Nine and FOX Sports have retained the rights to the NRL in a new 5 year broadcasting deal with the Australian Rugby League Commission.
The deal from 2013 – 2017 is worth $1.025B being $925m in cash and $100m in advertising.
Nine Network Managing Director, Jeffrey Browne said, “We are delighted to be teaming up with FOX Sports again to bring the Australian audience the best coverage of NRL games for the next five years – Rugby League is a backbone of our business and we are delighted with this result after extensive negotiations.”
The Nine Network will broadcast:
o Three weekly matches (two on Friday and one on Sunday);
o Three Thursday evening matches over the course of the year;
o A stand-alone Test and City v Country weekend;
o Wednesday night State of Origin matches;
o A night-time Grand Final (7.15pm kick-off);
o The Roosters Dragons Anzac Day matches;
o Two hours of Rugby League content each evening on digital Channel 94 plus two hours of content on Saturday and Sunday morning;
o Nine will ensure that all of its matches are telecast on either the ‘primary’ or ‘multi-channel’ station in each state;
o The Queensland in Trust Super Cup.
Nine Entertainment Co Ltd CEO David Gyngell added, “Rugby league is very much part of our heritage. It’s one of the many things we do best, and it is pivotal to our position as the biggest television brand in the nation.
“I want to pay tribute to Jeff Browne and his team for their tireless work through this exhaustive rights process. The outcome he has secured is a terrific result not just for Nine, but for the great game itself and all its stakeholders.”
David Gyngell confirms Nine will not be showing Live Friday night games on primary / multichannels at the same time, choosing to screen Qld matches Live into Qld and NSW Live into NSW on Nine, followed by alternative matches thereafter. Gyngell made no apology for commercialising a costly broadcasting deal. Games will be in HD from 2014.
FOX Sports will continue its ‘FIVE LIVE’ NRL offering with up to five matches to screen exclusively Live.
Under the agreement, FOX Sports will continue its Live coverage of Monday Night Football and Super Saturday and introduce a regular prime time Sunday night fixture to increase its NRL Sunday coverage to two Live matches.
All matches on FOX Sports will be broadcast in High Definition, with no ad breaks during play. In a major coup for fans, FOX Sports has also acquired digital rights to stream its five live weekly matches via IPTV and tablet devices.
FOX Sports CEO, Patrick Delany, said: “NRL is in the FOX Sports DNA and we are delighted to have the opportunity to build on our 16-year relationship with the code. The renewal of our NRL rights and new digital rights confirms Foxtel as a must-have for NRL fans.”
“FOX Sports will continue to deliver on our promise of five live matches each round, introduce a 6.30pm Sunday night match to open up a live Sunday double-header and build on our award-winning coverage of Monday Night Football and Super Saturday,” he said.
“Our new digital and IPTV rights will also enable us to deliver live streaming of matches to iPad, following the path of Foxtel’s incredibly successful London 2012 app. We will also make all of our matches available on demand through Foxtel.”
FOX Sports to also launch new magazine shows in 2013 and move to new premises.
Other mobile, online and NZ rights are yet to be finalised.
This post updates.