Nine announced a five-year extension for broadcast rights to rugby league to 2027 from 2023.
The network also remains the exclusive home of the State of Origin series and the Telstra Premiership NRL Grand Final.
The deal will give Nine three additional matches across the season.
The average annual cost to Nine is $130 million, with $115 million in cash and $15 million of contra and other non-cash services. This compares to the average cost of the 2018-2022 contract, announced in November 2015, of $115 million plus $10 million contra.
Nine has also secured the radio and audio streaming rights, under which matches will continue to be broadcast in Sydney and Brisbane through 2GB and 4BC, extending Nine’s NRL reach and aligning TV and exclusive radio rights on 4.00pm Sunday games. Plus, all Broncos versus Dolphins games will stream live in Brisbane.
Peter Costello, Nine Chairman: "This is a major deal for our business to bring this exciting sport to the Australian public across our platforms.
"The negotiation has been constructive and in the spirit of partnership across our businesses and we thank the NRL for the positive engagement in the process for an outcome that benefits all Australians and fans of the game."
Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’landys: “Today is an exciting day for our fans with the free-to-air broadcast deal of the NRL Telstra Premiership, NRLW and Ampol State of Origin locked in until the end of 2027.
"This is more than a broadcast deal, it’s a partnership to grow rugby league using all of Nine’s media platforms – television, radio and print. It was a priority for the Commission to secure the long term future of the game. In doing so
it was important to ensure that a long term partnership reflected the Commission’s desire to grow the game at all levels, to invest in innovation and to ensure we have a partner that can help grow the game from participation to pathway competitions and premierships."
Mike Sneesby, CEO of Nine, said “We are very pleased to extend our 30-year partnership with the NRL for a further five years. This certainty enables both Nine and the NRL to continue to bring the game live and free to all Australians and to develop the game for the clubs and the broader NRL community. This is an outstanding result as together we build a strong media partnership delivering quality, and free, NRL coverage for all Australians for the next six years.”
Brent Williams, Nine’s Head of Sport: “For 30 years, Rugby League has played a major role in the history of Wide World of Sports and we’re delighted to be extending our association at a time when the sport is entering such an exciting growth period.
“While Nine will continue to be the exclusive home of the game’s biggest events, we look forward to partnering with the NRL to help the continuing growth of the Women’s game and to develop targeted grassroots initiatives. We’re excited to collaborate with the clubs and players of all levels to deliver new broadcast initiatives and digital offerings across our multiple platforms.”
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