Media Wrap: AFL rights negotiations heat up; Nine to trade NRL games?; Worner to stay on until 2018 - Maybe

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 17 August 2015

AFL rights negotiations heat up

The Australian is reporting that since the announcement that Nine has secured the free-to-air broadcast rights for the NRL as part of a record $925 million dollar deal, The AFL could experience a windfall due to other media organisations being prematurely shut out of the NRL negotiations.

The Australian is saying News Corp’s chief executive Robert Thomson was involved in negotiations with the AFL in Melbourne and preparations were being made for an announcement on Friday afternoon in Melbourne, with Rupert Murdoch preparing to fly south from Sydney to attend.

Negotiations were not concluded and are believed to have continued during the weekend.

Nine to trade NRL games?

Meanwhile, the Australian Financial Review is reporting Nine's five-year free-to-air and digital contract to screen key NRL games is structured to allow the broadcaster to on-sell games to rivals if it chooses. The move could ultimately mean that Nine ends up with one or some AFL games in return for selling some NRL games to Seven, or even Ten Network Holdings.

Worner to stay on until 2018

Kerry Stokes' Seven West Media is extending chief executive Tim Worner's contract until 2018, The AFR is reporting. The business is poised to unveil its full year results on Wednesday, and the contract news comes as Worner, whose contract was due to expire on 2017, was elevated to the Seven West Media board on June 24.

Or is he?

The Australian’s Media Diary is reporting that senior sources at Seven are speculating that Worner may step back from the top position in the next year or so in order to spend more time with his family, despite his contract just being renewed.

Rupert watch

Both media sections have also taken a keen interest in what Rupert Murdoch has been up to on his Australian trip, with The Australian’s media diary providing a play-by-play of what the media mogul has been doing, and most importantly eating, over the past few days. The AFR has also been following the movements of Murdoch's private jet and his ex-wife Wendi Deng.


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