NRL secures new broadcasting deal in UK

Rugby League fans in the UK will be able to watch Telstra Premiership and major representative games live for the next three years, with the NRL today announcing international broadcast deals with the region’s new MSK Sport Channel (soon to become Premier Sport) and Sky Sports.

For the remainder of the 2010 Telstra Premiership, and for the 2011/2012 seasons, new sports channel MSK, (channel 433 on the BSkyB platform) will feature at least three Telstra Premiership games from each round of matches.

Games will be shown free of charge for the first two months, after which they will be available via subscription.

Major matches such as the Telstra Premiership Grand Final, the mid-year Test between Australia and New Zealand and the Harvey Norman State of Origin Series will be broadcast live on Sky Sports (www.skysports.com), which will also show the NRL’s new weekly international highlights program, ‘NRL Full-time’.

“The NRL and Telstra Premiership have a significant following in the UK and we are very pleased to have secured these deals,” NRL Chief Operating Officer, Mr Graham Annesley, said today.

“The combined resources of Sky Sports and the new MSK Channel will allow fans to watch at least three Telstra Premiership games each week as well as the biggest representative matches of the year.

“There are also plans to expand this coverage to bring more Telstra Premiership games to fans over the course of the agreement.”

Those matches that are not being broadcast by Sky Sports and MSK Channel can still be watched live on-line by subscribers of omnisporttv or via 24-hour delay for subscribers of Aussie Sport TV, enabling UK-based fans to access all Telstra Premiership games.

Fans will also be able to watch the NRL’s new weekly half-hour international highlights show, ‘NRL Full-time’, with Sky Sports joining Starhub (Singapore), Dahlia TV (Italy), Orbit Showtime Network (Middle East) and V Australia (in-flight) in broadcasting the program.

“These new agreements have seen the NRL significantly expand its international television broadcast reach to now include North America, Africa, Italy, the Middle East, PNG and the Asia Pacific region, as well as online subscription services for international supporters,” Mr Annesley said.