The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) have secured domestic NRL broadcast rights worth over $1 billion.
Australian television networks Channel Nine and Fox Sports have secured the rights to broadcast matches in the NRL, extending their coverage of rugby league for another five years from 2013.
The new deal will see the NRL Grand Final moved back to an evening kick off of 7.15pm local time, and continue to be broadcast on Channel Nine. The free-to-air broadcaster in Australia will also show three Thursday night matches per year.
Nine Network managing director Jeff Browne said: ““Nine’s Rugby League telecasts have won international acclaim and are fundamental to Nine’s Wide World of Sports brand.
“We are the gold standard in sports coverage and are delighted to bring the great game of Rugby League to our loyal viewers across the country as the exclusive free to air broadcaster.
“We have outstanding technical people, commentators and a team of experts who live and breathe Rugby League and they are passionate about achieving even higher standards in the next five years.”
Interim ARLC Chief Executive, Mr Shane Mattiske, said there were more deals yet to be signed off on both in Australia and around the world.
He said: “As significant as this agreement is there are still substantial broadcasting properties yet to be negotiated. These include our New Zealand television rights and our mobile and website properties.
“It is too early to put a figure on these but certainly the value of the overall broadcasting package is going to increase, as will the opportunities that fans have to experience Rugby League.”
“I think the entire game is entitled to feel proud of what has been achieved. It is a great tribute to the players and the clubs and the important thing now is to maximise the opportunities we now have for the future.”
The NRL will receive cash revenue of $925 million, and an advertising package worth $100 million.