The Telegraph is reporting that the NRL is in talks to allow clubs to broadcast their own trial matches.
NRL head of football Todd Greenberg initially told clubs they would not be allowed to broadcast any trials because of “broadcasting obligations’’.
Greenberg wrote in the December 15 letter, which was obtained by The Daily Telegraph, that “Channel Nine has the exclusive right to broadcast the pre-season matches (irrespective of whether it does in fact choose to broadcast the pre-season matches). And the Commission must not allow others to create and broadcast audiovisual coverage of a pre-season match. This includes clubs streaming pre-season matches”.
Nine typically only shows the Nines and Wold Club Championship, and up to three trial matches as well as the Foundation Cup and Charity Shield.
Last year up to 40,000 fans tuned in to a web broadcast of a trial between Cronulla and Wests. The clubs worked with Telstra to get the broadcast up.
It should be noted that in the AFL, preseason trials have been generally broadcast by the clubs if the exclusive broadcaster (Foxtel) doesnt take the option.