NRL announces 2bn in Rights Agreements 2023-2027

The ARLC has secured a record broadcast deal for the game after  reaching a new free-to-air broadcast agreement with Nine Entertainment until the end of the 2027 season. The total media rights revenue for game under the new deal is now valued at more than $400m per annum for five years, from 2023 to 2027.

The overall figure of more than $2b for five years is an increase on the current $1.8b deal, which was finalised in 2015 at a time when broadcast deals were virtually doubling each time they were negotiated.

The five-year agreement is also a record television and media rights deal for the game, with Nine, Fox Sports and Sky NZ paying more than $2 billion to broadcast the Telstra Premiership, Telstra NRLW Premiership and Ampol State of Origin until 2027.

There are no conditions attached to News Corp Australia’s updated broadcast deal and it is incorrect to suggest the NRL has agreed to reduce Brisbane Broncos free-to-air games by 25 per cent.

Telstra’s decision to adjust its approach on sports streaming, from delivering the stream itself to helping NRL fans access Kayo’s multi-screen, multi-sport product means it has not bid for rights. Telstra Live Pass has been replaced by Kayo.

Nine 

  • The NRL has signed a $575m, five-year deal with Nine for the free-to-air broadcast rights until the end of 2027.
  • Nine’s average cost over the 2023 to 2027 rights period will be c$115 m per annum in cash, with a further c$15m of contra and other (non-cash) services to be provided. This compares with the average cost of the 2018-2022 contract, announced in Nov 2015, of $115m plus $10m contra.
  • Nine will have three extra matches per season from 2023, when the Dolphins join the competition, as well as the Brisbane streaming rights for all derby clashes between the NRL’s 17th team and Broncos.
  • Nine will continue to broadcast NRL matches on Thursday night, Friday night and Sunday afternoon, as well as five Saturday night matches per season, and has exclusive rights to State of Origin and the grand final until 2027.
  • Nine will also show a Saturday night match live, in each of the last 5 rounds of the weekly competition. Nine has retained exclusive live, free streaming rights for these games.
  • Nine has also secured radio and audio streaming rights, for at least four matches each week – Friday night and Sunday afternoon games as well as two Saturday games – as well as the finals series and State of Origin series. These matches will be broadcast in Sydney and Brisbane through 2GB and 4BC throughout the season, as well as being available Australia wide via their streaming services. Nine will also be able to broadcast all Brisbane Broncos and Redcliffe Dolphins matches into Brisbane on 4BC.
  • 9Now will deliver over 100 hours of Nine-produced digital content per season.
  • A joint commitment to grow and promote the game from grassroots participation to the elite level across all of Nine’s media platforms.
  • A focus on broadcast innovation and presentation of the game for fans.
  • It is understood the NRL has negotiated more input into the 9Network’s broadcast of the game, with the two set to work jointly to improve and modernise the coverage.

Sky NZ

  • The NRL has a new $160 million war chest to launch an all-out assault on the New Zealand All Blacks as a result of a monster new television deal.
  • The five-year broadcast deal – which now includes games on free-to-air – has gone from $94 million to more than $160 million over five years.
  • Part of it is contra which gives the NRL the ability to use all of Sky channels to promote the game, especially in pathways and participation.
  • First time major events like the Anzac Day game, an Origin match and a finals game will be on free-to-air in New Zealand

Foxtel

  • No cost was revealed for Foxtel, but after the announcement of “more than 400m” a year, its estimated at 240m+
  • Foxtel secured a five-year extension of its deal with the NRL in 2020. The NRL agreed to terms with Foxtel on a new broadcast deal for a 17-team competition in a move poised to deliver an NRL expansion windfall of up to $100 million.
  • Foxtel will continue to show all eight games per round with five exclusive games.

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