Tom Waterhouse Outbids Competitors With $52M Bid To Win NRL Deal
Bookmaker Tom Waterhouse "has blown his competitors out of the water to become the new gambling partner of the National Rugby League in a deal worth close to A$50M ($52M)," according to Chris Roots of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Waterhouse reportedly "paid many times the existing partnership deal held by TAB Sportsbet, such was his desire to partner with rugby league." He is "expected to make a similar play for the partnership rights to the Australian Football League," which are also held by TAB Sportsbet, when they fall due in two years. The NRL "remained coy on what windfall it would receive." NRL Media Manager John Brady said, "At this stage, we haven't made any announcements in relation to betting next season, but it's an area in which we've had a relationship [with Waterhouse] for some time." It is believed that Waterhouse "has signed a separate deal with Channel Nine worth A$15M" for one year to hold exclusivity over both the NRL and AFL Footy Shows, as well as rugby league match broadcasts. He "will become the face of the controversial betting spot" during Friday football, State Of Origin and Tests. The "combined value of the deals is believed to be A$62M" (SMH, 1/8). In Sydney, Brent Zerafa reported the TAB "has confirmed that its partnership with the NRL won't continue in the same capacity from this season." TAB Media Manager Glenn Munsie said, "We are no longer a sponsor of the NRL, we will just continue as an approved wagering operator" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 1/7).