Foxtel will continue to air the NRL until the end of 2027 with the confirmation of an extended TV rights deal announced by Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany before kick-off to the season restart on Thursday night.
This extends the deal an additional five years after the expiry of the current deal in 2022 providing long term certainty amidst one of the most turbulent times in the sports histroy.
Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’landys said: “I want to thank Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany and Nine CEO Hugh Marks for reaching an outcome that puts the fans and the game’s future first.
“I am delighted to have worked with our long-standing partners Foxtel and Nine to reshape and resume the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership. 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.”
For the resumed 2020 season:
• Foxtel will continue to show all eight games every round – including five exclusive telecasts each weekend
• Nine will continue to televise three weekly NRL matches – Thursday and Friday nights, plus Sunday afternoon – as well as the Grand Final and the three State of Origin matches
Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany said: “Foxtel is incredibly pleased to support the NRL through this difficult period and to have footy back on Foxtel this weekend, every round, every game, live and ad free during play.
“This is a great outcome for footy, for fans and for players. It’s also a hugely important signal to everyone in Australia, and around the world, that we will get through these times, and we can keep players and coaching staff safe while we all enjoy the game.
“The agreement between Foxtel and the NRL extends our existing broadcast rights for a further 5 years and cements our position as the Home of NRL until 2027. It provides the NRL with the certainty to continue to develop the status of the game and gives fans the go-to destination for the best of NRL, all in one place.
“Being back on the field and back on air tonight doesn’t happen without leadership. I want to acknowledge Peter V’landys and everyone at the NRL and the clubs for their passion to get the game back. It’s been outstanding.
“We have also had incredible support from the New South Wales and Queensland Governments and from Prime Minister Morrison. It really has been a team Australia effort and it shows us all what can be accomplished through co-operation, even in the most difficult of times.”
Channel Nine has also come to terms to continue its deal till 2022 under the revised contract Nine expects a benefit from changes in rights fee and production and services costs of approximately $27.5m each year in FY21 and FY22, with a greater benefit in FY20 with the modified season.
Nine’s CEO Hugh Marks said: “This is an excellent long-term outcome for both Nine and the game of Rugby League. 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.”