Billion-dollar boost for NRL as it seals monster TV deal
The NRL has celebrated the game's return from a 10-week hiatus by announcing a new billion-dollar TV broadcast deal with Foxtel and Channel 9.
Less than an hour before Brisbane and Parramatta were scheduled to resume the season at Suncorp Stadium, the NRL confirmed major partner Foxtel would continue to broadcast the game until the end of the 2027 season.
Foxtel already had a deal with the NRL until the end of 2022 but has agreed a five-year extension in a billion-dollar boost to the code.
Nine have agreed to a revised deal that will mean they broadcast the game until the end of 2022.
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Under the revised deal, Nine told the Australian Stock Exchange that they expected to save $27.5 million in each of 2021 and 2022 - and an even greater amount this season.
`This is an excellent long-term outcome for both Nine and the game of Rugby League," Nine chief executive Hugh Marks said.
"Completion of Season 2020 will enable the continuity of the Code from a game, supporters' and sponsors' perspective.
"We are also delighted to have reached a revised agreement with the NRL for seasons 2021 and 2022, and at a level of rights costs that enables us to sustainably invest in Rugby League for the future.
"Nine is pleased to be continuing its partnership with Rugby League."
Commission chair Peter V'landys and acting NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo, who have been locked in tense negotiations with their broadcasters for some weeks.
At one point, there were genuine fears that the Nine Network may walk away.
"We have re-signed the deal with the NRL," Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany said.
"It will go out now to 2027. That is an extraordinary eight years from now. What an amazing day it is. We went off air in March.
"It is a great lesson for all of us with what seemed impossible then is possible now. Some great leadership from the NRL. We are so proud to be part of it."
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V'landys thanked Delany and Marks for reaching an outcome that put the fans and the game's future first.
"I am delighted to have worked with our longstanding partners Foxtel and Nine to reshape and resume the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership," V'landys said.
"It is significant that on one of the most important days in our game's history, we have finalised the deals to ensure its future.
"Our negotiations were tough but always in a spirit of goodwill and shared ambitions for the betterment of rugby league. We could not have reached our May 28 restart ambitions without the teamwork and collaboration of our partners."
"These deals provide certainty to ensure our 16 clubs remain strong and that we can continue to invest in grassroots rugby league across our communities."
Originally published as Billion-dollar boost: NRL seals monster TV deal