S4C has secured the rights to broadcast from the 2011 Rugby World Cup, held in New Zealand later this year.
The channel’s coverage features nine live matches including all of Wales’ matches during the tournament, one quarter-final and one semi-final fixture. Live coverage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup final and third place play-off will also be broadcast on S4C.
S4C’s World Cup output kicks off on 9 September with the Opening Ceremony and the tournament’s first match between hosts New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park in Auckland.
Matches will be broadcast live during the mornings but due to the time difference, viewers will be offered another chance to see full coverage later that day during peak hours. The matches will be repeated the following day.
Wales’ Rugby World Cup campaign begins on 11 September when they face the current Champions, South Africa, in Wellington. Then, the Welsh squad face Samoa at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton (18 September), followed by African side Namibia on 26 September in New Plymouth. Wales’ final battle in the group stages will be against Fiji back in Hamilton on 2 October.
The nine matches will also be available to watch again on s4c.co.uk/clic – the online catch-up service. Highlights of the matches will also be shown on the channel’s rugby website, s4c.co.uk/rygbi.
S4C also intends to broadcast a new series of Jonathan during the tournament as Jonathan Davies, Nigel Owens and Sarra Elgan offer a light-hearted view of the Rugby World Cup on the eve of Wales’ matches.
Ospreys and Wales’ Shane Williams says: “The Rugby World Cup is always a special occasion for any player who is fortunate enough to play in it. This year’s competition will be even more special for me because it will be my last World Cup. I’m really looking forward to New Zealand and the fact that S4C viewers can follow Wales’ matches live on the channel is great news.”
Blues and Wales player, Jamie Roberts, says: “The Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle of the rugby calendar and it’s fantastic news that S4C will play a part in this event with live Welsh language coverage of Wales’ games throughout the tournament. I’m really looking forward to competing for my place in the Welsh squad for this summer’s World Cup in New Zealand and it’s great that the nation can follow our squad’s progress on S4C.”
S4C’s Content Editor Sport, Geraint Rowlands, adds: “With live coverage from this year’s Rugby World Cup competition, we’ll be providing a great opportunity for audiences in Wales to enjoy the competition from a Welsh perspective. The Rugby World Cup is one of this year’s sporting highlights and all eyes will be on New Zealand in the autumn so S4C viewers can be in the middle of the buzz, competition and excitement.