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NRL announces $1.8 billion broadcast deal with Fox Sports and Channel Nine
The NRL has announced a new broadcast rights deal worth $1.8 billion across five years from 2018.
The deal will see all NRL matches shown live on Fox Sports, with Channel Nine also broadcasting Thursday night, Friday night and Sunday afternoon games.
Under the deal, the controversial Monday night fixture will be scrapped as of 2017, with Thursday night rugby league to commence in 2016 and a 6pm Friday night match to kick off the following year.
With the sale of international and radio rights to come, it is anticipated the total value of the final package will exceed $1.9 billion.
Commenting on the deal, Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman John Grant stated "we have delivered the very best outcome for the game as a whole.
"In revisiting the number of free to air games in this agreement, we were responding to the value both Nine and News Corp Australia saw in the Saturday game.
"Compared to our current schedule, this result still means more games live and free for our fans and gives grass roots and elite clubs and organisations immense financial benefits."
The deal will also see an end to delayed broadcasts of live games and, as of 2017, will see Fox Sports launch a dedicated 24-hour NRL channel.
Adding his view on the deal, Fox Sports Chief Executive Patrick Delany stated "this marks a new era in the relationship between Fox Sports and the NRL.
“(It) ensures that no matter what your Aussie sport, no matter what your team, you can now watch them all live and in high definition on Fox Sports across Australia."
Delany also confirmed the broadcaster will host the first ever 24-hour, around-the-clock channel devoted to rugby league, concluding "from 2017, we will introduce our 24-hour dedicated rugby league channel - FOXNRL - which will become the home of NRL on television."
As part of the deal, Telstra has renewed its naming rights for the NRL Premiership for another five years.
11th August 2015 - NRL SECURES NEW FREE TO AIR TELEVISION DEAL
12th June 2015 - CLUB CHIEF EXECUTIVES WELCOME NRL TV RATINGS BOOST
27th February 2015 - AUSTRALIAN RUGBY LEAGUE POSTS $49.9 MILLION NRL PROFIT
24th February 2014 - NRL TO USE SURPLUS TO BACK GAME DEVELOPMENT
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