RugbyPass launches subscription service The XV
RugbyPass, the global over-the-top digital media service offering live coverage of top-level rugby that was acquired by Sky New Zealand last year, has today launched a subscription service.
The XV is built around premium journalism, with player interviews, long-form features and podcasts, and will be priced at $3.99 per month or $24.99 for an annual subscription. Video content will be added in time.
Neil Martin, chief executive of RugbyPass, said: “Sky Sports NZ acquired RugbyPass because they believed in our long-term vision for the development of the game, and as part of that ambitious strategy comes the unveiling of our new subscription product, The XV.”
He continued: “Having an ad-free environment will become increasingly more prevalent to audiences who want to follow their passions without clutter. The clean, intuitive user-experiences you get through OTT products like Netflix, Disney+ and Now TV are going to be a prerequisite in other areas of their digital consumption and that’s what we are building. We see micro-subscription products hitting the market with increasing frequency.”
Sky acquired RugbyPass for $40 million in August 2019 from a USA-based private investment firm Cooper and Company, led by New Zealander Peter Cooper, and Martin was appointed a month later. His former employers have included Sky in the UK, OSN in the Middle East and Astro Malaysia.
RugbyPass was launched in early 2016 by digital sports company Coliseum Sports Media, but the company relocated to Singapore in 2016 to focus on the pan-Asian market, winding down operations in New Zealand in the process.
The service has rights to the The Rugby Championship and Super Rugby, the prominent southern hemisphere competitions, in 62 countries in Asia and Europe, and live-streams content in those regions as well as Australia, while also producing its own original rugby-related content.