The NRL is reportedly preparing to announce a renewal of its contract with the Nine Network.
Nine’s most recent deal for the NRL, orchestrated in 2015, cost $925,000 per season for the 2018 to 2022 seasons.
The deal follows last week’s news of the arrival of a second Brisbane NRL team – the Dolphins – in 2023 that should significantly boost TV viewership, particularly in Queensland.
There was speculation that both Network 10 and the Seven Network could bid for some of the rights, but according to The Australian, the NRL’s chairman Peter V’landys will confirm a five-year deal with Nine this week. The Seven Network already holds the rights to the Australian Football League.
Speaking to B&T after Seven’s Upfronts last week, Seven’s chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette said: “We’re interested in major codes in this country. We’ve got two of them, cricket and AFL, and we’d be interested in the NRL, but everything has to make sense as well.”
The NRL also has a deal with Foxtel for pay-TV coverage up until 2027.
According to News Corp publications the Daily Telegraph and news.com.au, the NRL is potentially pushing for a new midweek league show, akin to the now defunct Footy Show, as part of the deal.
The contract is one of the Nine Network’s most significant sports deals, along with the tennis, which includes rights to the Australian Open, US Open, and Wimbledon.
Nine declined to comment for this story.