The IRB Junior World Championship 2012 in South Africa will enjoy record broadcast, online and social media coverage for an Age Grade Rugby tournament.
The premier age grade event for international teams at Under 20 level, which runs from June 4-22 in Stellenbosch and Cape Town, will be screened live or as live to more than 240 million homes in 162 territories by 17 leading broadcasters, a 14 per cent rise in coverage from last year.
The cumulative total of live coverage for the three-week tournament is projected to exceed 300 hours for the first time.
The IRB Junior World Championship 2012 Host Broadcaster SuperSport will produce live coverage of all 30 matches, the first time the whole tournament has been broadcast.
Around the world, broadcasters showing live action for the first time include NBC in USA and ESPN Star in Asia, reflecting the strong growth of the Game in these territories, alongside leading sports broadcasters such as Fox Sport in Australia, Eurosport, France TV, RAI in Italy, Sky Sports UK, Bandsport in Brazil, Fiji TV and OSN across the Middle East. For the first time Maori TV in New Zealand and TG4 in Ireland will cover the tournament.
“The IRB Junior World Championship continues to go from strength to strength attracting new fans and broadcasters with its renowned brand of exciting and open matches played in a festival atmosphere at wonderful venues,” said IRB Tournament Director Philippe Bourdarias.
“The future stars of world Rugby will be on show in the rich Rugby heartland of Cape Town and Stellenbosch for 22 days next month, and the tournament provides fans around the world with the ability to see the next generation of Patrick Lambies, Sam Warburtons and Will Genias.”
The record number of matches will also be streamed live via SuperSport’s website at www.supersport.com ensuring an increased global audience can see the live action for free.
In addition to the record broadcast coverage, the IRB is offering multi-platform online opportunities to follow the tournament with daily digital updates, extensive highlights, news coverage and feature content all available at the official tournament website www.irb.com/jwc. Fans can also have their say by tweeting @irbjuniors and #JWC or following junior world rugby via Facebook.
With a week to go until the tournament kicks off, organisers are anticipating an event that will showcase South Africa's passion and appetite for major Rugby events, world class Rugby and a unique fan experience.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The IRB is confident that the IRB Junior World Championship 2012 in South Africa will be a resounding success, furthering the reach and profile of Rugby around the world while showcasing a great country. I would like to thank SARU and all stakeholders for their dedication and passion to deliver what promises to be an outstanding even.”