Rugby League will reach more fans than ever before – both in Australia and globally – under a massive new NRL broadcast deal unveiled today.

The ARL Commission, Nine Network, News Corp Australia, FOX SPORTS, and Telstra have formed a partnership to provide free to air television, pay television and mobile coverage of Rugby League for five years from 2018.

The deal is worth $1.8 billion to the NRL – 70 per cent higher than the existing rights.

With the sale of international and radio rights to come, it is anticipated that the total value of the final package will exceed $1.9 billion.

Under the agreement, many of the changes to improve the schedule of games will start from 2016 – two years early.

Under the new package:

  • Telstra Premiership matches will be held five days a week in 2016 – from Thursday to Monday inclusive – before reverting to four days a week (Thursday to Sunday) in 2017
  • From 2017 the Monday night game will be moved to Friday at 6pm
  • Nine Network will telecast games live and free to air on Thursday and Friday nights and Sunday afternoon in 2016
  • FOX SPORTS will show all eight games every weekend – including five exclusive telecasts each weekend.Super Saturday, featuring three live games, will be retained by FOX SPORTS.
  • The last five Saturday night games of each season will be telecast on free to air television in the build up to the Finals series
  • From 2017 FOX SPORTS will run a dedicated Rugby League channel – giving the game more exposure than any time in the game’s history
  • News Corp Australia will use its local media and newspaper resources to promote the game wherever it is played
  • And it will use its worldwide resources to take NRL on to the global stage where we believe over time its incredible appeal will see an army of new fans emerge
  • Telstra will remain the naming rights partner of the NRL and will telecast the game digitally on its mobile network as well as replays and highlights on its new Telstra TV platform in 2016.
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Read more at NRL.com

30 COMMENTS

  1. So they are paying for the rights for 2018 to 2022, and get changes to occur in 2016 and 2017? That is a strange way to do business I would have thought.

    The changes sound good, though I’m more inclined to watch my footy Live streaming than on Fox, so I’m curious asto how that will be affected.

  2. I’m interested to see how they’ll manage player welfare in regards to short turnarounds with footy played over 5 days of a 7 day week. No doubt some clown is going to tell me how much nfl players play in america they also wear helmets and harden platic protective pads also have a defensive side and attacking side that they rotate between throughout the game so an irrelevant comparison by any means.

      • Maybe so, it’ll affect each team equally hopefully. You didn’t really elaborate on your opinion so I don’t understand what you meant by it.

        • Bronco’s get a 7 day turn around for most of the year always have . That is a massive advantage physically especially towards the end of the year .

        • After looking at the Titans draw I’m not going to complain at fairness without looking at others draw yet I dare say I’d be scalded

        • And why is that because they rate high on tv and get sponsors
          There’s two games nsw and qld
          They always go with either the roosters Souths or Bulldogs on Friday
          For the nsw game as they rate in nsw and they go with the Broncos in qld
          Why because they get massive qld ratings and also rate high in nsw
          So it’s not gonna change so all the sulking won’t change it
          You people need to realise the NRL it’s a business not a game
          It’s about ratings which the bronxs get and sponsors which the Bronx pull in
          They have had an all nsw game live on qld tv it got the lowest ratings in the games history

        • Alot of downtime in between plays to but that’s not my argument my point was I want to see how Nrl manage player wellfell not if Nrl is better than Nfl two completely different games

        • And mainly to the point if you adzynero don’t like “Thugby League” then fark off to zerosports US where you’re attitude belongs and get a life if I hated a game so much I wouldn’t be on one of its forums that’s for sure

  3. Who has the TV rights for Asia (I’m in Taiwan)? Is it Setanta or some other broadcaster. Will it be by a year to year prospect or will they have it for the term of this deal?

  4. Kind of feel looking at this Titans maybe that one team isthegamerigged, that is a cynical handle to.
    Other interesting aspects of the club’s (Titans) 2016 schedule are:
    There are no five-day turnarounds in the first 20 rounds
    The full Titans draw is below:
    Rd
    1 Titans v Knights
    Sunday, Mar 6
    Cbus Super Stadium (FOX)
    5:30pm

