Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver today announced a $285 million broadcast rights deal for 2016-2020.
The ARU’s share of the media rights package covering Tests between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and the now 18-team Super Rugby tournament, represents an increase in revenue of 148 per cent. While lagging behind recent AFL and League deals, that greatly exceeded the increase in value of those deals, Mr Pulver boasted.
Fox Sports will retain broadcast rights to Test matches played in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand plus the Super Rugby Competition. Network Ten will continue to hold Australian free-to-air rights, simulcasting domestic tests and Bledisloe Cup matches. Additonally, it will be able to broadcast the Super Rugby match of the round on Sunday mornings and a highlights package on Monday nights. It also gains the right to broadcast replays of Super Rugby finals matches featuring Australian teams.
Rugby CEOs from the three countries welcomed the deal in a Sydney press conference.
“The incremental revenue from the new media rights arrangements will enable Australian Rugby to revitalise the game at all levels,” Mr Pulver said. The ARU would now “have surplus funds to re-invest in the game from grassroots through to the Wallabies” and finance to grow the game.
Paul Anderson of Network Ten said the agreement would strengthen and extend the channel’s commitment to Rugby and bring more matches to fans across the country. “Rugby is a vital part of our premium sport content on Network Ten,” he said. – Jesse Mullens
Top photo: the Wallabies sing the national anthem before their match against Wales in the recent World Cup series.