NRL bids are in …. let the games begin.

By David Knox on May 8, 2012 / Filed Under News 22

Nine and FOX Sports yesterday lodged their formal bids on the 5 year contract for NRL rights. Telstra also bid for online rights.

A decision won’t be made until August.

Today there is plenty of speculation in the media about what the bids entailed, and where things may go from here.

The Daily Telegraph claims the bids fell way short of the $1B sought by the ARL Commission.

“They won’t get what the AFL has got,” a source said.

“More importantly is that it is very clear to anyone close to this that Seven, Foxtel and Telstra have overpaid on the AFL.

“That’s now biting hard.”

If the NRL rejects the bid, Nine and FOX Sports will next come together to see if they can provide a joint agreement before the NRL goes to an open market.

The Sydney Morning Herald suggests Nine might forgo its exclusive live rights, allowing FOX Sports to screen matches simultaneously live.

That would drive the price FOX Sports would pay to above $100 million a year, allowing Nine, which is labouring under $2.7 billion of debt, to keep its costs down. It might have to pay $90 million a year to screen four matches a week, up from three under the current deal.

Seven and TEN have until August to come up with a better offer for the five-year contract. Seven has said it is interested in the three top-rating State of Origin matches. There is speculation that Seven will take on all the rights and then sell some matches to Nine or TEN.

Nine’s managing director Jeffrey Browne tells  The Australian, “I am very pleased with our bid. I expect to have further dialogue with the NRL.”

Asked whether he expected the commission to take the rights to market, Browne said: “That’s up to them. We put a very, very strong bid in. I am sure they will give it serious attention.”

22 Comments »

  1. payney June 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm -

    Leave it with nine network free to air! Think about the people who can’t afford foxtel!!!!!!

  2. junkyard May 9, 2012 at 12:28 am -

    If you are a NRL fan and a foxtel subscriber I urge you all to email Fox Sports and tell them that you require all games live on a dedicated HD channel on fox sports.

    From my correspondence with them, its seems this is on the agenda.

    Anything other than all games live in HD on fox sports would be considered a failure.

    We cannot go back to what we have now with ch9, they are a disgrace.

  3. barrett May 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm -

    I hope (pipe dream maybe) that Fox get all the rights to everything and that way all games will be shown live and in HD Australia wide.That is what the NRL should have as the base line criteria for their tv rights.Unfortunately we live in a country that protects the FTA moguls from true marketplace forces.
    Next best scenario is that they break up the package with SoO,Tests,Monday nights etc up for grabs.

  4. joey69 May 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm -

    were the hell do 9 get the money to pay for these tv rights. they are up to their eyeballs in debt (makes Greece look good) watch this space 9 will fold if they win the rights and ten will take over.
    ten went bankrupt when they last had the nrl fta rights and 9 took them over. nrl supporters will be the biggest losers again. NRL commission please don’t take the risk go over to the millionares network at least you know you will get paid.

  5. William May 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm -

    I really hope Seven get State of Origin, ANZAC Day Test, City vs Country, All-Stars vs Indigenous Test and I hope Ten gets a piece of Monday Night Footy

  6. Ann May 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm -

    Heard the bids are lower than expected. Sign of the times I guess. AFL did well

  7. Carringbush May 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm -

    I thought I read somewhere that SBS and Fox will show the A-League next season so Ch10 has missed the boat on that.
    Re the NRL rights deal, mooted prices are only conjecture because of the confidentiality clause. I suppose the NRL are that insecure that they think by saying how low the first bid is, that Ch7 will have a go. Don’t think it will happen. Rights will stay at Ch9 & Fox for around $900m.

  8. David Knox May 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm -

    Very wrong. I am neither AFL nor NRL. The reference about 4 SoO games is from Sydney Morning Herald as per the link. Yes I should have picked up their error, but being a fan of neither code… etc. etc.

    I will correct to 3 games.

  9. junkyard May 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm -

    I can tell David is an AFL fan, there is only 3 State of Origin matches David.

    Now back on topic, NRL was never going to get a billion. That was ridiculous, it was ridiculous that the AFL got that.

    NRL rights will go for 700-800 million, all games will be broadcast live on a dedicated Fox Sports NRL channel.

  10. MJL May 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm -

    So Fairfax say the first bid is $1billion+ and News Ltd say it’s well below.

    Neither have any idea because of the confidentiality clause.

    News Ltd do have the benefit of using their newspapers to try and make it look like they’ve put in a low bid so it makes it easier for them to retain the rights and not be swamped by 7 and 10.

    I just hope to God 7 and Fox team up and get them. I am sick of 9’s coverage. It’s horrible.

