Rugby Australia scramble for a broadcaster
NEWS: Rugby Australia tabled their “whole of rugby” media rights package to “interested parties” for the next five-year rights cycle (2021-2025) on Friday.
Fox Sports has held the rights to the majority of major Australian rugby content since the professional era started in 1996, heralded by the introduction of the Tri-Nations and Super Rugby tournaments.
It was reported Fox Sports had ended their 25-year relationship with the code after Rugby Australia rejected their offer for the rights package for the 2021 to 2025 time frame.
But Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle remains confident they will still bid for the rights when the market process to negotiate a deal gets underway soon.
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“Rugby Australia has been working for several months to construct a package of rights that will offer broadcasters and Rugby fans a complete view of the game from club Rugby through to our national teams,” Castle said in a statement on Friday.
“We have created alignment across our competitions which has enabled us to go to market with a rights package encompassing all levels of the game, with the aim of expanding the reach of our competitions and growing the audiences for the sport across each level of the game. We believe this strategy will lead to a significantly better outcome for fans, by providing them with enhanced coverage and greater access to elite competitions and allowing them to easily engage in Rugby at all levels.
“Importantly, our initial conversations in the broadcast market have confirmed that there is real interest in a ‘whole of rugby’ package of content.
“Our game is united behind this strategy and we want to thank our State and Territory Member Unions, particularly the Queensland and New South Wales Rugby Unions, as well as the Sydney Rugby Union and every club across the Shute Shield and Hospital Challenge Cup competitions for their support of this vision for the game.”
The market process for Rugby Australia’s media rights is expected to be concluded by mid-March.
Additional source: AAP
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