The Redcliffe Dolphins' bid for the NRL's 17th licence has gained a serious boost after The Sydney Morning Herald revealed on Monday that News Corp would be making a mammoth commitment to the league's bottom line across the next half decade.
According to journalist Michael Chammas, the media conglomerate are set to add $75 million dollars to the code's coffers in an effort to gain further subscribers to their Foxtel and Kayo packages.
This latest financial commitment from News Corp will allow the league to both fund the Dolphins' entry into the competition in 2023 and allow for a net profit in the region of $2 million per annum.
Though no parchment has been inked yet, Chammas held the view that the NRL would reward the pledge by cutting as many as 25 per cent of the News Corp owned Brisbane Broncos' future games from free-to-air television.
However, these claims have since been dismissed by News Corp who have stated through The Daily Telegraph on Monday evening that this would not be the case.
These multiple-millions dished out by the Murdoch family will also come in addition to the $1 billion already exchanged for the rights to broadcast games between 2023 and 2027 on their aforementioned pay television channels.
Per Chammas' report, Peter V'landys, Andrew Abdo and the league will put these latest economic windfalls to the each of the heads of the competition's current franchises on Thursday.
A meeting of the expansion assessment committee will then be held on Friday to complete the process of finalising which of the three bids should be successful.
In the view of many - including Chammas - this is said to be Redcliffe's bid.
Though Broncos fans may well be disappointed that their veritable raft of free-to-air clashes usually held on Friday nights are set to shrink at the cessation of next season, these same supporters will be afforded a further 24 games played in their state and a new geographical rival from 2023 onwards.
Should Chammas' view of alternative fixturing be on the cards for the Red Hill franchise, it is expected that the Dolphins will eat heavily into the freed up free-to-air space created by the Broncos' course towards more Fox League coverage.
With these latest moves already set to have placed punters that back the Broncos offside, the soon to be birthed rivalry is only set to intensify if former Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett takes up the reigns at the league's newest club.
Despite widespread conjecture that the 71-year-old will fill the post, Bennett stated that a move of this kind had not yet been made when he spoke to the media following his Rabbitohs' nail-biting Grand Final defeat.
Though Bennett's tenure at Souths came to an end after Sunday night's final whistle, the seven-time premiership coach is still to alert the public as to what his future holds.
Should the mastermind sign on the dotted line with the successful expansion bid, his latest job will take his list of NRL clubs coached to six, following previous stints at Canberra, Newcastle and St George Illawarra.