The NRL and Fox Sports are in talks over the Rugby League broadcast rights from 2018 to 2022; talks that could lead to the richest television contract in Australian sporting history, but also to some significant changes to match scheduling.
Under the new deal, only one match would be held on Friday night, other three will take place on Saturday and Sunday, and one on Thursday night. The new deal could possibly end Monday night football as we know it. Additionally, all eight matches will air live on Fox Sports, with three games to be broadcast live on free-to-air television. The hugely popular State of Origin series, however, will likely remain on free-to-air.
The $1.7-billion broadcast deal will be a godsend for struggling clubs and elite players, as it would allow the National Rugby League ‘NRL‘ to raise the salary cap from $7.5 million to $11 million and the grants to clubs from $7.8 million to $12 million.
Customers of Foxtel Play* are offered a selection of packages that feature live channels, with the Sports Combo pick containing FOX SPORTS 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, ESPN 1, ESPN 2, Eurosport, as well as FOX8, Arena, Lifestyle, History, Discovery, A&E, FX, SoHo, MTV, Nickelodeon and Disney Channel plus hundreds of “catch up” on-demand titles.