Rugby has always been in short supply on TV in the U.S. and the options took a hit on this day in rugby history in 2010 when Setanta announced they were transferring their rights to rugby events to FOX Soccer Channel.
The pay-per-view channel stopped airing programming in the U.S. on February 28 of that year.
“This is a significant milestone in the re-organisation of Setanta Sports, following the acquisition of Setanta’s businesses in Ireland, the US, Canada and Australia in July 2009,” Leonard Ryan, Co-Founder of Setanta Sports said.
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“Having examined several options for our US business, we concluded that the best course of action for the Group is to exit the US market and to concentrate on other markets where we can be a more substantial player in sports television. This transaction enables us to achieve that objective and to explore new opportunities in other markets.”
The announcement was met with shock by rugby fans who immediately put together a campaign to keep rugby on TV in the U.S. Rugby players were worries as FOX was a go to broadcaster for rugby when still called Fox Sports World but transitioned primarily an outlet for soccer leaving rugby out in the cold.
And also on this day in rugby history, the ‘greatest match ever played’ was played between the Barbarians and New Zealand All Blacks meeting in the Final Challenge Match of 1973.
1972 - Keith Wood, Irish rugby player