NRL Unveils $1.8Billion TV Broadcast Rights Agreement With Nine, Foxtel

League fans, gird thy loins. Footy’s gonna be on the tele 5 nights a week next season.

The NRL today unveiled a bumper new television broadcast rights deal with both Channel Nine and Foxtel that will net the league a cool $1.8billion.
The deal will see Foxtel pick up the lion’s share of the broadcasts – with every game to be shown live, in HD, and commercial free on Fox Sports.
Channel Nine will retain their customary Friday night and Sunday afternoon telecasts, whilst also picking up Thursday Night Football – a new addition for the 2016 season.
This means that NRL Rounds will operate on a 5-day schedule for the 2016 season, with games on Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, Sunday afternoon, and Monday night.
Fox Sports will be the exclusive carrier of Monday night football in 2016, which will be the last year that matches are contested on Mondays. From 2017 on, the game’s timeslot will be shifted to Friday at 6pm.
The deal also sees Telstra retain its naming-rights sponsorship deal with the league. The telecommunications giant will broadcast games digitally on their mobile network, and will handle all online highlights and replays.
Foxtel also announced the launch of a dedicated, 24/7 league channel, FOXNRL – a partner to the AFL equivalent, Fox Footy – which will go live in 2017.
Fox Sports chief executive Patrick Delany stated the new channel will mean more rugby league will be broadcast on Australian screens than ever before.

“From 2017, we will introduce our 24-hour dedicated rugby league channel — FOXNRL — which will become the home of NRL on television.”

“At the same time, we will introduce two new franchise to accompany our massive Super Saturday offering: two games on Friday night starting at 6pm and 8pm respectively, and two games on Sunday afternoon kicking off at 2pm and 4pm respectively.”

“We will also introduce new pre- and post-game shows and personalities around these franchises, as well as adding to our existing suite of weekday shows.”

“In addition, FOX Sports will broadcast more second tier games than ever before.”

The 2016 NRL Season draw is expected to be revealed any day now.

Photo: Cameron Spencer via Getty Images.