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Super 14 to be broadcast into 41 countries

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The South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby Union (SANZAR) have  announced ABC Asia Pacific will broadcast Super 14 and Test rugby live into 41 countries and more than 10 million homes for the next five years.


Since finalising the broadcast deals for Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, UK and Ireland in late 2004, SANZAR has succeeded in growing the potential audience for rugby by selling the rights to additional markets inAsia, the Americas and Europe.


Starting with the inaugural 2006 Super 14 competition, which kicks off onFriday 10 February, ABC Asia Pacific will broadcast matches every Friday andSaturday as well as Tri Nations and Bledisloe Cup Tests.


ABC Asia Pacific will share broadcast rights with Fiji TV throughout thePacific, while J Sports will broadcast rugby in Japan.


Australian Rugby Union and SANZAR Chief Executive Officer Gary Flowers saysthe ABC Asia Pacific deal is a huge step for the game and shows continued growth in markets outside the traditional SANZAR markets.


“SANZAR has worked hard to push rugby into new and existing markets and theABC Asia Pacific deal is a huge step into more than 40 countries with apotential viewing audience of 10 million households,” said Mr Flowers.


“Rugby expands this year, with more teams in a new Super 14 competition,more matches, and a more intense home and away Tri Nations series betweenAustralia, New Zealand and South Africa.”


“There’s certainly more rugby to watch in 2006 and with markets in Franceand Italy soon to be finalised, Super 14 and Test rugby looks set to bebroadcast in some form or another to more than 60 countries.”


Ian Carroll, Chief Executive of ABC Asia Pacific said:


“We are delighted to be able to offer the region exclusive access to the exciting world of rugby, a sport with millions of supporters in AsiaPacific. Fans will be able to watch an enormous amount of live Rugby,including the Super 14 series, Tri Nations Tests and Bledisloe Cup.”


“This new offering is testament to ABC Asia Pacific’s dedication to providing unique experiences for our audience and to bringing nations acrossthe region together through a shared passion for sport.”


In Australia, Fox Sports will act as the host broadcaster for both the Super14 and Test season, with Channel Seven also broadcasting Test matches.


SKY NZ is the host broadcaster in New Zealand, with Prime having thefree-to-air rights, while Supersport has broadcast rights to Africa.


In addition to ABC Asia Pacific showing Super 14 and Test matches, ESPN Surhas brought the broadcast rights in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and Bolivia while Setanta has secured rights for Canada and the USA.

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