No change in target rights fee for NRL, Gallop says

The Australian Rugby League Commission, which is responsible for brokering the National Rugby League’s domestic rights, has not lowered its financial target for the next cycle, according to chief executive David Gallop, despite reports that the rugby league competition’s incumbent rights-holders submitted a joint bid that was considerably less than the commission had hoped for.

The Herald Sun said that the joint offer from commercial broadcaster Channel Nine and pay-television operator Fox Sports, the current NRL rights-holders in five-year deals, from 2008 to 2012, was well below the commission’s target price of A$1 billion (€784 million/$1.02 billion) for the five seasons from 2013 to 2017.

“All I can say is we remain really confident in getting a very good result and nothing that has happened so far changes that,” Gallop told the Australian Associated Press news agency.

The commission’s exclusive period of talks with Channel Nine and Fox Sports has expired, leaving the commission free to speak to commercial broadcasters Seven and Ten.

“We’ll be having meetings with Channel Seven and Channel Ten later this week,” Gallop said. “We have done a lot of work to get a clear picture of the game’s value given the results that it produces. We go into the next phase really confident about that and, having been through the exclusive stage, we’re keen to move to the next stage.”

Nine and Fox Sports reportedly retain final bidding rights as part of their current deal with the league, but they would forfeit the right to make a final counter bid if a competitor beats their initial offer by at least 20 per cent.