NRL may produce broadcasts in-house

A report today suggests the NRL will consider bringing broadcast production of its matches in-house for the next television rights deal.

The existing deal with Foxtel and Nine expires at the end of the 2022 season, as part of a $2 billion deal.

But Nine-owned Sydney Morning Herald reports the NRL could produce the broadcast content itself and then look to sell off the properties to interested parties if it isn’t satisfied with the price broadcasters are willing to pay.

However, the governing body is already planning for the next rights negotiations. The emergence of Foxtel-owned streaming service Kayo and a shift to fans consuming sport on mobile devices has fragmented the market.

Such a model would potentially bring Seven and 10 into the mix, as well as Google, Facebook and Netflix. There is also the possibility that the NRL could sell off various properties – such as State of Origin, the World and club 9s tournaments, international matches and the All Stars fixture – in a bid to extract maximum value. That concept has also been floated before.


  1. Be nice to see a bit of coverage consistency (very much in the NRL’s interest to do this) and manage streaming profits for themselves, cutting out the middle man (Fox). Also for the last couple of seasons coverage from Nine has been average at best – too many replays and off the ball tight shots (sideline etc.) – quite often missing turnovers and restarts. Unfortunately this change unlikely to improve mostly woeful commentary….

  2. As viewers numbers twindle and become more fragmented plus advertising $$$ get smaller a single broadcasting deal will simply be too steep for the likes of Nine or Foxtel on this own to tackle. Sooner or later the money just won’t be available. An example of that was the swimming comp out of Japan. Seven are hurting presently and l can’t see that changing anytime soon. It’s going to get tougher.

  3. This is a natural progression. The Premier League has been doing this for well over a decade and it’s common place with other properties like UFC and WWE (yes, not a sport, but you get the drift).

    It makes sense.

  4. Broadcast rights and production really don’t have a lot to do with each other these days. The coverage of NRL is already made by US-owned NEP, so it doesn’t really matter whether instructions are being given by 9, Fox Sports or the NRL. The IOC brought production of the Olympics in-house years ago.

  5. It is what is happening. Produce the coverage, sell what is profitable, sell subscriptions for streaming the rest. It is just as easy for NRL to set up a streaming platform and it is for Foxtel and you don’t have provide a third party with a profit margin.

  6. Seems to be the thing that is done nowadays. Formula 1 and Supercars do it. I think Cricket Australia does it now. correct me if I’m wrong. It makes sense to produce in house

    • battlestargalactica

      Cricket Australia only looks after non-broadcast matches – such as Sheffield Shield. 7 & Fox do the rest.
      It makes sense for sports where there are a number of broadcasters worldwide (such as tennis and F1). Cover the event for the world then allow each broadcaster to add their hosts and commentators.
      The AFL looked at this a few years ago and seemed to be gearing up to do it, but ultimately walked away from it.

  7. Netflix hasn’t done any live sport anywhere in the world. Would hardly see them even considering for the rights, especially given the state of the NBN. Likewise with Facebook. Google’s have done some live sports, but not as a pay TV broadcast. Realistically it’s going to be Foxtel and Kayo, plus a commercial FTA provider that will aquire the rights.

    • @Bogues – you know NBN is the name of the government rollout plan of high speed internet access (usually fibre) and isn’t actually a technology?
      You know people can connect to fiber outside of the roll out plan right?
      The difference is it costs you money – but everyone expects “free stuff” then complain about the issues.
      if you pay yourself to connect to fiber, there is nothing stopping you being connected.

      I connected to fibre back in 2011 before “NBN” was a thing – but I paid $1000 to connect to the fibre network (look up opticomm estate fibre).

      anyway, back on topic yes NRL should do this –
      while I watch NRL on fox, nine’s coverage has been woeful and stagnant for years.

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