The ARLC Is Negotiating With Several Networks, Hoping For More Coverage
Industry insiders have told the Herald of a number of developments in negotiations involving the Nine, Fox, Seven and Ten networks with the Australian Rugby League Commission, according to Greg Prichard of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The ARLC's negotiating team is being led by Graeme Samuel from the advisory firm Greenhill Caliburn. They include the commission's "desire to have a fourth club game shown" on free-to-air each week, on Saturday nights, and also to have all free-to-air games simulcast on Fox Sports, in a similar arrangement to the one Fox has with the Australian Football League. The negotiating team gave briefings to each of the networks on Tuesday, fueling talks to "heat up before the end of the month." An insider said, "September could be even bigger for rugby league than everyone thinks. The finals will be on, on and off the field." There have been suggestions the league's new deal could be worth up to $1.25B over five years, but insiders argue that $1B "will more likely be the upper limit." The ARLC, like the NRL before it, "was not prepared to go ahead with expansion until the new TV deal was in place. Insiders add that "ideally, the commission would like to add one or two teams" during the five years of the deal (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 7/13).