The NRL has signed a landmark deal to broadcast the opening two matches of the 2023 season across prime-time television in the United States.
ARL chairman Peter V’landys has successfully negotiated a TV deal to see the Manly-Souths and Broncos-Roosters season openers, played in Las Vegas, shown live in the United States.
The deal was struck after a series of high-powered negotiations in recent months and has the support of News Corp chairman and passionate Brisbane Broncos fan Lachlan Murdoch.
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo confirmed that a live feed of the NRL doubleheader at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday, March 2, will be delivered to the American public via Fox Sports 1.
The pay television provider reaches more than 90 million American homes and also reaches Puerto Rico and the Caribbean – giving the NRL a huge audience boost of up to 137 million. “It’s a pretty big deal for our fans – it’s very exciting for the sport,” Abdo said. “We’ve previously had NRL games shown on Fox Sports in America – but this will be the first time we’ve had games shown live in prime time on Fox Sports 1″.
The NRL kicked off their marketing for the landmark event earlier this month with a campaign showcasing all the action the sport has to offer sport-loving international audiences.
The new deal is a massive win as part of V’landys and Abdo’s vision to make inroads into an American sports market worth upwards of $200 million in broadcast and gaming revenue for the NRL.
“We are confident that when they see our product, the NRL is something they will have an interest in following,” said Abdo.
With the NFL season concluding on February 11 and the 2024 Major League Baseball campaign not starting until March 20, the NRL will be on the receiving end of a broadcasting free hit on Fox Sports 1 at a time when American sports fans are looking to digest new content.
Back in Australia, Fox League will hold exclusive rights to the Souths-Manly season opener at 1:30 pm (AEDT) on Sunday, March 3 and will screen both Vegas fixtures live, providing a broadcast feed to their American arm on Fox Sports 1. Channel 9 will also televise the Broncos-Roosters clash at 3:30 pm (AEDT).
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