13 Dec 2014

Rugby Sevens coverage back on in Fiji

6:45 am on 13 December 2014

World Rugby has announced it will lift the embargo on the broadcast feed for the Sevens World Series to Fiji, effective immediately, after the Fiji government agreed to remove World Rugby events from the Television Decree 2014.

Under a regime decree, FijiTV, which has exclusive rights to broadcast World Rugby events, has to share the feed with all other TV stations or risk a massive fine and a ten-year jail sentence.

World Rugby, formerly the IRB, withheld the broadcast of last weekend's Dubai Sevens after discovering the decree provisions.

The key issues for World Rugby was that the application of the decree to the HSBC Sevens World Series, Rugby World Cup and Rugby World Cup Sevens, had seriously undermined World Rugby's exclusive and long-standing deal with Fiji TV.

But an agreement was reached on Thursday following dialogue between World Rugby, its rights-holding free-to-air broadcaster Fiji TV and the Fiji government.

Central to the Fiji government's decision was World Rugby's offer to grant Fiji TV the right to sub-license on terms agreeable to World Rugby.

In a statement, World Rugby says this positive step serves the dual purpose of extending the broadcast footprint in Fiji, while protecting World Rugby's commercial revenues.

Fiji celebrate winning the Gold Coast Sevens.

Fiji celebrate winning the Gold Coast Sevens. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Seras Lima