Wallabies fever has gripped the nation after Saturday’s Tri Nations decider surged into the record books by scoring an average audience of 428,000 viewers to become the most watched rugby Test in subscription television history.
Australia ended a decade-long Tri Nations drought by capturing the silverware for the first time since 2001 with a gripping 25-20 victory over arch rivals New Zealand, giving the sport a major boost ahead of next month’s Rugby World Cup.
The 428,000 average audience on FOX SPORTS 3HD & FOX SPORTS 3 ranked the LIVE broadcast of the final Tri Nations clash for 2011 as the third most-watched program ever on subscription television, behind this year’s Super Rugby Final (531,000) and the FIFA World Cup qualifier match between Australia and Uzbekistan in April 2009 (431,000).
FOX SPORTS CEO, Patrick Delany said: “Saturday night’s match was fantastic entertainment. It had us on the edge of our seats for the entire 80 minutes and there’s nothing better than watching it without the interference of ads during play,” said Mr Delany.
“It’s given us an expectation that we’re in for a spectacular Rugby World Cup and the Wallabies are a huge shot at winning a third title. This is the biggest event on the planet this year, and Australians deserve the best television coverage.”
“FOX SPORTS will provide viewers with a Rugby World Cup experience like they’ve never had before. Live coverage of all 48 matches, all ad-break free during play, and in high definition. Fans will want to live and breathe rugby over the next two months. They’ll want to watch every match and know absolutely everything that’s happening in New Zealand, and we’ll deliver them that opportunity,” he said.
FOX SPORTS’ Rugby World Coverage begins on Monday 5 September, four days before the opening clash, when FOX SPORTS 3 and FOX SPORTS 3HD are taken over with 24-hour coverage of the tournament. Over seven weeks FOX SPORTS will offer unrivalled coverage of the tournament for FOXTEL and AUSTAR subscribers, including:
· LIVE coverage of all 48 matches (including the Rugby World Cup Final on October 23).
· All matches available in HD.
· All matches ad-break free during live play.
· LIVE pre-game coverage before every match.
· Classic RWC matches from the archives, as well as daily and weekly highlights shows.
· The Rugby Club each Thursday night at 8.30pm AEST, hosted by Nick McArdle.
· FOX SPORTS commentary team of Greg Clark, Tim Horan, Phil Kearns, Greg Martin, Brendan Cannon and Rod Kafer to call all Wallabies matches, plus tournament opener between New Zealand and Tonga.
· News updates with Greg Clark on location in New Zealand covering the latest from the Wallabies camp