    2 Storm v Titans
    Sunday, Mar 13
    AAMI Park (FOX)
    6:30pm

    3 Titans v Tigers
    Saturday, Mar 19
    Cbus Super Stadium (FOX)
    8:30pm

    4 Raiders v Titans
    Saturday, Mar 26
    GIO Stadium (FOX)
    5:30pm

    5 Titans v Broncos
    Friday, Apr 1
    Cbus Super Stadium (NINE)
    7:05pm

    6 Sharks v Titans
    Sunday, Apr 10
    Shark Park (FOX)
    2:00pm

    7 Titans v Dragons
    Saturday, Apr 16
    Cbus Super Stadium (FOX)
    3:00pm

    8 Bulldogs v Titans
    Saturday, Apr 23
    ANZ Stadium (FOX)
    3:00pm

    9 Titans v Storm
    Sunday, May 1
    Cbus Super Stadium (FOX)
    2:00pm

    10 Titans v Roosters
    Monday, May 16
    Cbus Super Stadium (FOX)
    7:00pm

    11 Panthers v Titans
    Sunday, May 22
    Pepper Stadium (FOX)
    2:00pm

    12 BYE

    13 Rabbitohs v Titans
    Sunday, Jun 5
    NIB Stadium (FOX)
    4:30pm (6.30pm EST)

    14 Eels v Titans
    Saturday, Jun 11
    TIO Stadium (FOX)
    5:00pm (5.30pm EST)

    15 Titans v Sea Eagles
    Monday, Jun 20
    Cbus Super Stadium (FOX)
    7:00pm

    16 Titans v Raiders
    Sunday, Jun 26
    Cbus Super Stadium (FOX)
    2:00pm

    17 Warriors v Titans
    Saturday, Jul 2
    Mt Smart Stadium (FOX)3:00pm

    18 BYE

    19 Dragons v Titans
    Friday, Jul 15
    Jubilee Oval (NINE)
    7:50pm

    20 Titans v Eels
    Saturday, Jul 23
    Cbus Super Stadium (FOX)
    5:30pm

    21 Titans v Sharks
    TBA
    Cbus Super Stadium

    22 Titans v Warriors
    TBA
    Cbus Super Stadium

    23 Tigers v Titans
    TBA
    Campbelltown Stadium

    24 Knights v Titans
    TBA
    Hunter Stadium

    25 Titans v Panthers
    TBA
    Cbus Super Stadium

    26 Cowboys v Titans
    TBA
    1300Smiles Stadium

    • The Titans got a really good Draw may not be Many TV games but in regards to turn around times and who you play once

      • I know your thoughts on the current situation, but hopefully our drawn wasn’t favoured due to us being one of the nrl’s run teams, I’ll look at the knights draw and make my assumption from that

  5. If I didn’t have paytv I would see two of my teams games on free to air tv and of course it’s the Dragons and Broncos. Fark channel nine said as I watch the cricket.

    • I could be wrong but I assumed he was having a dig at the Broncos’ preferable scheduling which is well known to be Friday nights most weeks.

      I didn’t believe it to be too bad in 2016. Sure they will have more Friday night games than most (probably, I haven’t worked it out) but it’s understandable.

      Yeah mate the Titans are a bit stiffed with the free to air. The Raiders, Sharks and Warriors are usually a bit like this too. Unfortunately it’s a downside of being a fan with a bit of a smaller fan base. Foxtel is definitely a necessity. Better footage with fewer ads and better commentators.

      NB. Not a Foxtel employee.

      • There’s a reason the Warriors don’t feature on nine nor Canberra the last time both teams did they pulled in the some of lowest ratings nines had

    • I’m assuming your one of these cry babies sulking about the Broncos draw huh
      You need to re-think your complaining the Titans have a small fan base
      They don’t rate high on free to air which means low ratings for nine
      Thus a lack of sponsors for nines coverage
      Now the Bronx get a lot of free to air coverage why
      I will tell you why is that because they rate high on tv and get sponsors
      There’s two games nsw and qld
      They always go with either the roosters Souths or Bulldogs on Friday
      For the nsw game as they rate in nsw and they go with the Broncos in qld
      Why because they get massive qld ratings and also rate high in nsw
      So it’s not gonna change so all the sulking won’t change it
      You people need to realise the NRL it’s a business not a game
      It’s about ratings which the bronxs get and sponsors which the Bronx pull in
      They have had an all nsw game live on qld tv it got the lowest ratings in the games history
      Clubs like the Titans sharks raiders rate low clubs like the Bronx roosters dogs Souths
      Rate high it won’t change it will always be this way get over it

  6. On FSN they are saying that every game will be live on Fox, they will simulcast the games that are on channel Nine live. But I cant find this on the NRL website. Can anyone point me to something official from the NRL regarding this?
    We don’t have the channel 9 HD in my area so I hope it is true anyway. Nine not having any exclusive games seems odd though.

      • Thanks mate but I can’t find anything in there, unless I’ve missed it while skimming too fast.

        Only thing I can find is
        “FOX SPORTS will show all eight games every weekend – including five exclusive telecasts each weekend.Super Saturday, featuring three live games, will be retained by FOX SPORTS.”

        It doesn’t say whether the channel nine games will have a simulcast Live and HD on Fox.

        FSN are still claiming this to be the case, I overheard this morning them say something along the lines of “All 8 games live every week”, so it sounds promising.
        Great deal for the fans overall.

    • I see that Cronulla have copped a favourable draw again.

      I don’t know if that is favouritism or the fact that Cronulla fixtures aren’t very attractive so they pit them more against less attractive (bottom 8) clubs. The way the NRL has trumpeted certain blockbuster matches to start the season and bolster attendances, one can see how the latter might be true.

    • Yeh Dragons look like they copped it pretty rough this year.

      Dogs and Souths is harder than Broncos because they play 1 extra game against top 4 sides, and 1 less game against top 8 sides. Whoever analysed that has a screw loose.

      Dogs and Souths have it arguably harder than Roosters and NQ as well because there is a big drop off after the top 4/5. One extra game vs top 4 side is probably worse than 2 extra games vs top 8 sides.

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