The NRL’s long-time broadcast partner Channel 9 has blasted the league over its “mismanagement of the code” in a statement
The league is currently targeting an audacious May 21st or May 28th return of the competition following the shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Channel 9’s current broadcast deal with the NRL reportedly worth $625 million runs through until 2022.
However, judging by the network’s statement, that deal could be the last between the two parties, if it doesn’t end sooner.
“At Nine we had hoped to work with the NRL on a solution to the issues facing rugby league in 2020, brought on so starkly by COVID-19,” the statement began.
“But this health crisis in our community has highlighted the mismanagement of the code over many years. Nine has invested hundreds of millions in this game over decades and we now find they have profoundly wasted those funds with very little to fall back on to support the clubs, the players and supporters.
“In the past the NRL have had problems and we’ve bailed them out many times including a $50m loan to support clubs when the last contract was signed.
“It would now appear that much of that has been squandered by a bloated head office completely ignoring the needs of the clubs, players and supporters.”