Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rugby Championship: Final Kick-Off Times Announced

Photo Rugby Time
To satisfy South African broadcaster Super Sport the kick-off time for the second round match of the 2014 Rugby Championship has been moved back thirty minutes. In doing so Super Sport will be able to show Currie Cup rugby live and uninterrupted before kick-off in Argentina. Los Pumas will take-on the Springboks in Salta at 4:40pm local time rather than 4:10pm as had previously been arranged. The UAR's willingness to adapt is a positive sign for the potential host union of Rugby World Cup 2023. The new time will see the match begin at 9:40pm in South Africa.

Of the four Southern Hemisphere countries involved in the Rugby Championship Argentina is unique in being situation in a location which has workable options for friendly kick-off times for matches involves the other three teams. The diversity of kick-off times for the matches in Salta, La Plata and Mendoza has been precisely structures to benefit television audiences watching their teams play away tests. 

None of the three others are able to do so. Indeed, aside from the test in Pretoria, kick-off times for Argentina's away matches are far from ideal for South Americans. Los Pumas are to play the All Blacks in Napier at 4:35am Argentine time and face the Wallabies on the Gold Coast at 7:05am. Television viewers from these countries will have the comparable luxury of seeing the teams play the reverse fixtures in Argentina at 11:10am and 9:40am. 

Ideal viewing hours for South Africa are the same times which are suited to television audiences in the key markets including the U.K and France. As such a Rugby World Cup in Argentina would offer a far more flexible match schedule than previous World Cups. Europeans being required to watch the World Cup matches during breakfast is unavoidable with a World Cup in New Zealand. Argentina's time zone, in contrast, would enable viewing hours for both markets.

Date
Kick-Off (Arg. Time)
Match
Venue
August 16
7:05am
Australia v New Zealand
Sydney
August 16
12:05pm
South Africa v Argentina
Pretoria
August 23
4:35am
New Zealand v Australia
Auckland
August 23
4:40pm
Argentina v South Africa
Salta
September 6
4:35am
New Zealand v Argentina
Napier
September 6
7:05am
Australia v South Africa
Perth
September 13
4:35am
New Zealand v South Africa
Wellington
September 13
7:05am
Australia v Argentina
Gold Coast
September 27
12:05pm
South Africa v Australia
Cape Town
September 27
7:10pm
Argentina v New Zealand
La Plata
October 4
12:05pm
South Africa v New Zealand
Johannesburg
October 4
7:40pm
Argentina v Australia
Mendoza

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