New digital division to support NRL’s Telstra rights deal

The National Rugby League, the top rugby league competition in Australia, will establish a new digital media production division as part of a new rights deal with telecommunications company Telstra.

The Australian Rugby League Commission, the body set up to sell commercial and media rights on behalf of the league, confirmed today (Wednesday) that a five-year rights extension, from 2013 to 2017, had been agreed.

Commission chairman John Grant said the total deal was worth double the A$15 million (€12.2 million/$15.8 million) per year paid by Telstra in the previous six-year deal, from 2007 to 2012.

The deal covers mobile, tablet and internet platforms and also includes a renewal of the league’s title sponsorship rights.

The new NRL Digital Media division will produce video content, including player interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, for all of the platforms covered by the deal. The division will also create an official NRL application that will allow subscribers to access live coverage of matches and press conferences as well as highlights on smartphones.

“Together we have achieved significant growth in the game’s digital network over the past few years and this new investment will fast-track its future development and provide fans with unrivalled coverage and engagement with the game,” the league’s interim chief executive Shane Mattiske said.