Rugby World Cup Scores with Broadcast and Social Media
Japan has certainly switched onto RWC2019 with rugby mania sweeping the nation. The opening ceremony and match attracted a peak live audience share on Japan’s NTV of 25.5 percent in prime time, a figure that is likely to be confirmed as the biggest ever national audience figure for rugby. Combining NTV, JSPORT and NHK’s live audience, it is likely to be the most-viewed live event of 2019 in Japan.
Meanwhile, UK broadcaster ITV’s coverage of the opening match attracted an audience share of 20 per cent and peaked at one million during its breakfast programming, while England’s opening match against Tonga peaked at 4.7 million with Sunday’s earlier encounter between Ireland and Scotland peaking at 3.2 million.
In France, Les Bleus’ opening match against Argentina, peaked at 3.1 million.
The opening weekend also lit up social media with #RWC2019 the top global trend on opening night, more than 624.5 million views of the official Rugby World Cup GIFs on the Giphy channel, 16.5 million views of New Zealand’s first Haka and an average of 400,000 viewers of the Rugby World Cup Daily as rugby mania spreads across the globe.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “This is Japan’s moment to shine, and it is certainly doing that. From a spectacular opening ceremony, excellent rugby, vibrant fanzones and strong broadcast audiences, it has certainly been some start.”
Broadcast production for the tournament has been under the stewardship of IGBS (International Games Broadcast Services). A total of 34 cameras will cover all angles for the semi-finals and the final, rising from the 28 and 23 camera plans used for other categories of matches during the six-week tournament. Together with a broadcast plan offering unrivalled access and content outside of the match coverage delivering four times the volume of content produced in 2015, and a complete social media experience, fans will feel closer than ever to the action.
In another first for Rugby World Cup, coverage will be offered through multiple feeds in multiple formats, meaning broadcasters will have the opportunity to tailor content and transmit the tournament in UHD/4K format. Meanwhile, 8K coverage will be offered to the Japanese domestic market via NHK.
Augmented Reality (AR) graphics will be incorporated into the coverage, to be deployed for 34 of the 48 matches for elements such as team line-ups, player comparisons, statistics and tables. IGBS will also provide a range of content, including infographics for the @rugbyworldcup social and digital platforms. Hawk-Eye Smart Replay technology will be used in the areas of television match officials, medical and fan-engagement.
World Rugby will also geo-target fans via the official tournament App, ensuring that everyone knows when and where to tune in to Rugby World Cup 2019, while exclusive behind the scenes and daily digital and social media packages will keep fans entertained between matches.
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