Telstra is set to make a multi-million dollar bid for the NRL’s online streaming rights amid continued rumours Telstra is droppings its major sponsorship title, reports The Australian.
Nine surprised everyone when it sprang $925 million for the NRL rights for four years in a deal starting in 2018. The preemptive strike and offer- Nine Network bid before rivals Foxtel and Channel Ten- was said to be so good the NRL simply had no choice but to sign on the dotted line there and then.
The Australian is reporting that high-level Telstra executives are furious the NRL failed to give Telstra the opportunity to bid for Nine’s new streaming rights, which Telstra holds under the existing agreement as part of a wider $100 million deal with the NRL.
The telecommunications giant is also paying $100 million over five years for the AFL streaming rights. News Corp and its pay TV subsidiary Foxtel recently lashed-out $2.5 billion for the rights to the AFL until 2022.
Earlier this week The Australian Financial Review reported that Telstra was planning to downsize its NRL sponsorship to a minor role, ending its 17-season naming-rights sponsorship.
A statement from Telstra released late on Monday said: “Reports that Telstra is looking to not renew our NRL naming rights are untrue. We are proud of what we have built with the NRL to date and are in negotiations to continue our partnership beyond 2017. We are unable to comment further as negotiations are ongoing.”