The ARL Commission has started looking into the possibility of splitting game into quarters to increase broadcast revenue in the next TV deal.
The move is reportedly led by new chairman Peter V’landys. He will chair a meeting on Thursday that will discuss various proposed rule changes.
Some of the topics include golden point alternatives, captains challenges, the 20-40 rule and limiting on-field support.
Confirming information about the discussion has been hard to do after V’landys cracked down on staff leaking information tot he media.
One NRL insider stated that any changes to the rules “will not change the fabric of the game” but it remains to be seen how accurate that will be.
The move to divide games into four is not entirely out of nowhere, pre-season games have had quarters before as a method of minimising heat stress.
V’landys has been clear about his priorities for his tenure, raising the broadcast revenue beyond the $1.8 billion received in the last TV deal.
“There are a lot of decisions to be made in the next 12 months in relation to broadcast, but we will have it in a package that will maximise the return to the game,” V’landys stated at his first press conference.
“To me, that is the most important aspect, to ensure the game stays viable. If you’re not viable, you’re nowhere. It’s critical we continue to get the revenues we’re getting.”
The current contract with Channel Nine doesn’t end until 2022 but the NRL wants look at its options now.
The quarters format would allow broadcasters more advertising time and could lead to less interchanges as players would receive more breaks.
The meeting will end on Thursday afternoon but any rule changes will not be announced until Friday morning.