Brian Nicholson, Deseret News
Kyle Sumison of Brigham Young University is propelled forward by his teammates while being tackled by an Arkansas State player in the USA Rugby D1A National Championship game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy Saturday, May 19, 2012. BYU won the championship game 49-42.

PROVO — The BYU Cougars have finalized a strategic partnership with Deseret Digital Media for online broadcast rights to all BYU rugby home games.

Deseret Digital Media is the online media production arm for NBC affiliate KSL-TV and intermountain-based newspaper corporation The Deseret News.

“Deseret Digital Media is an innovator in the digital media space,” said BYU assistant coach Kimball Kjar who oversees the Cougars’ online presence. “They’ve been disrupting age-old media concepts for a while now and we’re fortunate to have them partner with us.”

The partnership between BYU rugby and DDM will bring all of BYU’s home games live to an online audience using the DDM portals and

All games will also be available online and on-demand after games on and both DDM media portals.

BYU head coach David Smyth says the new media partnership shows a growing opportunity for college rugby teams to start building marketable brands.

“There’s an interest in rugby,” Smyth said. “People enjoy watching the sport whether they know much about it or not. It’s simply a matter of showcasing it correctly and by partnering with Deseret Digital Media we have a great opportunity to put our brand in front of not only our great fans and alumni, but it also gives us a chance to get our product in front of a wider audience.”

Deseret Digital Media’s General Manager Matthew Sanders echoed Smyth’s sentiments.

“We are thrilled to be the broadcast partner of BYU rugby," Sanders said. “Their student-athletes are both exemplary players and aspire to live lives of high character. We are impressed by their appeal locally and internationally, and the growing popularity of rugby as a sport among spectators and players. BYU’s superior play and competition, combined with our live online broadcast capabilities and increasing digital reach will make a great partnership.”

The inaugural broadcast takes place this Saturday as the Cougars host Utah State University on South Field. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. with gates opening one hour before.

Tickets can be bought at the gate for $8 for adults and $5 for students.

For more information and details on the BYU rugby program, follow the Cougars on Facebook and Twitter.

The BYU Rugby program is one of the school's most winning sports teams with just 19 losses in more than 20 years. BYU Rugby won the 2009 Collegiate National Championship and has promoted 28 players to All-American status. For more go to