inks $1.8 billion record TV rights deal - 26th November
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suggest the total NRL rights package could be worth
$1.8 billion over five years, including pay television,
free-to-air, digital and international rights. Photo:
White and Max Mason
The National Rugby League has signed off on a $1.8
billion five-year television rights deal, as foreshadowed
by Fairfax Media.
all the parties involved are understood to be in agreement
in principle on the details the formal documentation
is still being pulled together by lawyers and advisers.
announcement and press conference is being prepared
for Thursday afternoon in Sydney with News Corp's
Fox Sports set to pay around $1 billion for the pay
television portion of the rights, which will include
a dedicated pay television channel from the 2017/18
revealed by Fairfax Media, Nine Entertainment Co is
expected reduce its bill for the TV rights to the
NRL by about $300 million over five years to $625
million after selling exclusive rights to Saturday
night games for most of the season to Fox Sports.
The free-to-air broadcaster will retain about five
Saturday night games at the end of each season.
rights will be shared by Fox Sports, Nine and Telstra.
Sports has acquired the rights to the crucial Saturday
night game from Nine for around $175 million.
new structure will be introduced progressively over
the 2016 season and into 2017, with Monday night football
initially remaining on Foxtel.
new chief executive Hugh Marks was flying back to
Sydney from Brisbane on Thursday and News Corp chief
executive Robert Thomson flew into Sydney from the
US to oversee final negotiations on behalf of the
Murdoch-family controlled company.
believed that Fox Sports, under the proposed agreement,
will simulcast Nine's games for about $25 million
a season, which will reduce Nine's bill by $125 million
over the five-year deal.
with the $35 million per season reduction for giving
back the Saturday night game to Fox Sports, for $175
million over five years, Nine's total bill for its
NRL rights is expected to be about $625 million, down
from the $925 million deal it struck in August.
current TV rights arrangements expire at the end of
the 2017 season.
confirmed on Thursday morning that was in negotiations
with the Australian Rugby League Commission, after
Fairfax Media revealed on Wednesday night that News
Corp was poised to sign a new deal with the NRL.
confirms that it is in discussions with the ARLC and
Fox Sports about a potential variation to Nine's rights
to broadcast NRL matches. No agreement has been reached
on any transaction," Nine said in a statement.
an agreement be reached, Nine will make an appropriate
announcement to the market in accordance with its