NRL and Nine to Reportedly Reach $445M Broadcast Deal

    • The NRL is reportedly close to a five-year broadcasting rights extension with Nine.
    • The deal is worth $445 million.

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The National Rugby League is reportedly close to securing a five-year media rights extension with Australia-based broadcaster Nine in a deal worth $445 million.

Nine and NRL have been discussing an extension for several months, and a deal is expected to close in the next two weeks.

If the two parties reach an agreement, the extension would be the league’s most lucrative free-to-air network agreement on a per-year basis since launching in 1998.

The NRL will use some of the funds to bankroll its expansion franchise, the Redcliffe Dolphins, which joins the league in 2023.

  • NRL’s current deal with Nine — expiring next year — is worth $85.2 million per year.
  • The two entities agreed to a reduced fee until the end of 2022 due to the pandemic.

The prospective extension has been met with criticism and competition.

In August, Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys raised concerns regarding what he called Nine’s lack of promotion of NRL content.

Free-to-air network rival Channel Seven is also competing with Nine for rights to the rugby league.