Nine, FOX Sports confirm new NRL rights deal.

Nine to keep 3 weekend matches Grand Final and State of Origin, FOX Sports has five games Live plus digital rights.

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 Responses

  1. 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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ..

  5. 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.

  6. 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!!!!!!!!

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