The Australian Rugby Union will announce on Thursday a new broadcast rights
deal worth more than $275 million which will see some Super Rugby matches being shown on
Free to Air Networks.
The new broadcast deal has taken longer than expected to complete as Super
Rugby’s governing body SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby)
had to negotiate 11 different broadcast deals.
The major boost in revenue comes from the UK Market and Britain’s BSkyB who
have been in a TV rights battle with new broadcaster BTSport.
The UK and Europe have been slammed in the past for damaging rugby in the Southern Hemisphere but now money from Europe will provide the lifeline that the code desperately needed.
The new deal has also been aided by a stronger US dollar rate as the deals
are done in this currency.
The new TV deal will include the traditional markets of South Africa, New Zealand
and Australia as well as Americas, UK, France, Italy, Middle East, Asia-Pacific
The Australian Rugby Union’s chief executive Bill Pulver will announce a deal worth over $55 million a year
which is up from the current deal of around $25 million a year for Super Rugby
and Wallabies matches that will run from through from next year until 2020.
Under the new agreement Fox Sports will continue to be the lead Super Rugby
broadcaster and they will show all matches live but they will be on-selling
replay and rights to all Wallabies matches to be simulcast on Ten in Australia.
The SANZAR TV rights deal was first done in 1996 and for the first time Ten
will have replay rights for one match on Sunday morning each week.
In addition the free-to-air channel will also have rights to replay Super Rugby
finals matches involving Australian teams.
There has also been a $10 million cost-cutting program which will put Rugby
on a considerably stronger financial footing between 2016 and 2020.
The new Super Rugby deal is a major lift for Australian rugby but is still
dwarfed by recent TV deals in Australia such as the National Rugby League securing
$1.8 billion over five years and the Australian Football League signing a $2.508
billion six year deal – both earlier in 2015.