Rugby Australia says it has received "real interest" in its broadcast rights ahead of sending out tender documents following the end of exclusive negotiations with current holder Foxtel.
CEO Raelene Castle says Rugby Australia went through a negotiating process with Fox Sports during the exclusive negotiating period under the current contract.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t get to a place we were both comfortable with," says Castle.
"So now we’re in tender and we would expect that as a market process they would step into that process."
She says Foxtel, which has been the broadcast partner for 25 years, could still be part of the tender.
The process was about achieving the "most financially beneficial outcome" for the game, she says.
Rugby Australia currently gets $57 million a year from Foxtel.
“We’ve put together what we believe is the strongest package of rights and aligned package of rights that we’ve ever been able to do with a whole of rugby solution," she says
“That’s attracted some real interest from the market and we’re looking to have tender documents out by the end of the week. That will be a month-long process to allow those bidders to come forward and make sure they have time to consider the offering we have go and step forward with their best offers.”
The current deal with Foxtel runs out at the end of this year. The successful bidder will get broadcast rights for five years.
Some reports suggest Optus is interested in the rights with the major television networks now re-assing the value of high cost sports rights in general.
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