FOXTEL signs new extended deal for NRL as NINE secures cash saving

NRL on Nine (image – Nine)

With the 2020 season recommencing tonight, the NRL has released details of a new broadcast agreement with Foxtel and Nine.

The new deal extends broadcast rights with Foxtel right through until 2027 in a move that provides financial certainty for the NRL, while ensuring Fox Sports and Kayo will have one less thing to worry about as international streaming competitors begin to move into the sports sector.

While the NRL and broadcasters are only providing limited details on the new deal. TV Blackbox understands the new arrangement ensures Fox Sports will maintain broadcast rights for all eight regular-season matches, including five exclusive matches, until 2027.

Nine has negotiated a revised contract with the NRL for season 2020, as well as seasons 2021 and 2022.

While the NRL has indicated the financial details of both deals will remain commercial in confidence. In a statement to the ASX tonight, Nine has indicated it expects to make savings with:

“A P&L benefit, resulting from changes in rights fee and associated production and services arrangements, of approximately $27.5m each year in FY21 and FY22, with a greater benefit in FY20 given the modified season.”

Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’landys said:

“I want to thank Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany and Nine CEO Hugh Marks for reaching an outcome that puts the fans and the game’s future first.

“I am delighted to have worked with our long-standing partners Foxtel and Nine to reshape and resume the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership. It is significant that on one of the most important days in our game’s history, we have finalised the deals to ensure its future.

“Our negotiations were tough but always in a spirit of goodwill and shared ambitions for the betterment of rugby league. We could not have reached our May 28 restart ambitions without the teamwork and collaboration of our partners.”

“These deals provide certainty to ensure our 16 clubs remain strong and that we can continue to invest in grassroots rugby league across our communities.”

For the resumed 2020 season:

  • Foxtel will continue to show all eight games every round – including five exclusive telecasts each weekend.
  • Nine will continue to televise three weekly NRL matches – Thursday and Friday nights, plus Sunday afternoon.
  • Nine will provide exclusive coverage of the October 25 Grand Final.
  • Nine will continue its exclusive coverage of the three State of Origin matches, to be held this year over three weeks on November 4, 11 and 18.

Foxtel Group CEO Patrick Delany said;

“Foxtel is incredibly pleased to support the NRL through this difficult period and to have footy back on Foxtel this weekend, every round, every game, live and ad-free during play.

“This is a great outcome for footy, for fans and for players. It’s also a hugely important signal to everyone in Australia, and around the world, that we will get through these times, and we can keep players and coaching staff safe while we all enjoy the game.

“The agreement between Foxtel and the NRL extends our existing broadcast rights for a further five years and cements our position as the Home of NRL until 2027. It provides the NRL with the certainty to continue to develop the status of the game and gives fans the go-to destination for the best of NRL, all in one place.

“Being back on the field and back on air tonight doesn’t happen without leadership. want to acknowledge Peter V’landys AM and everyone at the NRL and the clubs for their passion to get the game back. It’s been outstanding.”

Nine’s CEO Hugh Marks added;

“As we approach the kick-off for the resumption of NRL season 2020, I want to congratulate Peter on his leadership, and also Andrew for stepping into his role in these extremely difficult circumstances. They have both enabled us to confidently move forward and invest in the future of NRL.

“The team at Nine are in this for the long term and we all look forward to working with the NRL and all the stakeholders, as we continue to build on the success of the game for its long term future.

“Our on-air and production teams have combined to bring even more excitement to the game, further enhancing the experience for the fans at home starting tonight. Let’s now all enjoy the game.”

Kevin Perry
Co-Creator and Editor of the TV Blackbox website, Kevin Perry is an experienced media commentator focused on TV Production, Consumer Tech, SVOD & Sports Broadcasting. | Call/Text 0428 275 111

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  1. as a casual observer of your site, disappointed at your overall analysis of the NRL and better insight into ratings that INCLUDE regionals and NZ ratings inclusion. you cannot compare 15 team metro only figures compared to 18 AFL team ratings and say it is a FAIR comparison. thats nonsense!

    • Hi Porcher – We’re an Australian TV News site and only have access to Australian TV ratings, so unfortunately that’s as far as we can go there. As for including regional ratings they are under a different organisation (RegionalTAM) who don’t offer the same access to ratings as OzTAM do (who collect the five city metro figures). To add to that the 5CM number is by far the most influential when it comes to advertising through the five biggest TV markets in the country, so comparing the two codes via 5CM ratings is entirely fair and entirely reasonable because we’re comparing what the codes offer on the Networks they have deals with – that’s just the facts. Sorry we can’t offer the other information.

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