Castle to resume broadcast talks
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle insists the code was close to nailing a new broadcast deal before COVID-19 hit.
Castle had rejected Foxtel’s renewal offer, tempting fate by testing the market before coronavirus brought world sport to a halt.
She has since faced pressure to keep her job but says she’s steeled to see RA through the code’s enforced shutdown.
The chief executive described the broadcast landscape as being in a “challenged position” but that, with an interim deal reached where players will sacrifice an average 60 percent of their pay, talks can resume.
“We certainly believe we were in a situation where the tenders were closing and we were going to have some significant tenders to step into that process that was going to give Rugby Australia a level of certainty to start negotiating,” she said.
“We were confident that was in a strong position, obviously we couldn’t control COVID-19.
“There’s opportunities to start those again, I’m not sure if that’s this week or next week.”
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RA has stood down 75 percent of its 140-strong workforce to cope with a projected worst-case $120 million revenue loss if no rugby is possible this year.
“That’s my only focus [to see it through], it has been in the five weeks we’ve been in this situation,” Castle said.
“I’ve had my head down, we’ve worked here with the board and those staff who are left here at Rugby Australia have worked non-stop since we realised how significant this would be.
“I’m absolutely determined to see that through.”