The NRL will block streaming games to telecommunication and naming rights partner Telstra from 2023 and beyond, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
It comes as the NRL is aiming for a five-year broadcast extension with Nine Entertainment co, leaving the naming rights partner until 2022 in the dark.
Under the current broadcast and streaming agreements in which Telstra secured in 2015, means that any Telstra consumer can currently access games for free through the NRL app and the NRL Live pass app, but that could all change.
As of last week, the NRL extended their Foxtel agreement which means that the pay-TV channel is prohibited from sellng in the 2023-27 broadcast cycle. However, their subscription streaming service Kayo is available to stream all eight NRL matches.
If Nine Entertainment agrees to the extension it would see their streaming service and app 9Now also broadcast NRL games in the next broadcast cycle.
A Telstra Spokesman said on Monday that they are disappointed with the decision from 2023 and beyond.
“We are … disappointed to learn the NRL, through their agreement with Foxtel, has decided not to make those digital rights on mobile available beyond 2022,” the spokesman said.
“We have not been a party to those discussions and will obviously need to engage with the NRL to understand what the implications are for our partnership in the long term.”