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NRL on verge of historic $2.3b deal

The NRL expects to sign off on one of the longest broadcast deals in Australian sport within days, reportedly set to net the cash-strapped organisation close to $2.3 billion.ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys has told The Sunday Telegraph that his aim is to reach an agreement on a seven-year deal with Nine and Foxtel by…

The NRL expects to sign off on one of the longest broadcast deals in Australian sport within days, reportedly set to net the cash-strapped organisation close to $2.3 billion.

ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys has told The Sunday Telegraph that his aim is to reach an agreement on a seven-year deal with Nine and Foxtel by Friday.

The revamped contract would cover the remaining three years of the NRL’s existing deal — which is $1.8 billion for 2018-2022 — plus a four-season extension until the end of 2026.

“Both partners have acted in great faith and I believe we’re very close,” V’landys said.

“The loyalty factor has been important because you want to look after your partners who have been with the game for a long time.”

The renegotiated TV deal would be the richest in Australian sports history and would secure the NRL’s long-term financial viability. It should also guarantee the future of all 16 clubs, amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis.

The annual payments would include a discounted rate for 2020 due to the shortened 20-round regular-season campaign, which is planned to restart without fans on May 28.

The developments are a huge boost for the NRL after Nine CEO Hugh Marks recently declared it wasn’t a “given” that rugby league was a part of the network’s future.

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