As an American Rugby fan here in Australia before going to New Zealand on September, 19th,I would have thought that I would be able to catch lots of live rugby action this opening weekend.
I have discovered, much to my horror, that on today, the opening day of Rugby World Cup 2011, that I am going to have to catch the All Blacks-Tonga game...on a 3 hour delay. The WIN Network had advertised that they were going to be Australia's "Network of Rugby World Cup 2011". What the advertisement failed to mention is that games were going to be tape delayed-if shown at all. There are 3 games scheduled for Saturday. The only game that WIN will show on Saturday is Argentina-England...again, with a 3 hour delay.
As I write this, I should be watching the All Blacks put Tonga to the sword...instead, I can watch an NRL playoff game. If there is any doubt on where rugby union ranks with the Australian sports fan, this weekend is becoming a very painful lesson to this American rugby fan.
For my compatriots back in the states, looking at spending a small fortune in either pay-per-view costs or bar tabs watching RWC games at bars showing matches, I can tell you that if you were here in Australia, the only difference is that you can at least get a little more print coverage in The Sydney Morning News or the Australian. American Newspapers will have next to nothing about the Rugby World Cup.
I have been having a wonderful time here in Australia, but I have to confess that the lack of live coverage of the Rugby World Cup on Aussie TV has been a major dissapointment.