Highlights of the USA Sevens, part of the IRB Sevens World Series for international seven-a-side rugby union, will be broadcast across America after ABC agreed a deal with the competition.
The agreement is a major fillip for the competition, which has struggled to attract network interest in a country best described as an emerging rugby market.
“Having a chance to showcase the premier event of one of the country’s fastest-growing sports is an enormous opportunity,” said Ray Peterson, managing director of the USA Sevens.
“Rugby fans across America will now be able to watch their favorite teams compete and many new viewers will also be introduced to the dynamic game of rugby sevens.”
Once production costs are taken into account, ABC will be putting US$180,000 into the competition’s coffers.
“USA Sevens is about engaging a new rugby fan base through creating a unique American entertainment spectacular with rugby as its hub,” said tournament director Dan Lyle.
“Building on the Olympic model of cultural diversity and elite-level athleticism through our participating nations, we’ve been able to capture the imagination of a major TV network as well as the support of the nation’s seventh largest city, San Diego.”
The USA Sevens will be held this weekend at PETCO Park, the home of Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres.
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