The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has reached a new free to air broadcast agreement with Nine Entertainment which will see the NRL Telstra Premiership, Telstra NRLW Premiership and Ampol State of Origin broadcast on Nine until at least the end of the 2027 season.
The new partnership, from 2023-2027, includes;
- A joint commitment to grow and promote the game from grassroots participation to the elite level across all of Nine’s media platforms.
- A focus on broadcast innovation and presentation of the game for fans.
- Nine retaining the exclusive live broadcast rights of the NRL Telstra Premierships Grand Finals Day and the Ampol State of Origin Series. All three Origin games will be played on Wednesday nights.
- Nine continuing to broadcast a live Telstra Premiership game on Thursday and Friday nights as well as Sunday afternoons and a Saturday night game for the final five rounds prior to the commencement of the Finals Series.
- Nine radio continuing to broadcast rugby league via Radio 2GB and 4BC.
The game’s three television broadcast partners, Nine, Fox Sports and Sky TV New Zealand have now all agreed to new partnerships and increased commitments until the end of the 2027 season, with a record total media rights revenue for the game in excess of $400m per annum.
ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys AM said the new deal was a strong outcome for fans, the game’s clubs and players. He said the agreement would take advantage of Nine having multiple media platforms.
“Today is an exciting day for our fans with the free to air broadcast deal of the NRL Telstra Premiership, NRLW and Ampol State of Origin locked in until the end of 2027. This is more than a broadcast deal, it’s a partnership to grow rugby league using all of Nine’s media platforms – television, radio and print," he said.
"It was a priority for the Commission to secure the long term future of the game. In doing so it was important to ensure that a long term partnership reflected the Commission’s desire to grow the game at all levels, to invest in innovation and to ensure we have a partner that can help grow the game from participation to pathway competitions and premierships.
“I want to thank Nine Chairman Peter Costello and Chief Executive Mike Sneesby for their commitment to rugby league and loyalty to our game, the most watched sport in Australia this year.
“Nine has been a loyal partner for 30 years and I’m delighted that that partnership will continue until at least 2027.
“The Commission has now secured increased commitments from all three broadcast partners until the end of the 2027 season. These long term deals highlight the strength of our game and the confidence broadcasters have in investing in rugby league.
“Broadcast deals generate the largest revenue for our game and having all three broadcasters committed until 2027, at a record level for the game, provides long term financial certainty to invest and plan for the game’s future and the futures of our clubs.”
NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said the extended partnership ensured fans across Australia would continue to have access to the NRL’s biggest games.
“We’re committed to ensuring our fans right across Australia continue to have access to our biggest games live on free to air television and streaming platforms. We are also looking forward to working closely with Nine to create innovative ways to enhance the viewing experience and take fans watching at home inside our venues to experience the tribalism at our games,’’ he said.
“Part of this deal is ensuring we work together to grow the game and provide greater exposure to all levels of rugby league across a variety of media platforms. That’s an exciting outcome for our fans and our participants.”
Peter Costello, Nine Chairman, said: “This is a major deal for our business to bring this exciting sport to the Australian public across our platforms. The negotiation has been constructive and in the spirit of partnership across our businesses and we thank the NRL for the positive engagement in the process for an outcome that benefits all Australians and fans of the game.”
Mike Sneesby, CEO of Nine, said: “We are very pleased to have locked in our 30-year partnership with the NRL for a further five years. This certainty will enable both Nine and the NRL to further develop the game for the clubs and the broader NRL community. This is an outstanding result and enables us to participate in a strong media partnership delivering quality, and free, NRL coverage for all Australians for the next 6 years.”