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SBD Global/October 3, 2013/Media

Fox Sports, Channel 9 Battle Over National Rugby League Final Broadcast Rights

The National Rugby League "is embroiled in a grand final legal row with its broadcasters Channel Nine and Fox Sports over Sunday's telecast," according to Phil Rothfield of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Fox Sports "claims to have exclusive rights to the preliminary games" -- NSW Cup and Holden Cup -- as part of the new A$1.2B ($1.1B) TV deal. Nine is refusing to back down, with CEO David Gyngell declaring that "all games will be shown on free-to-air, as has happened since Nine originally got the rights." Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delany "responded by firing off a legal warning to the NRL" on Tuesday to protect their exclusivity. NRL Dir of Marketing & Commercial Paul Kind said that "he was confident of resolving the row before game day." Kind said, "It's not the first time there has been a disagreement between the broadcasters." The row "has left networks facing the exorbitant costs of both having to provide outside broadcast trucks and cameras, rather than sharing the production expenses" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 10/2).
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