Warrior Built Part Five: Pushing The Media Envelope
The Utah Warriors entered the 2022 Major League Rugby (MLR) season with the League’s, and Utah’s, most robust and accessible broadcast set of broadcast partnerships ranging from radio, TV and OTT options that allowed fans across the globe to listen or to watch the Warriors.
Broadcasting all Warriors’ games on local free-to-air channels like KJZZ and KMYU as well as rebroadcasting the games on ATT Sports Net offered a wider range of viewers the chance to watch and see the growing excitement of the Utah Warriors. In total, the viewership of the Utah Warriors games grew 33% compared to 2021’s numbers.
Other digital options on local sports hub KSLSports.com offered another point of access using the KSL Sports App or web viewing option. The Rugby Network (TRN), the MLR’s OTT platform, also offered another tool for overseas and domestic viewers alike with increased audiences on all platforms compared to 2021. All told, the Warriors’ games were streamed more during the 2022 season than ever before while TRN saw overall growth of 144% over the 2022 season.
"My whole family is here in Utah, so it's a little more exciting that they can come watch me play after the time they missed.” – Tai Kauwe of @utwarriorsrugby https://t.co/HQ4ZI7ndMd
— KSL.com Sports (@KSLcomSports) August 26, 2022
Adding to the quality of the Warriors’ broadcasts has been the on-going commentary abilities of Jarom Jordan as the play-by-play commentator, Jared Danielson doing the color commentary and Ashlee Byrge on the sideline. Jordan, a mainstay on BYUtv and Danielson, an CMA-winning radio broadcaster and Utah rugby expert, combine to provide insight to the game and professional unbiased attention to detail for all broadcasts. Using Byrge’s experience as a former Women’s 7s and 15s national team player to offer sideline interviews and keen insights, the Warriors’ broadcasts are fun and educational to watch. Together, the trio provide the best-in-class commentary group in the MLR.
Throughout the 2022 season Jarom and Danielson (known as Banksy to his listeners) broadcast the show “W Nation” live on the Utah Warriors’ Youtube, Facebook, Twitter pages, which is also available as a podcast through Spotify and Apple Music. In total, viewership and listenership of W Nation has grown over 21% since last season and continues to be a staple of the ever-growing Warriors Nation for insight and news on Warriors and rugby in general.
W Nation: Ep 65 | MLR Draft Recap https://t.co/eV8H9JAEX7
— Utah Warriors Rugby (@utwarriorsrugby) September 1, 2022
The offseason kept the broadcast wheels turning as the Collegiate Rugby Shield (CRS) at the beginning of July saw Jarom joined in the broadcast booth by guest commentator Peter Steinberg, while Banky moved down to the field cover for Ashlee Byrge, who was helping coach Team Peaks. The CRS game saw over 250k people watching on FS1’s 83M households. The game was also rebroadcast on FS1 and FS2 multiple times for adding aggregate audience as well as on TRN for those internationally and domestically-placed.
Looking forward to the next season and beyond, the production team and all of its members continue to push for innovative ways reach even further across the nation and the globe while also providing some of the highest quality content in the MLR, for its fans and for every member of Warriors Nation.
The Utah Warriors had the most robust broadcast plan for a professional sports team in Utah and the top plan in the MLR
Warrior Built Part Five, Pushing the Media Envelope #ForTheNation
— Utah Warriors Rugby (@utwarriorsrugby) September 2, 2022
This Op-Ed was written by Warriors’ Production Assistant Mason Benson and CEO Kimball Kjar. For more info on the Warriors or to get 2023 Season Tickets, visit warriorsrugby.com
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