FOX Sports will launch streaming service Watch NRL for fans overseas, including Aussies travelling internationally.
It will launch in time for the 2018 Premiership season, will also include the State of Origin Series, Australian men’s and women’s international matches played on home soil plus matches from the Intrust State competitions.
FOX Sports CEO, Patrick Delany, said: “When we negotiated the new NRL broadcast deal in 2015, News Corp committed to helping grow the game in Australia and overseas.
“In 2018, that promise comes to life when FOX Sports delivers the world’s first international NRL streaming service to feature every NRL game plus FOX League’s famous entertainment shows – anywhere, anytime live and on demand.
“Watch NRL will take the game to millions of fans around the world, and by tapping into News Corp’s global reach, the game and its players, will be seen by a whole new audience.
“With so much attention on our NRL players in the US and UK at the moment, and a growing fan base it’s a great time to launch Watch NRL and harness this growing interest.”
NRL CEO, Todd Greenberg, said: “One of my main goals is to encourage more people to watch our game.
“This streaming service means fans living or travelling overseas will be able to watch the best rugby league in the world when and how they want.
“We have to make it easier for fans to see their teams in action – and that’s what this initiative does.”
Pricing is yet to be announced.
FOX League commentators Matty Johns, Gorden Tallis, Yvonne Sampson, Michael Ennis, Mal Meninga and Braith Anasta will guide viewers through all the Live action with Australia’s 24/7 dedicated Rugby League channel, FOX League, keeping fans informed and entertained all week long.
FOX Sports has also partnered with IMG to sell international NRL broadcast rights for the next five years. IMG will sell all rights exclusively to the Pacific Territories as well as broadcast packages to the rest of the world with FOX Sports managing the broadcast rights for the USA and the UK.
Chris Guinness, SVP, AsiaPac, IMG Media, said: “We are delighted to be extending our relationships with both the NRL and FOX Sports Australia for the next five years. The NRL is the pre-eminent brand in Rugby League and a popular product among international broadcasters. Our aim is always to help grow and enhance exposure, especially now with the increasing number of platforms that show live sport around the world.”
The Watch NRL product by FOX Sports will provide the best user experience, including the ability for viewers to pause and rewind, plus choose where they start watching live matches, set notifications and access more on demand NRL programming. Watch NRL will be the destination for fans outside of Australia to watch every NRL match, Live and on demand.
Users can choose the way they watch, from the dedicated website http://www.watchnrl.com.au, via the Watch NRL mobile and tablet Apps for iOS and Android or through TV screens with Airplay or Chromecast enabled for all Watch NRL apps.
*Watch NRL content will only be accessible outside of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Territories.