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Media/Rugby: HSBC Sevens World Series reaches record TV audience

New Zealand were crowned HSBC Sevens World Series winners for a record 11th time after a record-breaking 2012/13 season for television figures. Photo: IRB/Martin Seras Lima.

New Zealand were crowned HSBC Sevens World Series winners for a record 11th time after a record-breaking 2012/13 season for television figures. Photo: IRB/Martin Seras Lima.

July 31, 2013: The 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series reached a record global audience, representing a 5 per cent overall increase on the 2011/12 season, the IRB has announced.

 

According to a broadcast report published by the IRB’s television distribution partner, Pro-Active Television, the nine-round World Series accumulated a record 4,504 hours of total airtime across 149 territories.

 

A total of 38 broadcasters aired coverage to an estimated 390 million homes either via live, delayed live, repeats or the official 30-minute ‘IRB Sevens World’ show. 

In-flight coverage was increased and news bulletins carrying World Series footage reached over 240 million homes in 130 countries.

 

Key markets, such as Spain, Ireland and Russia, were added to the growing list of takers, while existing takers such as NBC (USA), OSN (Pan Middle East) and Supersport (Pan Africa) grew their coverage.

 

Only eight years ago, the total airtime for the World Series stood at just 300 hours, underlining how Rugby Sevens has grown in the eyes of international broadcasters and the global sporting public.

 

‘IRB Sevens World’ was shown by 17 broadcasters, while online video highlights packages attracted 2.5 million views on the official website, irbsevens.com, and Youtube.com/irb.

 

Over the same 2012/13 season, online consumption of official Series news and information also broke previous records. Official website irbsevens.com attracted over 9.1 million page views from a user base spanning 214 countries, with 36 per cent of traffic consumed on mobile devices.

 

Integrated social media platforms, combining Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, also grew in users, adding to the interaction between the sport and its many fans.

 

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The HSBC Sevens World Series has now firmly established itself in the sporting calendar among international broadcasters and also fans around the world, who generated a record 562,486 overall attendance across the nine rounds.

 

“As an Olympic sport, sevens is now well on the road to Rio, attracting new athletes to rugby all the time from a variety of different backgrounds, and also new fans with its winning blend of skill, speed, competitive action and festival atmosphere.”

 

Giles Morgan, Group Head of Sponsorship and Events at HSBC, added: “It is great to see the growth of the HSBC Sevens World Series. The sport itself is growing rapidly as 2016 draws nearer, but to see that audiences are also following that trend is fantastic.

 

“It is particularly pleasing to see new markets watching the sport too and we are looking forward to hopefully another record-breaking season with even bigger audiences tuning in for 2013/14.”

 

The 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series comprised nine tournaments in Australia (Gold Coast), UAE (Dubai), South Africa (Port Elizabeth), New Zealand (Wellington), USA (Las Vegas), Hong Kong, Japan (Tokyo), Scotland (Glasgow) and England (London).

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