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Nine blasts NRL over lost fortune: Greenberg faces axe, season relaunch in doubt
9th April 2020
NRL and Channel Nine are at a massive impasse over the season relaunch, with Nine
seething that the league has planned without consulting the broadcaster.
says that it currently considers its contract unfulfilled and has blasted the
NRL for wasting hundreds of millions of dollars in broadcast revenue.
free-to-air broadcaster has been largely left in the dark on the NRL's
plans to relaunch the season amid coronavirus. Nine is fuming, rugby league
reporter Danny Weidler said in breaking the story on Thursday.
CEO Todd Greenberg is firmly in the gun, with Nine saying that the NRL had
been mismanaged for years and was now suffering the consequences.
think this has really taken the NRL by surprise," Weidler said. "Obviously
a lot of those comments are pointed at the CEO, Todd Greenberg. I think it's going
to be very difficult to see him continuing on in his role for much longer."
an explosive statement, a Nine spokesperson said: "At Nine we had hoped to
work with the NRL on a solution to the issues facing Rugby League in 2020, brought
on so starkly by COVID-19. But this health crisis in our community has highlighted
the mismanagement of the code over many years.
has invested hundreds of millions in this game over decades and we now find they
have profoundly wasted those funds with very little to fall back on to support
the clubs, the players and supporters.
the past the NRL have had problems and we've bailed them out many times. Including
a $50m loan to support clubs when the last contract was signed.
would now appear that much of that has been squandered by a bloated head office
completely ignoring the needs of the clubs, players and supporters.
now find ourselves with a contract that is unfulfilled by the code. We hoped we
could talk through a long term plan."
has been speculation for months of Greenberg losing his job in a new era for the
Australian Rugby League Commission, headed by powerful chairman Peter V'landys.
The ARLC did not trigger an extension clause in Greenberg's contract earlier this
V'landys recently said that Greenberg was safe; a status that may have suddenly
changed with Nine's statement.
and Fox Sports committed the bulk of a $2 billion broadcast agreement with the
NRL when a five-year deal was announced in 2015, for 2018 season onwards.
the unprecedented windfall for the game, clubs are at risk of extinction as the
NRL grapples with the temporary loss of games and broadcast revenue during the
NRL's 'Project Apollo' committee was meeting on Thursday to further discuss relaunch
plans. A 15-round competition (with two rounds already played) has been touted,
with a May 21 restart.
may be based at a Western Sydney hub for the relaunch, in an attempt to keep players
quarantined as much as possible.
reduced season, which would also be played without fans at games for the foreseeable
future, would offer reduced value to broadcasters. Neither Nine or Fox paid their
quarterly installment to the NRL last week due to games being stopped.
Wide World Of Sports)
chairman Peter V'landys and NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg after the NRL shut