Sky Sports is set to acquire the domestic rights to the rugby Super League in a new three-year deal.
According to national news organisation Daily Mail, the deal will cover the 2022 to 2024 campaigns, where Sky is expected to pay less than its current agreement with the league, set at £40 million per season.
Sky’s rival network BT Sport were reportedly interested in taking over the contract, however, no official bids were thought to have been submitted for the rights.
The deal will be officially signed off in December as part of the scheduled Super League board meeting.
The Super League’s biggest source of income is through its domestic TV deal that is distributed between the participating clubs. Three-quarters of the money is given to the top-tier clubs and the remaining quarter is split between the Rugby Football League (RFL) governing body and second-tier Championship sides.
Last week, the government announced a £300 million winter survival package, of which the rugby league are set to receive £12 million. This follows earlier investment into the league by the government (£16 million) in May to restart the competition after it was forced to stop in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, the RFU claimed it was facing reductions in revenues of up to £122 million and that some clubs were on the verge of disappearing forever, after restrictions from the government meant that fans were not allowed to attend sporting events. Nonetheless, yesterday Boris Johnson announced that fans would be allowed to enter outdoor sports stadiums at a reduced capacity, dependent upon the tier level that the club finds itself in.
Yesterday’s announcement from the government will likely be of some relief to Super League clubs who will be able to make up on some of the losses that were expected from the reduction in the broadcast value. Clubs agreed to take a hit of £280,000 in 2021 due to the revised contract from Sky.
Author: Jake Wilkin