NRL lands eye-watering record free-to-air TV deal

·2-min read

The NRL has landed a new five-year free-to-air broadcast deal with Nine reported to be worth $575m (£310m).

The deal includes coverage of the NRL, women’s NRL and State of Origin.

It takes the overall value of NRL broadcast rights up to more than $400m per year until the end of 2027, according to the NRL website.

ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said: “Broadcast deals generate the largest revenue for our game.

“Having all three broadcasters committed until 2027, at a record level for the game, provides long term financial certainty to invest and plan for the game’s future and the futures of our clubs.

The NRL is broadcast in the UK via Sky Sports and the Watch NRL app.

To compare, Premier League football generates around £1.8billion per year from its broadcast rights.

Gulf between NRL TV deal and Super League

The deal highlights the huge disparity between the NRL and Super League.

Super League recently signed a new contract with Sky Sports for 2022 and 2023 believed to be worth £26m a year, down £40m from its previous deal.

A free-to-air deal with Channel 4 to show 10 live games per season has been a positive addition, though no value has been announced.

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An agreement for Premier Sports to televise Championship games is reportedly worth around £200,000 per year.

French clubs Catalans and Toulouse are locked in talks with broadcasters across the Channel to commit to showing Super League, following Toulouse’s promotion from the Championship.

The decline in broadcast revenue has caused a sharp drop in central funding for clubs, especially in the lower leagues, for the 2022 season.

Super League chief Robert Elstone quit his post back in March and talks to re-align the competition with the RFL continue.

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