Nine in $1B bid for NRL rights

Close of business on Monday is the deadline for Nine, Foxtel and digital rights holder Telstra to retain the NRL rights.

As the current license holders, they get to make first and last bids on the rights but the ARL Commission is expected to field other offers, especially from Seven.

The Daily Telegraph reports Nine has launched a $1B bid, but proposes six new 30 second commercials to recoup an annual $35m.

These would include 30 second breaks for scrum stoppages, line dropouts and after tries are scored.

“It takes an average 35 seconds for sideline restarts, 25 seconds for line drop-outs and 23 seconds for try restarts,” NRL director of football Nathan McGuirk said.

“So we’re not going to be radically slowing down the game with these changes.”

Nine currently charges $50,000 for 30-second commercials during Friday night games, making $300,000 during live play. Under the new deal, that would double to $600,000. The overall time of a game would increase from 90 to 95 minutes.

It is also seeking four games on Thursday nights and Sunday’s live game to begin at 4pm.

Seven will bid aggressively for the NRL rights, but its recent financial downgrade might impact its success, or force a joint bid with TEN. But it could also drive up the cost Nine ultimately pays.

Source: Daily Telegraph, The Australian


  1. One thing not mentioned in the article is how games are chosen. IIRC, Nine get first, second (Friday nights) and fifth game (Sunday) chooses. Is that still the case?

    Good to see Nine are going to show the Sunday game live (although quite honestly an hour delay didn’t bother me)

    Would would be great is if GEM showed the ‘other’ Friday game live in Qld and NSW. In New Zealand, both Friday games are shown live in HD, and (most of the time) the other game is shown afterwards..

    I would prefer the two Friday night games rather than one Friday and one Saturday game. Not sure Mrs Bogues would be happy with me watching league both nights 🙂

  2. Why does the NRL need to let channel 9 stuff around with the game and what is the obsession with games on FTA being absolutely live. The Solution is simple and the rights should be like this:
    1. All games live on Fox Sports.
    2. FTA networks are sold 3 – 4 games per week which they can show when they wish to and with ads if they choose. If they want to show it ‘live’, the simply show it ‘near live’ and insert an add or two when they want to. This would mean by the end of the first half the game might be 2 – 3 minutes behind ‘live’ and then by the end of the game it might be 5 minutes behind ‘live’. Almost everyone wouldn’t care if it was 5 minutes behind ‘live’.

    Assuming nine gets the rights, I could see something like Nine showing a Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon game. If there were 2 games on Friday night, nine would show the Sydney game in Sydney, QLD game in QLD and Win and NBN could show Dragons and Knights games respectivelly such as what happened last friday night. Similary, if there are 3 games on Saturday night, Nine could then choose which of the 3 games they wanted to show.

    This approach would also allow for fixed scheduling for the entire season but nine wouldn’t have to choose the actual games it showed until a week or 2 before and this wouldn’t impacted the scheduling.

    Fair dinkum, it is not that hard and doesn’t require the game to be messed around with line the clowns at 9 want to.

  3. Do Nine really do such an awful job?? Sure their out of state scheduling could improve…they could sack Brad Fittler…they could use HD…but I would argue that their broadcast product is right up there with any other sport out there, possibly better. Warren, Sterling and Gould are my favourite commentary team in Aussie sports right now (sure I hate Gus, but he helps bring the game alive), and the production values and camera work are always excellent.

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