LOS ANGELES -- Grand Prix Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment enterprise, announced Thursday it has named NFL Network as its exclusive U.S. broadcast partner for Grand Prix’s July 2013 professional rugby sevens championships in partnership with USA Rugby.
“On the heels of our recent announcements extending our exclusive partnership with USA Rugby through 2018 and then moving to secure AEG Facility’s Home Depot Center as our venue partner, the important task of selecting the right U.S. broadcast partner was a key strategic priority and we could not be more pleased with the relationship we have formed with NFL Network,” said Grand Prix Sports Chairman Alan Rothenberg.
“NFL Network is excited to work with Grand Prix Rugby to bring our fans professional rugby sevens championships featuring the top teams and players in the world,” said Mark Quenzel, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production for NFL Network.
USA Rugby, an official member of the United States Olympic Committee as well as the Rugby World Cup's International Rugby Board, had previously awarded Grand Prix the exclusive rights to own, operate and globally broadcast the professional sport of Rugby Sevens, which was soon after named a new Olympic sport.
William Tatham, Chairman of Grand Prix Entertainment, said of the announcement, “From day one NFL Network was our preferred network partner. We are excited NFL Network supports our vision for the sport of Rugby, which just so happens to be the ‘Father of American Football.’”
Nigel Melville, CEO of USA Rugby, was equally enthusiastic, saying, “When I came to the U.S. five years ago I believed Rugby could become a major U.S. professional sport. Olympic inclusion and now a broadcast partner in NFL Network takes USA Rugby and our partners at Grand Prix all that much closer to the dream.”
GPE executive board member Neal Pilson, former president of CBS Sports who negotiated the carriage agreement, said, "NFL Network's live coverage of the Grand Prix Rugby Championship events will exceed any prior exposure of rugby on US television."