Nine, FOX Sports confirm new NRL rights deal.

By David Knox on August 21, 2012 / Filed Under News, Pay TV, Top Stories 37

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.

37 Comments »

  1. cnrmlj March 7, 2014 at 8:22 am -

    The story above says: “Games will be in HD from 2014.”

    Last nights game was not in HD.

    Do you know why? Another lie from nine like the original promo’s for GEM where they said it would be the home of live sport?

  2. chadsterboi August 23, 2012 at 9:19 pm -

    I reckon Andrew Voss would of went to channel 10. Now his future is under cloud as his contract is up soon this yr at nine.

  3. cnrmlj August 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm -

    Such a sad day for rugby league fans yesterday.

    I can’t believe that from 2013 – 2017 we are still going to have 2 games on delay and they won’t be in HD from next year.

    NRL Commission = disgrace

  4. William August 22, 2012 at 6:25 pm -

    Channel 9 will go broke and this bad for the league as Ten put a bid on 1 FNF, 1 Saturday Footy, 1 Sunday Footy, MNF

  5. Carringbush August 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm -

    Have to say that Ch9 have done amazingly well out of this. Yes, they’ve had to stump up a heap more cash (and so they should) but they’ve given up next to nothing. Still only one live game and two delayed; State of Origin still on Weds; and the Grand Final is back to prime time at 7.15pm.

    The only major difference is that the fixture for the first 20 weeks will be set in advance. The only problem with Rugby League being largely a NSW/QLD game is that the Broncos will continue to get the sponsor/viewer friendly Friday nights, which is to the detriment of the lesser profile, but no less exciting teams.

  6. kimbeth August 21, 2012 at 10:17 pm -

    Yeah NRL if you are reading this how can you say this is better than AFL deal when they give the fans the opportunity to see their team live every week and for us people in NSW free live coverage of swans games Every week. AFL understands what is required to promote the game. Because i disconnected Foxtel I hardly get to see NRL footy now and have really enjoyed watching the swans games! It’s making me realise how much better the AFL is managed and how much interest I’ve lost in league.

    So now even if I decide to get foxtel again I can’t see my team live every week in NRL. What a cop out, to say best deal for fans.

    Lastly… 5 years is do damn long in a rapidly changing landscape. Imagine where technology will be in next few years. NBN will be near completion and I dare suggest the online access to games will become so much more appealing. Money talks, screw the fans ..

  7. barrett August 21, 2012 at 8:51 pm -

    Seems as though no HD on 9 till 2014.Haven’t seen anything about final series except GF on 9,hopefully Fox will be able to show final series.
    Nothing on SOO in HD either.
    Can’t see how NRL think this a win for viewers with a continuation of the same 9 rubbish.
    Also no / very little detail on 9 plans for states outside NSW / QLD.

  8. joey69 August 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm -

    Stay tuned people!
    This is deja vu. the last time Ch 10 had the rights to NRL they went broke 2 years into there deal.
    The same will happen to Ch 9.
    CVC owners of 9 are close to throwing in the towel.
    Watch this space! i am sure David will be all over this!!!!!!!!

  9. Ann August 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm -

    Keeps Ray Warren out of retirement

  10. BigVic August 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm -

    Keeping my Foxtel subscription! :D

  11. wwenrl August 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm -

    Hahaha!!! I was right, I knew Ch9 and Foxtel were going to keep the NRL rights, those 2 Channels are the Best!
    Ch9 and Fox Sports all the Way!!!

  12. Guy August 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm -

    The NRL can rot in hell for all i care. This is the worst deal possible. 1 Live game a week against 4 with the AFL is the biggest joke i have seen yet. In this digital age we should have more Live sport not less. The NRL are attached at the hip to Channel 9 and Fox as it seems. At least when Seven did the AFL deal it was a more fairer deal. This is just insane. Where is Saturday football on FTA? No where to be seen.

    Also whats with the reports i hear that FOX wouldn’t work with Seven on this. Thats just media crap isn’t it? I mean they seem to do well together with the AFL whats the difference? Anyway Rugby League will be dead in 5 years time because of this one deal. Teams will go bankrupt and all we will continue to see is Broncos Friday. Its a joke and a kick in the face to FTA viewers. Now i know why Gallop got out. He wanted a change but he was tied. Makes a lot of sense now. Goodbye Rugby League. Nice knowing you.

  13. Fitzah August 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm -

    I wish 7 got the rights. They would do a better job than 9 who show 1 live game a week which is just disgusting.
    7 were fighting really hard for the rights I hear.

  14. steviep August 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm -

    David Gyngell is a lovely guy.

  15. Hoin August 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm -

    So much for TEN’s plan to secure the NRL rights by axing AFL and moving The Game Plan to the main channel. TEN just can’t take a trick these days, can they?

  16. Wally August 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm -

    I don’t know why TEN dropped out for the AFL rights race last year. They were much better broadcasters than seven. Now they’ve failed at getting the NRL rights and it just so happens they’re doing terribly in the ratings.

