Shute for the stars: club rugby rights battle set to shape $1b TV deal

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How a battle over club rugby has thrown a spanner in $1b in broadcast negotiations | geerob

Rugby's billion-dollar, four-nation broadcast deal is being held up by a battle over the future of the Sydney club competition.

Of the four-nation SANZAAR joint venture, which operates Super Rugby and the Test-level Rugby Championship, Australia is the last major partner to finalise its deal, having chosen to enter into a competitive market process for the first time in the history of the game. The decision rests with the Sydney Rugby Union and NSW Rugby Union , which jointly control the Shute Shield and have a partnership with the Seven Network and Club Rugby TV, which is owned by Nick Fordham and John Murray, and runs until the end of 2024., is offering a five-year deal to broadcast live a match of the round on a Fox Sports channel and stream every other Saturday game live on Kayo Sports, with dedicated camera crews at each suburban venue.

"Rugby Australia’s preparations for the next five year rights period have led to a key focus on creating alignment across the rugby competitions in Australia," a spokesman said. "RA recognises the importance of the state premier club competitions and is focused on how they can be further supported and developed."that Fox Sports had also made an offer to buy the rights to the Hospital Cup, but that the Queensland Rugby Union, which controls the competition and currently broadcasts its games for free in partnership with Double Take Sports, has indicated it will stick with RA.

 

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