The Australian Rugby League Commission has today announced a five-year broadcasting agreement with Nine and Fox Sports that will invest more than $1billion in the future of the code.
The largest agreement in Rugby League’s history delivers national television exposure across all games, advanced scheduling, increased programming, key broadcast innovations and leaves the Commission free to pursue further significant broadcasting revenues in New Zealand and through mobile and other online properties.
Both Fox Sports and Nine have committed to ensuring that viewers across the country will experience new technologies that bring NRL fans closer to the game than ever before.
“The whole package is a simply fantastic result for Rugby League,” said Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman, John Grant.
“The cash that comes from the agreement, used wisely, will provide the funding base for sustainably growing our game from the grass-roots to the elite levels.
“The agreement around scheduling answers the request from our clubs and corporate partners for certainty and the inclusion of national coverage will see our fans across Australia able to enjoy their Rugby League.
The formal negotiation commenced with Nine and Fox Sports in February this year.
Nine Network Managing Director, Jeff Browne, said that the network was over the moon at renewing its long and proud association with Rugby League.
“Nine’s Rugby League telecasts have won international acclaim and are fundamental to Nine’s Wide World of Sports brand.
“We are the gold standard in sports coverage and are delighted to bring the great game of Rugby League to our loyal viewers across the country as the exclusive free to air broadcaster.
Fox Sports Chief Executive, Patrick Delany, said that the rights agreement would be a win for viewers across the country:
“This agreement secures a fabulous line-up of matches for Fox Sports subscribers. Super Saturday and Monday Night Football have become a way of life for Rugby League fans and Fox Sports is determined to make that experience more exciting and more interactive than ever before.
“Rugby League is a part of Fox Sports and Foxtel’s DNA and we are delighted to be able to continue bringing the live action to households across Australia every week.”
While celebrating the agreement with Nine and Fox Sports, Interim ARLC Chief Executive, Shane Mattiske, said that there are still further opportunities in broadcast rights for Rugby League:
“As significant as this agreement is there are still substantial broadcasting properties yet to be negotiated.
“These include our New Zealand television rights and our mobile and website properties.
“It is too early to put a figure on these but certainly the value of the overall broadcasting package is going to increase, as will the opportunities that fans have to experience Rugby League.”