The ARU seals rugby broadcast rights deal with SANZAR

The Australian Rugby Union has announced a new television broadcast arrangement with Fox Sports and free-to-air channel Network Ten set to kick off in 2016 until at least 2020.

As with previous agreements, pay-TV sports channel Fox Sports will continue broadcasting all Wallabies domestic Tests, New Zealand and South African domestic tests as well as the expanded Super Rugby competition and The Rugby Championship. Fox Sports will also continue to televise the New Zealand and South African domestic competitions, the ITM Cup and the Currie Cup.

In addition, Channel Ten, Fox Sports free-to-air partner will broadcast every Wallabies domestic Test and all matches played by the Wallabies in The Rugby Championship plus Bledisloe Cup matches live; a full replay of one Super Rugby match per round including a weekly Super Rugby highlights show and full replays of all Super Rugby finals matches featuring an Australian team.

Where the difference comes in the agreement compared with the previous deal is that the ARU will receive a total of $285m in media rights revenue which is almost a 150% per cent increase from the previous arrangement. The deal also ensures the long-term future of the Australia’s provincial competition, the National Rugby Championship (NRC) with Fox Sports to remain as exclusive broadcaster.

In comparison to Australia’s other primary sports Rugby League and Aussie Rules, the figure released in this deal is dwarfed with the former achieving a AUS$1.8 billion television broadcast deal and the latter a AUS$2.5 billion deal.

However, Fox Sports chief executive Patrick Delany said it was a good time to be a rugby fan and/or player in Australia and that the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup result was reflected in the deal.

“It’s an exciting time for rugby in Australia”, he said.

“The Wallabies’ RWC fairy-tale run has reignited Australia’s passion for the sport and Fox Sports will be the place to take rugby forward. As the foundation partner of Super Rugby, we have been there from the beginning and our commitment and investment has been instrumental in securing the future of rugby and helping Australia return to a powerhouse force again.”

While the deal is good for those wanting to watch all of Australia’s Southern Hemisphere rugby, there is not yet a guarantee to show every test of the end-of-year Northern Hemisphere Autumn Internationals that include match-ups against England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France in 2016.

About author

Matt Tewhatu
Matt Tewhatu 155 posts

Matt is the editor of Digital Sport and Chief of Snack Media's rugby division and has a journalistic background both here in UK, Australia and in his native New Zealand. Follow him on Twitter @mtewhatu

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