NRL TV deal set to break records

July 22, 2011

There was optimism around the National Rugby League’s 16 clubs after the announcement that  new broadcast deal could surpass the Australian Football League’s (AFL) record-breaking TV agreement, according to a consultant to the rugby league competition.

The Australian rules head body recently struck a $US1.3 billion broadcast deal over five years, however Colin Smith, a senior adviser with LEK Consultancy, told a meeting of the NRL chief executives that the League could earn even more. The figure could be as much as $US1.5 billion through the new rights for five seasons from 2012. The NRL’s current agreement generates $US 543 million over six years.

According to various reports, CEOs were informed that there three different proposals are potentially on the table referring to the new broadcasting deal, with the first valued at $US1.08 billion, the second at $US 1.3 billion and the third at $US1.5 billion.

Audiences figures are on the rise and Smith supported this by saying: “It just demonstrates the NRL fan loves rugby league and loves it on television, which is very promising going forward for the media rights negotiations.”

Smith added: “We actually haven’t come up with a dollar figure at this stage because we are waiting for the new independent commission to be formed. When that happens we will have a discussion with the commission and give them some views of value.”

NRL chief executive David Gallop has refused to speak about target figures, but said: “I know you’d love to me to tell you a number but I’m not going to. We’re certainly conscious of the result the AFL got and we’re conscious of how our game’s going so you can draw your own inferences from that.”