More fans will be able to listen to live rugby league than ever before following the confirmation of a new five-year radio rights deal.

All existing radio partners – Macquarie Media, Southern Cross Austereo and the ABC – have re-signed for a further five years.

And as part of a new partnership with Crocmedia, more regional markets will be reached than ever before.

Through the Crocmedia partnership, regional commercial radio networks including the Super Radio Network, Grant Broadcasters and Resonate Regional Radio will broadcast rugby league.

In addition to the national coverage provided by the ABC, the next five-year cycle will see more rugby league in regions which have not previously had access to NRL matches.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said it was a great result for the game to have such a broad reach via the game’s radio partners.

“This will allow more people to listen to rugby league matches and that will be great for the game,” Mr Greenberg said.

“It means we can reach fans who ordinarily would be unable to attend matches regularly.

“I’d like to thank our existing partners Macquarie Media, Southern Cross Austereo and the ABC for their ongoing support of the game and I also welcome Crocmedia to the stable.”

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As part of the new rights deal:

  • Southern Cross Austereo (via the Triple M network) and Crocmedia will broadcast Thursday nights, Friday nights (6pm), Saturday (3pm) and Sunday afternoons (4.10pm);
  • Macquarie Media, via its network of stations including 2GB and 4BC, will broadcast Friday nights (7.50pm), Saturdays (5.30pm and 7.30pm), and Sundays (2pm);
  • The ABC have an in-principle agreement to broadcast all NRL matches.

Another feature of the deal is that fans in Queensland will be more likely to have access to the broadcast of matches involving their favourite teams.  Matches involving Queensland-based teams will be more regularly broadcast by both Macquarie Media and Southern Cross Austereo in Queensland.

Holden State of Origin matches and the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final will be broadcast nationally as part of the new agreement.

NRL Head of Strategy, David Silverton, said: “This deal completes our suite of NRL media rights deals for the 2018-22 cycle across television, digital and radio in Australia and internationally.

“Radio plays a very important role in providing our fans, many of whom live in regional locations, with access to top-level Rugby League.

“Radio also continues to be a platform that fans love to use to engage with the game.

“I would like to thank all our official radio partners for the collaborative approach taken in finalising this deal.”