CBC Sports and Rugby Canada today announced a momentous multi-year partnership agreement that cements Canada’s Olympic Network as home to international rugby sevens and Team Canada’s path to the top of the podium at Tokyo 2020 as well as the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
The partnership began this past weekend with full coverage of the HSBC World Rugby Series tournament in Dubai at cbcsports.ca and on CBC and will continue with coverage from the second event in the Series from Cape Town, South Africa, Dec. 9–10.
In addition, as part of the agreement, CBC Sports will deliver multi-platform annual coverage of the men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018. CBC Sports’ coverage includes live-streaming at cbcsports.ca and via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices, as well as broadcast coverage on CBC.
“As we saw during Rio 2016, sevens is a fast-paced and entertaining sport and this multi-year partnership with Rugby Canada strengthens CBC Sports’ offering to world-class competition outside of the Olympic Games,” said Greg Stremlaw, executive director, CBC Sports and general manager, Olympics. “We look forward to featuring rugby sevens to our audiences and helping grow its popularity across the country. Canada has a long history in international rugby and the success of the bronze medal-winning women’s sevens team in Rio indicates that there is a bright future in this discipline.”
“Today’s announcement marks a new era for rugby sevens in Canada as one of the fastest growing team sports becomes available to a wider sporting audience through CBC Sports’ platforms,” said Allen Vansen, chief executive officer, Rugby Canada. “As witnessed by the record coverage of rugby sevens’ Olympic Games debut in Rio de Janeiro, CBC Sports continues to be a world-leader in communicating the stories of inspirational athletes and teams as they build on their journey to Tokyo 2020 and beyond. Last year, Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team made history by winning their first-ever cup title in Singapore while our Women’s Sevens Team captured their third tournament title in Sydney, Australia. CBC Sports’ partnership proves rugby sevens is a sport with tremendous momentum and we look forward to building on what is an exciting future for rugby in Canada and around the world.”
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series features 10 men’s and five women’s tournaments held around the world featuring national teams. Canadian stops include a men’s tournament in Vancouver (March 10–11, 2018) and a women’s tournament in Langford, BC (May 12–13, 2018). At the end of each season an overall champion is crowned based on the points earned at each of the tournaments. Canada’s women’s team has finished in third place or better in overall points in the five-year history of the Series.
The Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco will be the seventh edition of the international tournament and the third to include both men’s and women’s competitions. The men’s tournament will feature 24 teams divided into six pools of four teams each, while the women’s competition will include 16 teams in four pools of four. Canada was the runner-up in the last women’s World Cup Sevens in 2013, falling to New Zealand in the championship match.