Super Rugby union matches could be on free-to-air television live for the first time next year after Nine Entertainment Co lodged a $30 million bid for the broadcast rights aimed at wresting the game away from pay-TV group Foxtel.
Industry sources familiar with Rugby Australia’s discussions with media companies who requested anonymity said Nine had offered to pay about $30 million a year in cash and free advertising. The television, publishing and digital company decided late last week to offer more cash than free advertising to sweeten the deal. Nine declined to comment. RA declined to comment.
Rugby Australia has struggled to grow the game due to a lack of exposure and poor recent performances by the Wallabies. It wants more matches on a free-to-air television network to build the sport’s audience. All Super Rugby games are broadcast on Foxtel and subscription streaming service Kayo, making it difficult for the governing body to reach all potential fans.
Under the deal Nine (owner of this masthead) would broadcast Wallabies Tests, the Rugby Championship and one game a week