The Nine Network has unleashed a stunning attack on the National Rugby League, accusing the governing body of “mismanaging the game for years”.
The comments come as the NRL battles for survival amid the COVID-19 outbreak, which has temporarily halted the competition.
With the initial outbreak coinciding with the start of the 2020 season, the NRL appeared desperate to continue to play for as long as possible, to ensure it honoured the broadcast agreement is has with Nine, Foxtel and Telstra, which is worth around $200 million a year.
It has since been revealed that despite the multi-billion-dollar broadcast deal it has in place, the NRL has very little in the bank – meaning this pause in the competition has the game on the brink of collapse.
“At Nine we had hoped to work with the NRL on a solution to the issues facing rugby league in 2020, brought on so starkly by COVID-19,” Nine said, in a statement published in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“But this health crisis in our community has highlighted the mismanagement of the code over many years. Nine has invested hundreds of millions in this game over decades and we now find they have profoundly wasted those funds with very little to fall back on to support the clubs, the players and supporters. In the past the NRL have had problems and we’ve bailed them out many times including a $50m loan to support clubs when the last contract was signed.
“It would now appear that much of that has been squandered by a bloated head office completely ignoring the needs of the clubs, players and supporters.”
It comes following reports the NRL will today sign-off on a plan to relaunch the season next month, with the competition expected to be shortened to 15-rounds.
Even with the rapid restart to the competition, players are expected to take a 71 per cent pay cut for the abridged season.
Nine’s comments raise serious questions over future broadcast deals.
The current deal – worth a total of $1.8 billion – is due to come to an end in 2022.
With negotiations for the next deal expected to get underway soon, there have been murmurs CBS-owned Network 10, which currently has minimal live sport, could swoop in and steal the rights from Nine.
However, these latest comments suggest Nine may not even be interested in coming to the table.
Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]
Social purpose organisation UnLtd’s Big Games competition has raised a combined $85,000 for children and young people at risk. Running over five weeks, the competition involved 32 teams from across the advertising, marketing and media industries battling it out virtually for a chance to qualify for the Rocket League final. The tournament culminated in a […]
Stan has announced that the Stan Original Film Transfusion commenced filming in Sydney earlier this week and will premiere on Stan in 2022. Transfusion is a taut, muscular thriller starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Ryan Logan, a former Special Forces operative, who is battling to cope with life after the loss of his wife and is thrust […]
According to a decade of data collected by iStock, Australian brands turned to imagery depicting outdated gender stereotypes during the pandemic. Tracking the keyword ‘women’, iStock by Getty Images found that in 2020, ANZ brands and businesses reverted to gender stereotypes. Images of mothers home-schooling were used at almost twice the rate of images of […]
Schwartz Media is congratulating Maddison Connaughton on her three years as editor of The Saturday Paper. Connaughton has decided to finish up her editorship this month. “It’s been an honour to edit the paper,” Connaughton said. “The Saturday Paper is one of the brightest voices in Australian media and I have been happy to see […]
Research from EdBbirdie using Spotify data has identified the most popular songs to study to. After analysing thousands of studying and homework playlists on Spotify, American singer Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ came out as top song to study to. It featured on 48 study playlists, while other top songs included ‘Ophelia’ by The Lumineers, ‘Falling’ […]
Dayna Stewart is the Business Director – Digital Marketing, Media & Creative Services at The Nudge Group. Here, she discusses the challenges that come with building a successful marketing team when working remotely. Before COVID-19 changed the way businesses work, most marketing teams spent their days together in a meeting room collaborating on the next […]
The line-up for the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival has been announced as the legendary event returns live in Las Vegas in September. This year, the epic two-day lineup for the iHeartRadio Music Festival main stage will feature performances by Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, […]
Shop! ANZ is calling on shopper and retail marketing professionals from all retail related disciplines to participate in the first ANZ Shopper and Retail Marketing Industry Survey in four years. This important research provides a guide of where the retail marketing industry in Australia and New Zealand has come from and what is anticipated to […]