In a major feat for West Australian rugby, all seven World Series Rugby matches will be aired on Channel 7 and Fox Sports in 2018.
Sports fans across Australia can join the action as the Western Force take on regional rivals in seven fierce clashes at nib Stadium in Perth.
The sold-out Friday May 4 series opener against Fiji Warriors will be screened live and free to air in Western Australia on 7TWO and screened live nationwide on Fox Sports.
Sydney and Brisbane viewers can catch the game on delay on 7MATE, and it can be viewed in all markets (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and an encore in Perth) on 7TWO at 1pm local time on Saturday.
The historic Fiji match will be followed by games against Tonga, Melbourne Rebels, Canterbury Crusaders, Samoa, Hong Kong and, finally, a Japanese Top 14 side. Every game will be broadcast on Channel 7 and on Fox Sports.
Internationally renowned rugby commentator Gordon Bray is an integral part of the World Series Rugby broadcast and can’t wait to join the commentary team for game two.
“This is a major breakthrough for the game of rugby, players and spectators,” Bray says.
“It’s the first time this century we will have a provincial rugby competition live on free-to-air television in Australia.”
The special comments team will include former Australian captain Michael Lynagh and a host of other Wallabies including the larger than life Chris Handy. High-profile comedian Peter Rowsthorn will also bring his unique brand of entertainment to the commentary team.
“We are so pleased that Force games will continue to be hosted at the home of rugby in Australia – Fox Sports,” Western Force Commercial Manager Brad Paatsch said.
“We have worked collaboratively with Fox and Rugby Australia to bring this important broadcast deal to life and thank them for their support.
“That all seven World Series Rugby matches will also be broadcast live and free on Channel Seven in Perth and at other times right around the country is a major coup for the Western Force and the entire West Australian rugby community.
“This deal will not only provide exposure to a bold, new and exciting series it will also place the great game of rugby in front of thousands of potential new supporters. One of World Series Rugby’s major drivers is bringing this game to a new audience throughout our region and we are absolutely delighted Channel Seven is helping us achieve this mission.”
Mario D’Orazio, Managing Director, Channel 7 Perth said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Western Force in this world first sports event. Perth rugby fans can look forward to seeing some of the best teams and best players in the world strut their stuff,” D’Orazio said.
“We congratulate Western Force on their endeavours and are pleased to be helping them break new ground on the global stage.”