Telstra ties up NRL digital rights

Telstra ties up NRL digital rights

Telstra has completed a five-year $100m deal for the digital rights for the NRL, allowing the telco to stream all NRL matches to tablets and mobile devices.

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Under the deal customers using other mobile carriers will be able to access the streams, but will have to pay a premium, and Telstra will also run the NRL.com domain and a new dedicated NRL app.

It adds to the digital rights Telstra already holds for the AFL, which cost a reported $155m.

There are some restrictions to timings, with the telco hamstrung by the broadcast times Nine chooses to use for its games, but at least five per round will be live.

Interim Australian Rugby League Commission CEO, Shane Mattiske said those last two points had been a “big factor” in choosing to renew the deal.

He added: “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.”

Digital rights are increasingly important for sporting codes, with the NRL raking in the cash above the $1bn TV-rights deal they did with Nine and Fox Sports.

Telstra CEO David Thodey said increased levels of smartphone and tablet ownership in Australia would make the new offerings more attractive to customers.

The telco will also have naming rights under the deal for the Premiership and Sunday football games.