Nine, FOX Sports confirm new NRL rights deal.

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.


  1. Hahaha!!! I was right, I knew Ch9 and Foxtel were going to keep the NRL rights, those 2 Channels are the Best!
    Ch9 and Fox Sports all the Way!!!

  2. The NRL can rot in hell for all i care. This is the worst deal possible. 1 Live game a week against 4 with the AFL is the biggest joke i have seen yet. In this digital age we should have more Live sport not less. The NRL are attached at the hip to Channel 9 and Fox as it seems. At least when Seven did the AFL deal it was a more fairer deal. This is just insane. Where is Saturday football on FTA? No where to be seen.

    Also whats with the reports i hear that FOX wouldn’t work with Seven on this. Thats just media crap isn’t it? I mean they seem to do well together with the AFL whats the difference? Anyway Rugby League will be dead in 5 years time because of this one deal. Teams will go bankrupt and all we will continue to see is Broncos Friday. Its a joke and a kick in the face to FTA viewers. Now i know why Gallop got out. He wanted a change but he was tied. Makes a lot of sense now. Goodbye Rugby League. Nice knowing you.

  3. I wish 7 got the rights. They would do a better job than 9 who show 1 live game a week which is just disgusting.
    7 were fighting really hard for the rights I hear.

  4. So much for TEN’s plan to secure the NRL rights by axing AFL and moving The Game Plan to the main channel. TEN just can’t take a trick these days, can they?

  5. I don’t know why TEN dropped out for the AFL rights race last year. They were much better broadcasters than seven. Now they’ve failed at getting the NRL rights and it just so happens they’re doing terribly in the ratings.

    Seriously, TEN.

  6. Dear TEN,
    Do as I said and go after the A-leauge rights, as well as international coverage of the Real and original football. It will be dirt cheap, and has all the potential to grow because its the world game and its craps all over AFL and NRL

    Yours Sincerely,

    P.S……You have no choice now!

  7. @ dturbo – I had a discussion a couple of months ago regarding A-League on this website and how it would be perfect for TEN as it’s target audience is a perfect match. It was also rumored that TEN were pushing to get the Australian Open as Seven’s broadcast rights expire this year (or next I can’t remember exactly when). I doubt very much that TEN will go for the V8’s as they already have the F1 and MotoGP and they aren’t exactly going as well as they had hoped.

  8. This is really a bad deal for the NRL. Nine are hopeless at sports coverage, and it’s really a bad deal for Nine as well with only 3 games on free-to-air. Games not live also is pathetic.
    Terrible news for NRL fans.

  9. The culture between Nine executives and NRL people has won this battle. Too many sweet deals behind closed doors. This wins all the time. League fans worst nightmare came true today!

  10. SouthCoastSaint

    Does channel 94 in the city = channel 84 in the sticks?

    I really hope The Game PLan doesn’t get the axe. Nice to watch a show about NRL instead of buffoons and egos.

  11. I’m more shocked that TEN didn’t get any of the rights. They sold EYE, raised some funds and now with no major sporting rights for the next 5 years, TEN will be the number 3 network (sorry, make that number 4 network) for a very, very long time. What will happen to ‘The Game Plan’ in Syd/Bris? Will they persist with it? What will James Warburton do now? How on earth did Lachlan not bid high enough for it considering the financial difficulties Nine’s parent company is under? CVC has got $2.5b in debt, yet they still managed to retain the rights! Will TEN now focus on the V8’s? The A-League? Cricket? Australian Open? Dear oh dear TEN – with no decent programming either and no sport, you might aswell just close down the channel. But look on the bright side, atleast David Mott gets paid over $1 million for not coming up with anything decent to help save the network.

  12. I just can’t believe we are stuck with the same pathetic ch9 coverage for another 5 years! Only one live game a week from these clowns at 9!

    And in Glorious Stand definition!

    Why couldn’t Fox sports simulcast all games LIVE and in HD on a Fox sports NRL channel?

    So depressed right now.

  13. You have got to be kidding me. How is it that FOX Sports and Seven can reach a deal where all games are shown live by FOX Sports, yet Nine and FOX Sports can not come to the same deal for the NRL? It is an insult to Australia having delayed games in this technological world. No one wants to watch sport that has already been shown. Why do you think so few people watch replayed sport on ESPN when it was live days to weeks before hand – because the results are already out! The sooner this country takes NRL seriously, the better.

  14. Two hours of Rugby League content each evening on digital Channel 94 plus two hours of content on Saturday and Sunday morning

    Isn’t that in breach of the rules regarding what can be shown on the ‘datacasting channel’?

    Any idea what the content is?

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