Macquarie Media has concluded a new five-year radio broadcast agreement with the Australian Rugby League Commission for the coverage of NRL games in the 2018-2022 seasons.
Under the new agreement Macquarie Media will broadcast more games than in previous seasons into the Sydney and Brisbane markets via 2GB and 4BC respectively, and it will also broadcast games on its Talking Lifestyle stations in both cities.
Confirming the new rights agreement, Macquarie Media executive chairman Russell Tate said he was very pleased that Macquarie’s long association with Rugby League would continue.
“Ray Hadley’s Continuous Call Team is the game’s most successful and longest-running commentary team in the code,” Tate said. “It has dominated ratings and established loyal audiences in Sydney on 2GB, in Brisbane on 4BC, throughout regional New South Wales and Queensland, and in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Our audiences love the passion, enthusiasm and professionalism the team brings to the coverage of rugby league and we are looking to take that to a new level under this agreement.”
Macquarie’s rights under the agreement will continue to extend into other capital city markets, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, and regional markets in NSW and Queensland. “We look forward to working with the NRL to extend its footprint in other capital cities and have already confirmed broadcast partners in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea,” said Tate.
With respect to regional markets in NSW and Queensland, Tate said he was pleased to announce that, as part of the new agreement, Macquarie Media would sub-license rights to service these markets to Crocmedia, Australia’s biggest radio sports syndicator.
“Crocmedia has well established relationships in these markets,” he said. “It will have rights to syndicate Continuous Call Team broadcasts into regional markets and will also produce its own NRL Nation calls of up to four games not being called by the Continuous Call Team. Regional networks and stations will therefore have access to every NRL game played every week and the combined effect of a broader regional station base and access to more NRL games will significantly expand the game’s radio reach.”
Crocmedia CEO Craig Hutchison said the NRL sub-licence partnership with Macquarie Media and the ARLC represented a key asset in the company’s whole-of-sport expansion strategy.
“We are thrilled to add a broadcast partnership with Macquarie Media and the NRL as the latest addition to our growing stable of sport properties with an incredible ensemble of on-air talent,” Hutchison said.
NRL Nation will call four matches each round: Thursday (8pm), Friday (6pm), Saturday (3pm) and Sunday (4pm), across the Super Radio Network throughout regional NSW and Southeast Queensland, the Grant Broadcasters in regional NSW and regional Queensland, Resonate Regional Radio and Coastal Broadcasters in Queensland, Capital Radio Network in Canberra, CAAMA Network (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) through Central Australia and QRAM (Queensland Remote Aboriginal Media) throughout Remote Queensland.