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Rugby Australia set to sign broadcasting deal with Nine Entertainment

Nine Entertainment Co is reportedly willing to pay AUS$30 million a year to secure the broadcasting rights of Rugby Australia, in a deal that would allow Rugby Australia’s games to be shown on the Australian streaming platform, Stan.

A deal is yet to be confirmed by Rugby Australia, however despite bids from TV operator Foxtel - who has held the rights for over two decades - and Network Ten, Nine Entertainment are looking increasingly likely to win the bid.

Nine’s offer of AUS$30 million a year in cash and free advertising is considered a lesser offer than rivals Foxtel. However it is believed that Nine’s free-to-air proposition for the sport could be what wins Rugby Australia over. Former Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle has previously spoken of her determination to get more free-to-air coverage of the sport.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, industry sources have claimed that Foxtel made an offer of between AUS$35 million to AUS$40 million. This comes after an offer that Foxtel made to RA earlier this year to extend their broadcasting rights deal fell through because of pricing issues.

The deal would mean that Nine have the rights to broadcast Super Rugby, Australian National Team matches, and the National Rugby Championship on their free-to-air network and their streaming platform. The deal would be likely to last 5 years.

Author: Fred Dobberson