National Rugby League, Sky Agree To Last-Minute Broadcast Deal
Less than 24 hours out from the start of the competition, the National Rugby League and Sky "have agreed in principle on a new broadcast deal," according to the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. The NRL Premiership, U20's competition and State of Origin "will all be shown on Sky." It is "not known how long the deal is worth, with Sky expected to be seeking a multi-year agreement" (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 3/7). The NATIONAL BUSINESS REVIEW reported the partnership will be formally announced at midday Thursday. Sky TV CEO John Fellet has "so far refused to comment on the value of the deal," but the Sydney Morning Herald put the broadcaster's previous one-year deal at A$14M ($14.4M). The draw of Sonny Bill Williams' return to league is said to "have pushed up the price" by A$1M. The NRL signed a five-year, A$1.025B deal with Foxtel and Channel 9 on Dec. 12, roughly double the previous deal signed in '05. Total Australian broadcasting rights package pumped up to A$1.25B "by radio rights, online rights and other extras" (NBR, 3/7).