NRL clubs cite “restrictive” broadcast deal

NRL-ball-Nine’s first and last rights option on the next NRL deal has been removed, according to a media report today.

NRL head of football Todd Greenberg is confident it can improve crowd numbers despite four Thursday night games in the lead-up to the finals.

“We understand the balance of trying to get ratings and crowds right but ­people have to understand we have commercial contracts in place to broadcasters,” he told News Corp.

“Our numbers have been strong all year. We started slowly, we got some criticism for that but we’ve made some good ground and we hope we can finish the season on a really positive note. All our metrics suggest we’re going to finish with good numbers.”

A club official told The Australian yesterday the contract with Nine was “unbelievably restrictive” and it gave the NRL very little room to manoeuvre with scheduling.

Meanwhile Seven has told the AFL it was scrapping Sunday night games after just 41,000 fans attended a match between Collingwood and Carlton in June.

11 Comments:

  1. @William
    I agree because Nine has paid $1 billion to broadcast the NRL matches from 2013-17. Let’s hope that Nine will get the AFL rights from 2017 onwards. That way Nine can win more viewers from WA.

  2. Nine air three games a week yet only one live and none in HD (and its only on GEM in WA and VIC where a handful of fans watch).

    There have been many instances this season where one of the teams I follow are playing on one of the delayed games on Nine but by the time it is on TV I already know the result or a progress score ahead of time so therefore do not watch on TV as there is no point.

    It is ridiculous in 2014 that games should be delayed and not in HD.

    On Fridays Nine should air one game on Nine, the other on GEM – both live and at the same time (NSW & QLD). The Sunday game should air live from 3pm.

    Having said all that, if any of the teams I follow are playing on one of the Foxtel games I do watch the game – live and in HD.

  3. ‘William August 5, 2014 at 11:17 am –

    Give the rights to the runners up (Ten/Fox) as they were close of getting it as I wouldn’t mind the switch. Don’t let 7 or 9 broadcast NRL”

    If 9 and Fox hadn’t agreed to give up first and last rights options then Ten would have got the NRL. It was reported that this is why Williams quit smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/making-the-wrong-enemies-how-williams-was-cut-down-at-news-20130809-2rnsx.html

  4. Give the rights to the runners up (Ten/Fox) as they were close of getting it as I wouldn’t mind the switch. Don’t let 7 or 9 broadcast NRL

  5. @Markninety
    Exactly you can’t just cancel a clause in a contract. It requires the consent of both parties and Nine wouldn’t agree. The NRL removed it last time and it was widely reported.

    But Seven has the AFL and Ten can’t outbid Nine so it doesn’t really matter. Nine just has to spend a little bit more to be sure. And the more money they have to spend the more they are going to want in return.

    Games won’t end up in HD until primary channel are HD.

  6. Hallelujah! Finally the NRL might get a broadcasting deal which sees all games live and in HD – not just 5/8. If the NRL can strike a deal similar to the FOX Sports/Seven AFL deal it will be terrific!

  7. “Seven has told the AFL it was scrapping Sunday night games”? We might all think the TV networks run the AFL but that might be going a little far in reality.

  8. I have to admit to being a little bemused about how the last-rights option on the Nine contract is suddenly news in the papers now – it is old news, and was reported widely when the new contract was signed.

    Those in the sports media with short memories, or an axe to grind…

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