Rugby fans in Japan will be heartened to hear that all 48 games of the 2003 Rugby World Cup will be shown live in Japan on JSky Sports, it was announced on Thursday.

At a press conference in Tokyo, Ryuichiro Uno, president of the satellite sports broadcaster, announced that JSky Sports had signed a deal ensuring that it would be the exclusive broadcaster of the event, now ranked as the fourth major sporting event in the world.

In addition the company also signed a five-year deal with the Japan Rugby Football Union to broadcast domestic games, including the new Top League and Japan Cup and the Super Cup featuring the U.S., China, Russia and Japan.

“We hope to show around 140 games next season,” said vice president John Knowles. “We would like to be seen as the home of Japanese rugby and we will work with the JRFU to further promote the sport in Japan.”

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