SANZAR sweating on response to Super15




SANZAR are still waiting for their paymaster, News Ltd, to provide a verdict on whether they want to continue bringing rugby to the TV masses in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa but more crucially how much they are willing to pay.

Rupert Murdoch and his News Ltd are the lifeblood of the game in the Southern Hemisphere and the fact that they have not come back to SANZAR yet has to be worrying.

The current deal has probably received more media coverage than either of the two previous contracts received so it would have been difficult for News Ltd not to know what was going to be offered.

SANZAR almost split earlier in the year over their plans to expand Super Rugby to a Super 15 so that had more matches to offer their broadcasting partners.

Sanzar submitted their plans for an expanded and reformatted Super 15 and an unchanged TriNations to News on June 30.

So far, according to NZRU chief executive Steve Tew, there has been no feedback but Murdoch’s company have 60 days to respond.

A Sydney newspaper columnist who has been accurate at reading the broadcast market in the past has warned things are looking bad for rugby.

“We tabled all the documents as per the contractual schedule on the 30th of June.” Tew told the Sunday Star Times.

“We are now talking to a number of broadcast partners including News and we have had the odd update from our (broadcast broker) but nothing in the way of what I would call formal feedback.”

The problem for SANZAR is that there are few alternative broadcasters in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa that have the infrastructure to take up and manage the broadcasting commitments that come with the deal.

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