    Seriously, TEN.

  17. FanOfTen August 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm -

    Dear TEN,
    Do as I said and go after the A-leauge rights, as well as international coverage of the Real and original football. It will be dirt cheap, and has all the potential to grow because its the world game and its craps all over AFL and NRL

    Yours Sincerely,
    FanOfTen

    P.S……You have no choice now!

  18. Josh777 August 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm -

    @ dturbo – I had a discussion a couple of months ago regarding A-League on this website and how it would be perfect for TEN as it’s target audience is a perfect match. It was also rumored that TEN were pushing to get the Australian Open as Seven’s broadcast rights expire this year (or next I can’t remember exactly when). I doubt very much that TEN will go for the V8’s as they already have the F1 and MotoGP and they aren’t exactly going as well as they had hoped.

  19. JB August 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm -

    This is really a bad deal for the NRL. Nine are hopeless at sports coverage, and it’s really a bad deal for Nine as well with only 3 games on free-to-air. Games not live also is pathetic.
    Terrible news for NRL fans.

  20. chadsterboi August 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm -

    The culture between Nine executives and NRL people has won this battle. Too many sweet deals behind closed doors. This wins all the time. League fans worst nightmare came true today!

  21. SouthCoastSaint August 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm -

    Does channel 94 in the city = channel 84 in the sticks?

    I really hope The Game PLan doesn’t get the axe. Nice to watch a show about NRL instead of buffoons and egos.

  22. GG August 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm -

    I suppose the good news is that TEN didn’t bid for the NRL rights.

    If they had, any games coverage would have been seriously stuffed up!

  23. dturbo August 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm -

    I’m more shocked that TEN didn’t get any of the rights. They sold EYE, raised some funds and now with no major sporting rights for the next 5 years, TEN will be the number 3 network (sorry, make that number 4 network) for a very, very long time. What will happen to ‘The Game Plan’ in Syd/Bris? Will they persist with it? What will James Warburton do now? How on earth did Lachlan not bid high enough for it considering the financial difficulties Nine’s parent company is under? CVC has got $2.5b in debt, yet they still managed to retain the rights! Will TEN now focus on the V8’s? The A-League? Cricket? Australian Open? Dear oh dear TEN – with no decent programming either and no sport, you might aswell just close down the channel. But look on the bright side, atleast David Mott gets paid over $1 million for not coming up with anything decent to help save the network.

  24. dan August 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm -

    Worst news possible regarding NRL nines coverage is pathetic they should never have been given the rights to the NRL they do such a pathetic job

  25. bagbuffy August 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm -

    NRL supporters shafted once again!!!!!

  26. junkyard August 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm -

    I just can’t believe we are stuck with the same pathetic ch9 coverage for another 5 years! Only one live game a week from these clowns at 9!

    And in Glorious Stand definition!

    Why couldn’t Fox sports simulcast all games LIVE and in HD on a Fox sports NRL channel?

    So depressed right now.

  27. SusanP August 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm -

    Delayed games etc? Nine should not have won this.

  28. David Knox August 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm -

    My understanding is Syd / Bris will be Live, but if you are in Syd you get Qld game delayed and vice versa as it currently stands.

  29. Josh777 August 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm -

    You have got to be kidding me. How is it that FOX Sports and Seven can reach a deal where all games are shown live by FOX Sports, yet Nine and FOX Sports can not come to the same deal for the NRL? It is an insult to Australia having delayed games in this technological world. No one wants to watch sport that has already been shown. Why do you think so few people watch replayed sport on ESPN when it was live days to weeks before hand – because the results are already out! The sooner this country takes NRL seriously, the better.

  30. JoeBloggs August 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm -

    What is Lachlan Murdoch’s next move?

  31. deedeedragons August 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm -

    Yeah! for the status quo & mediocrity!

  32. Bob August 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm -

    i was hoping that Nine wouldn’t get the rights

  33. David Knox August 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm -

    I believe Melb will be Fridays on GEM but not confirmed, sorry.

  34. goffy August 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm -

    Any news on what Melbourne will receive? Or will we continue to be shafted? The game won’t grow without us.

  35. Kuttsywood August 21, 2012 at 12:14 pm -

    @bogues: I reckon the content for ch94 will probably consist of stuff like ticket info for upcoming games, OneCommunity promos, and thirty minutes of a still image of the current NRL ladder…

  36. Dodge August 21, 2012 at 11:53 am -

    Nine get three matches and Foxtel five. Soon there’ll be no NRL or AFL on free-to-air television.

  37. Bogues August 21, 2012 at 11:53 am -

    Two hours of Rugby League content each evening on digital Channel 94 plus two hours of content on Saturday and Sunday morning

    Isn’t that in breach of the rules regarding what can be shown on the ‘datacasting channel’?

    Any idea what the content is?

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