Search For A New Broadcast Deal Continues For Rugby Australia

British and Irish Lions and Auistralia players contest a line-out during the Second Test match at the Etihad Stadium, Melbourne. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 29, 2013. See PA story RUGBYU Lions. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, Non-commercial use, Photographs cannot be altered or adjusted other than in the course of normal journalistic or editorial practice. Call 44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.

The rights to broadcast rugby union in Australia are up for grabs, with Network Ten firming as one potential suitor.

Under the existing deal, which was signed in 2015, Foxtel, 10 and BSkyB have paid some $285 million over five years to Rugby Australia.

Last month, Rugby Australia went to market with an innovative new broadcast schedule, which will see new products such as a ‘Super 8’ tournament featuring top sides from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and a ‘State of Union’ three-game series.

It will also include existing products such as the Bledisloe Cup, Rugby Championship and Shute Shield.

Per The Sydney Morning Herald, Network Ten has now put in a bid for the rights to broadcast Wallabies Tests from next year, although it is believed the network is angling towards a discounted deal.

The Herald also suggested Amazon had shown some interest in the code, although it was unclear whether the tech giant had put in a formal bid to Rugby Australia.

After showing initial interest, Optus now appears to be out of the running for the rights.

It was reported earlier this year that Fox Sports would walk away from rugby union entirely.

And while the pay-TV broadcaster has publicly said its focus is on “tier-one” sports, the Herald has reported it is in discussion with Rugby Australia about a new deal.

As well as looking for a new broadcast partner, Rugby Australia now faces the challenges of finding a new jersey sponsor.

Just last week, Qantas announced it would be ending its 30-year relationship with Rugby Australia as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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