NBC's Universal Sports channel will air action from rugby's 2010-2011 HSBC Sevens World Series. The competition, which features the game's lightning-fast seven-per-side version, as opposed to the usual 15-per side, begins Saturday, December 4 on the web, with rugby action early next year airing on the TV channel.
The Sevens World Series features the top national teams in the world, including those representing England, New Zealand and South Africa, competing in far-flung locales such as Dubai and Hong Kong on various weekends. Teams accumulate points based on their performance each weekend. Samoa won last year's competition.
"Our network continues to provide fans with the most extensive rugby coverage in the United States," said Perkins Miller, COO of Universal Sports. "We look forward to broadcasting these great events across all of our platforms--TV, online and mobile."
The Series opens in Dubai December 3-4, which will see the U.S. "Eagles" against fearsome New Zealand, then hits South Africa December 10-11. Coveragewill be streamed live December 4 and December 11 on universalsports.com. Subsequent action from South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia, England and Scotland in February, March, April and May will air on the cable channel.
"It is great that Universal Sports is on board to help us take rugby sevens to the next level in the U.S.," said Jonathan First, president of USA Sevens, "and we are confident that having Universal's world-class production and reach will deliver huge value to the American audience and the growth of the sport."
NBC Sports and Universal Sports will broadcast eight hours of the Sevens World Series from Las Vegas February 12-13.
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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