As the NRL continues to prepare for its ambitious May 28 return date, questions are rife over what the revised season will look like for broadcasters.
The Australian is reporting that the Nine Network is pushing for a shortened 17-round season, ending as scheduled on October 4.
Foxtel on the other hand, is believed to be pressing for a 22-round season, which would push the end of the season back into early November.
ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany and Nine boss Hugh Marks are meeting this morning to negotiate the terms of this season’s broadcast, with the outcome expected to be somewhere in the middle.
While clubs and players have been told to prepare for a May 28 return, there is still some uncertainty with the broadcast deal still yet to take shape.
This feeling was echoed yesterday when Nine released a statement questioning the set date.
“Although we agree constructive discussions have been held between the NRL, Nine and Foxtel, we feel it’s premature to be confirming a start date at this stage,” a Nine spokesperson said.
“There is a great will to work together to an outcome but a lot of work still to do. A deal needs to be completed and the structure of the competition locked, which importantly must include how it will operate within the health and safety standards currently affecting the community.’’
An outcome of the discussions is expected to be revealed later today.
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