NRL open to more stations calling rugby league

More stations than ever are chasing Rugby League broadcast rights as the NRL goes into negotiations for next season. NRL Media Manager David Taylor has told radioinfo the NRL is “open to the idea of more stations” obtaining rights.

Taylor confirmed to radioinfo that the NRL has been in contact with AM and FM radio stations which expressed interest in rights.

Triple M is seeking more broadcast matches beyond its current Monday night games, 2UE has signaled it may bid for some games, and other stations may also be interested. ABC Radio and 2GB currently hold the main commercial and non-commercial rights.

The NRL is remaining tight lipped about the exact details of discussions and will not confirm when the deadline is for the negotiations to end. Taylor says the discussions will “be done when they’re done.” All current rights deals conclude at the end of this season.

Macquarie Radio chairman Russell Tate told the Daily Telegraph : “We have an intention to remain the rights holder. We would like to be and hope to be… I think it would be difficult with too many rights holders. This is different to AFL in Melbourne… We hope to retain the (exclusive) status we have enjoyed for the past couple of years.”

The NRL would not be drawn as to whether it would link online and mobile audio rights with radio stations, as per the talkSPORT model in the UK (see our other stories), or if it would offer audio rights separately to radio broadcasters and online/mobile sites.