Nine has confiremed changes to the NRL Rights deal it secured this year.
For the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Nine has agreed to permit FOX Sports to simulcast matches (other than the State of Origin and the Grand Final), in return for a payment of $20 million per annum.
Nine and FOX Sports have also agreed with the Australian Rugby League Commission to move the delayed Friday night game to a Live Thursday night slot (for 18 weeks in 2016 and 23 weeks in 2017). , Nine will also show a Saturday night match live, in the last 5 rounds of the weekly competition.in 2017
For the 2018 to 2022 seasons, FOX Sports will simulcast Nine’s matches (other than the State of Origin and the Grand Final) and the Saturday night match will then be licensed to FOX Sports.
The variations mean Nine has more matches Live, from approximately 150 hours in 2015 to approximately 240 hours from 2018.
The agreement with Foxtel means Nine’s average cost over the 2018 to 2022 rights period will now be $125 million per annum, inclusive of contra, down from the previously announced $185 million per annum.
Hugh Marks, CEO of NEC, said “This is an outstanding result for the game with more live and free coverage for NRL fans from 2016. For Nine, it clearly represents an enhanced outcome for our shareholders and enables us to participate in a strong media partnership delivering quality NRL coverage for the game, the clubs and the broader NRL community for the next 7 years.”
Foxtel Chief Executive, Richard Freudenstein, today welcomed the announcement by the NRL, News Corporation and Fox Sports of a multi-year deal that will see all games of rugby league live on Fox Sports from the 2016 season and ensure that for the next seven years five matches per round will only be broadcast on the Foxtel platform.
“I’d like to congratulate News Corporation, Telstra, FOX SPORTS, Nine and the NRL for having reached an agreement that will ensure the best possible coverage of rugby league for its fans. Fox Sports has always strived to create the best viewing experience and, with the certainty of a long-term arrangement, they will continue to invest in brilliant coverage of the code.
“Ensuring that all games are available live from next year is a great outcome, as it will mean that Foxtel customers can watch their team live, ad break free in brilliant HD every week.
“NRL has always been an important part of our sports line up and we are sure that this deal will make Foxtel even more attractive to current and potential customers. At $50 per month the Foxtel sports package will be even better value for money,” said Mr Freudenstein.
In summary the deal will deliver for Foxtel customers :
· Every game up to the grand final live, in high definition and ad break free during play on FOX SPORTS from 2016;
· The retention of Super Saturday games;
· A new family friendly game time slot on Friday nights from 2017; and a dedicated NRL channel from 2017.