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Rugby League fans will for the first time be able to watch matches live on mobile phones and tablets, regardless of their carrier, under a new five-year digital media and sponsorship agreement between Telstra and the Australian Rugby League Commission.

Under the partnership, announced in Sydney today, Telstra will acquire the following properties:

•    Exclusive broadcast rights of all NRL matches for mobile and tablet devices*,

•    Naming rights to the Premiership and Sunday Football,

•    Operation of the NRL website and related team sites, the official NRL app, and the official NRL fantasy games;

•    Extensive highlights packages during and after games

•    Exclusive post game access/press conferences to mobile and tablet devices

•    Extensive signage and marketing activation rights.

*Five matches per round live and three as per Nine Network broadcast times

Interim ARLC CEO, Shane Mattiske, said the new partnership between Telstra and the ARLC will jointly deliver more fans unprecedented coverage of the game and benefits that flowed through to the sport’s grassroots:

“The renewal of our partnership with Telstra is great for the game and great for all fans.

“Over twelve years Telstra has been a key partner at every level of the game and we are delighted they have extended their commitment to rugby league.  This extended partnership will see a significant investment in innovation that will deeply engage more fans than ever before in the excitement of Rugby League,” Mr Mattiske said

“Telstra’s commitment and enthusiasm to delivering leading edge technology to fans through innovative mobile and ‘tablet’ coverage, a new official app and a great new and club websites has been a key factor in renewing our association. Telstra is a partner that deeply understands the game and you can’t help but be impressed by what they are committed to achieving over the next five years.”

Telstra CEO, David Thodey, said Telstra was unmatched in its ability and commitment to deliver Rugby League to more Australians and match content will be available to all consumers via the NRL app.

“Australians have embraced smartphones and tablet devices and this partnership provides for us to make the app and its live coverage available to all NRL fans where and when they want it,” Mr Thodey said.

“Whether it is watching live coverage of the Telstra Premiership while they are out and about, catching up on latest news or highlights or competing with friends in fantasy football and tipping, the 2013 season will see Telstra and the NRL deliver an unprecedented experience,” he said.

Mr Thodey said that as well as taking the league to a wider audience, the partnership between Telstra and the NRL would support the continued growth, success and enjoyment of the game.

“At NRL games and events, fans will have the opportunity to interact with the sport and their heroes in new and unique ways. Meanwhile we will continue to develop the sport through local community programs.

“Telstra’s sponsorship of the NRL will help connect more Australians to the sport, whether they are elite players, local clubs or the next generation of players and fans,” he said.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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