National Rugby League club CEOs "are expected to seek answers" from the game's hierarchy in Sydney Thursday after it emerged clubs "may not receive a promised bonus of A$500,000 ($513,830) by the end of the month," according to Brent Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. The potential withholding is caused by "delays in finalising the new broadcasting deal with the Nine Network and Foxtel." The Australian Rugby League Commission "trumpeted its A$1.025B broadcasting deal in August, but after signing a heads of agreement, delays in finalising the long-form agreements with Nine and Foxtel mean no money has changed hands." Club officials received an email last week informing them that "the commission was working hard" to finalize the agreements, "but there were no guarantees the promised A$500,000 would arrive by the deadline." The news is "unlikely to sit well with the clubs." ARLC interim CEO Shane Mattiske said, "The clubs are aware of the fact we are looking to pay that money as soon as possible, and it is dependent on the finalisation of the long-form agreement with the networks" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/17).
French broadcaster TF1 "has agreed to a deal" with Rugby World Cup Ltd. and its marketing agency IMG, for the rights to the 2015 World Cup in France, according to Etienne Moatti of L'EQUIPE. Initially, the sides were looking to make a deal for both the England 2015 and Japan 2019 World Cups, but "no financial accord" was reached. This led to the sides agreeing on the '15 edition, "with financial conditions close" to the €40M ($52.4M) TF1 paid for the rights to the 2011 World Cup. The agreement is "a good operation" for the French broadcaster, as rugby "generates large audiences" in France. Last year's World Cup final between France and New Zealand was the most-watched show of the year with 15.4 million viewers and an 82.3% share. The end of the match had a peak audience of 18 million. Four years before, in '07, 18.3 million tuned in for the semifinal between France and England (L'EQUIPE, 10/16).