, expanded, 16-team, eight-venue Women’s Rugby World Cup in ’25, much bigger scale than we’ve ever done in Women’s World Cup before, that has to be available, particularly in the UK and the home market, for free, to the biggest audience. That’s our short-term focus.”

Fans were quick to react to the possibility of the next World Cup being behind a paywall

Source: The Sun


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