ARU could lose millions in Super15 revenue




The Australian Rugby Union could forfeit tens of millions of dollars in future earnings if they do not award Melbourne the 15th Super Rugby franchise, according to Australia’s biggest media buyer Harold Mitchell.

Mitchell is an expert in sports media rights and is part of the Victorian Rugby Union’s Melbourne Rebels Super 15 bid.

He says that any negotiations for TV rights and competition sponsorships would be greatly enhanced by having a presence in Melbourne.

“Melbourne is a very important market for the development of any sport,” Mitchell told the Herald Sun.

“It is critical to Super Rugby that Melbourne be included because of the great strength that gives to any rights arrangements that might be negotiated in the future.

“It is such an important sporting city and a population that is both growing and continues to support sport at every level.

“The market for super rugby overall will grow because it is a much stronger product on an Australia-wide basis with Melbourne involved.

“It adds tens of millions to any proposition in agreements, ancillary benefits like sponsorship and flow-on earnings from the general growth of the game.”

Mitchell led a formidable group of Rebels representatives, including Racing Victoria chief executive Rob Hines, in its first meeting with ARU officials in Melbourne yesterday.

He left confident the Super 15 bid had taken a strong step forward.

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