The NRL expects to sign off on one of the longest broadcast deals in Australian sport within days, reportedly set to net the cash-strapped organisation close to $2.3 billion.
ARL Commission chairman Peter V’Landys has told News Corp that his aim is to reach an agreement on a seven-year deal with Nine and Foxtel by Friday.
The revamped contract would cover the remaining three years of the NRL’s existing deal – which is $1.8 billion for 2018-2022 – plus a four-season extension until the end of 2026.
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“Both partners have acted in great faith and I believe we’re very close… The loyalty factor has been important because you want to look after your partners who have been with the game for a long time,” V’landys said.
The renegotiated deal would secure the NRL’s long-term financial viability and should guarantee the future of all 16 clubs, amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis.
The annual payments would include a discounted rate for 2020 due to the shortened 20-round regular-season campaign, which is planned to restart without fans on May 28.
The developments are a huge boost for the NRL after Nine CEO Hugh Marks recently declared it wasn’t a “given” that rugby league was a part of the network’s future.
© AAP 2020