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Ustream Partners with Universal Sports Network to Stream Live Match Coverage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup

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Schwartz Communications
Kim Angell
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Ustream at Schwartzcomm dot com

Ustream Partners with Universal Sports Network to Stream Live Match Coverage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup

Rugby fans can tune in to Ustream.tv/rugbyworldcup starting Friday, September 9

San Francisco, Calif. – September 8, 2011 – Ustream (www.ustream.tv), the leader in live streaming video, today announced a partnership with Universal Sports Network which enables the interactive video platform to stream live match coverage in the U.S. of all 2011 Rugby World Cup events on a pay-per-view (PPV) basis.

Under the terms of the partnership, Universal Sports Network, which provides Olympic and lifestyle sports programming, will leverage Ustream’s array of social media application tools and its reach of more than 50 million monthly unique views, to live stream the Rugby World Cup event, kicking off with the first huge matchup between New Zealand and Tonga this Friday. Fans can watch the broadcast first-hand and interact by posting comments and questions via Ustream’s social stream or chat feature.

Tweet this: @Ustream and Universal Sports Network to stream Rugby World Cup ustream.tv/rugbyworldcup

The Facebook Rugby World Cup page has over 1.2 million fans, with thousands of them already posting predictions for the upcoming games. Today’s announcement with Ustream enables Universal Sports to expand its digital presence and leverage Ustream’s platform to provide an online forum for these discussions and actively track fan feedback and engagement concurrent with live programming.

The Rugby World Cup, which is the oldest rugby championship in the world, kicks off with New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. This match will air live on Friday, September 9, 2011, at 4:30am ET/1:30 am PT on Universal Sports Network. The match will be available on Ustream within 24-48 hours and it will provide fans with an opportunity to watch individual matches for $24.99 during pool play and $29.99 during the knockout stage. Ustream’s live streaming coverage will begin with the Scotland vs. Romania match at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT on September 9, 2011.

“We are excited to collaborate with Universal Sports Network to showcase access to the Rugby World Cup throughout the tournament,” says Wayne Sieve, Vice President of Sports at Ustream. “As Ustream continuously expands our sports programming, content providers have an opportunity to showcase some of the world’s top sports events coupled with a platform that engages with fans in unprecedented ways. On the viewer side, sports fans appreciate unlimited access to their favorite games and matches, which often times aren’t available through traditional broadcast outlets. Rugby enthusiasts can now watch the World Cup via the Ustream Web site or any of Ustream’s mobile applications at http://www.ustream.tv/everywhere.”

“We are thrilled to continue to evolve our global sports content delivery for fans,” says Bart Leivo, Vice President of Business Development for Universal Sports Network. “Ustream’s interactive platform not only enables Universal Sports to bring enhanced distribution of the Rugby World Cup, but it also provides a platform for the viewers to communicate directly with other fans during the live action.”

In addition to this upcoming event, Ustream has featured match coverage of Rugby 6 Nations, which can be viewed at http://www.ustream.tv/sports ,and it has partnerships in place with hundreds of sports properties, including the UFC and PGA Tour to stream live event programming. Live coverage of the kickoff game between New Zealand and Tonga can also be accessed on Universal Sports’ Web site at http://www.universalsports.com.

About Universal Sports
Universal Sports, a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, LP, is the premier multi-platform media destination for Olympic-related sports programming in the United States. Universal Sports is available over the air in 52 markets nationwide, including all of the nation’s top 10 media markets and 20 of the top 25, and on DIRECTV. Major world championship sports events aired on Universal Sports include track and field, skiing, swimming, gymnastics, marathons, figure skating, cycling and rugby. The network’s website, UniversalSports.com, delivers an immersive user experience via live and on-demand competition coverage, interaction with top athletes through interviews and blogs and in-depth access to Olympic sports news and information year-round. For more information, please visit UniversalSports.com.

About Ustream
Ustream, Inc. is the leader in live and interactive video streaming. The interactive platform connects broadcasters and viewers of unlimited size through innovative technology including co-hosting video features, IRC chat, Facebook, and Twitter. Ustream’s free and premium solutions allow any broadcaster to create their own customizable channel with robust social and notification features to enhance visibility and virality across multiple platforms.
In addition to activating the embeddable features on external websites, users are able to broadcast and view content while interacting in real-time directly from mobile phone devices, tablets, streaming players, smart TVs, and more. The company attracts millions of users ranging from music artists, celebrities, politicians, athletes, corporate executives, animal enthusiasts, and gamers which has contributed to Ustream’s Guinness World Record for the “Most Content Ingested by An Online Video Service”. For more information about Ustream, visit www.ustream.com and follow us on our socials: Twitter (@Ustream); Facebook (facebook.com/Ustream).