Clubs urge NRL to halt TV rights talks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clubs urge NRL to halt TV rights talks

By Steve Jancetic 04/08/2010 07:23:22 PM Comments (0)

Club chairmen have called on the NRL to hold off on negotiations for the next television rights deal until an independent commission has been put in place to run the game.

With the move towards the establishment of the commission again seemingly stalled by the Queensland Rugby League demands for greater control, a high-powered lunch at Canterbury Leagues Club involving chairmen from 14 of the 16 NRL clubs determined that the November 1 deadline for the commission's instalment was a must.

And in a statement delivered by Wests Tigers chairman David Trodden, the group demanded that "all negotiations that impact the broader interest of the game not be concluded until the truly independent commission is in place."

The biggest negotiation facing the NRL is the next media rights deal, which is expected to deliver a financial windfall that will finally see rugby league clubs able to compete with other codes and competitions in terms of pay demands for players.

With so much hanging on those talks, which were scheduled to begin at the end of the year with the current rights deal expiring at the end of 2012, club bosses said they wanted to ensure the game was in the best possible position from which to negotiate.

"If that's the major decision commercially that the game will have for the next however many years, really the body that we want to control the game should be the one that has direct input into the making the decision," one chairman told AAP.

"It puts the cart before the horse if you make your major revenue decision and then you say to an independent commission - well there you go."

Several chairmen also expressed their frustration at the slow progress towards a commission, which seems at odds with the general feeling across the game that it would be a good move for rugby league.

The QRL are reportedly still holding out for a greater vote on the new body, with the proposed model leaving them with just a one in 26 vote.

Currently the Australian Rugby League - on which the QRL are represented - and News Limited, share control of the game.

All but the Warriors and Melbourne - who do not have a chairman after Rob Moodie was sacked by Storm owners News Limited - were represented at Wednesday's lunch, with the chairmen adamant the commission had to be truly independent.

"By truly independent, the chairmen have called for the establishment of a body - the selection of which the clubs have a direct input into," the statement read.

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