  11. FanOfTen May 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm -

    @tihsamikah – josh777 explains it all perfectly
    Crowd attendances are up and don’t forget the world cup games at 4am which rated 1.4 million. There is a huge fan base but no one knows that. That’s why if TEN take a chance because it is their demographic itcan work depending how they market it

    I am a fan of AFL and NRL is a gd sport both for OZ, but soccer is a world game therefore it’s an Australian game. We hav Asians champions league in 2015 and world cup in 2014 so soccer is going to just keep getting bigger and bigger.

    You have to understand football (soccer) first

  12. Bob May 8, 2012 at 11:33 am -

    @FanOfTen
    Soccer (or football) maybe the most popular sport in the world
    but not in OZ.
    It does not come close to NRL or AFL in tv ratings,
    ground attendance or entertainment

  13. deedeedragons May 8, 2012 at 11:32 am -

    Come on Ten you can do it!

  14. Josh777 May 8, 2012 at 10:25 am -

    @ tihsamikah – you may be right that the STV viewrs of A-League are not as high as the AFL and NRL, but you are wrong about it’s crowd attendance. A Melbourne Victory game I went to this year had a higher crowd attendance then the average Melbourne Storm attendance. And saying that soccer doesn’t rate well in Australia is also right, but that doesn’t mean it’s fan base is not huge. If it wasn’t FOX Sports wouldn’t have the rights to all EPL games, ESPN wouldn’t have the rights to La Liga BBVA, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Champions League, and MLS, and Setanta wouldn’t have that many leagues/competitions that I seriously don’t have the time to list them all. And not only does the amount of international leagues shown by Australian sports channels show how large the soccer fan base is, it should be noted that this is only 3 sports networks (6 channels) – compared to twice the amount of channels that show soccer in countries such as the U.K. and U.S.A. So I think you need to look more into the soccer situation in Australia.

  15. blazza18 May 8, 2012 at 10:08 am -

    @damo
    You are correct, anything the tele writes should be takin with a grain of salt.
    The NRL cannot be low balled now, They want whats best for the NRL not for Nine or Fox. Splitting the games up will a fun way to decide who gets the rights.

  16. Batterstyle May 8, 2012 at 9:43 am -

    7 did pay too much for the AFL and now the advertising market is soft it is hurting. This is bad timing for the NRL as they would want all contenders as cashed up as possible.

  17. Josh777 May 8, 2012 at 9:16 am -

    @ Rutzie – couldn’t agree more! As long as NRL fans are treated the same way as AFL fans by getting all games shown live around the country in HD with no ads until half time then I’ll be happy.
    @ FanOfTen – you’re right that A-League would make a great addition to TEN’s sport catalogue as A-League seems to appeal to a younger audience then does the AFL and NRL, which fits TEN’s key demo perfectly. However, FOX Sports have done well to get all games live and they will go down kicking and screaming to lose them to another network. Maybe they will do like Seven and FOX Sports and show A-League live on both, but I seriously can’t see TEN going through all that time and effort.

  18. damo May 8, 2012 at 9:12 am -

    the article by paul kent was just a whinge fest. as usual they look to blame the afl for everything and he said it hasn’t been a ratings hit. obviously he turns a blind eye to the ratings when the afl comes up. last time i looked they have had strong ratings from the start of the season. it’s too premature to say this will be the rights holder

  19. tihsamikah May 8, 2012 at 8:00 am -

    @FanOfTen – A-League going great guns are you serious? No one talks about soccer in this country excecpt for about the 100 people who go to their games. a-league Constantly get’s outrated on foxtel by simpsons repeats! and wasn’t there a final the other day? I think it rated 4th or even 5th for the ratings that day…behind week in week out sports.
    So much for a Final!

    who cares if it is the “World Game”? fact is it doesn’t work in oz… and its been proved time and time again. Hell, the EPL doesn’t even rate on foxtel. Maybe if they stopped diving and rolling around on the ground like they have been shot just to milk a penaltiy they would do better.

  20. FanOfTen May 8, 2012 at 6:42 am -

    If TEN dont win the rights for NRL, then they should seriously consider bidding for the A-League!
    Football (or what you old folks call ‘soccer’) is the most popular sport in the world. There is a huge fan base for it in Australia, and the A-league has improved significantly in all areas this past year. Ten is a risk taker..they should take this sport and raise its coverage.

    Its a proven winner and Football (or soccer) makes the AFL look like dogs running after a ball. NRL is a great sport, but it doesnt compare to football.

    I hope TEN dont win the NRL rights, just so they can go after the A-league, but in the end NRL rates better than AFL so if they do win then good luck to them.

    But dont rule out A-league

  21. tihsamikah May 8, 2012 at 5:44 am -

    “Seven has said it is interested in the four top-rating State of Origin matches”

    well they won’t have much hope considering there is only 3 SOO matches :)

  22. Rutzie May 8, 2012 at 5:39 am -

    I don’t care which free to air network gets it as long as all games are live on Fox Sports.

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