NRL clubs given hope for big payday - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL clubs given hope for big payday

Steve Jancetic 21/07/2011 06:46:32 PM Comments (0)

A new broadcast agreement outstripping the AFL's $1.2 billion deal is one of several scenarios presented to NRL club bosses as they prepare to embark on a golden new era for the code.

A six-hour summit of NRL chairmen and chief executives in Sydney on Thursday was told rugby league was in a strong position heading to the bargaining table.

Negotiations for a new television rights deal - set to take hold in 2013 - will begin as soon as the independent commission is put in place.

That could happen sooner rather than later after the eight commissioners were officially revealed to the clubs, including John Grant's acceptance of the role as the first chairman of the commission.

Their first port of call will no doubt be the broadcast rights.

NRL chief executive David Gallop refused to be drawn into what figure the game was hoping to achieve, but AAP has learned that club bosses were given a breakdown of their share, based on three different scenarios - $1 billion, $1.2 billion and a whopping $1.4 billion.

The NRL's last rights deal was for $500 million over five years.

"We worked through some scenarios - obviously looking at the media landscape and what our expectations are, given the game's going so well on television - so we modelled a number of assumptions, and they're assumptions only," Gallop said.

"We certainly modelled a scenario where I think everyone is going to be really happy with what the result is."

Asked if matching or even exceeding the AFL's $1.2 billion deal was a goal, Gallop said: "I know you'd love me to tell you a number but I'm not going to.

"We're certainly conscious of the result the AFL got and we're conscious of how our game's going so you can draw your own inferences from that."

The man advising the NRL ahead of its negotiations, Colin Smith, said rugby league was well placed in comparison to AFL.

"In television audience, it is," Smith said.

"Foxtel's pay television for NRL is up 20 per cent. And then you look at State of Origin, just under 11 million viewers.

"It just demonstrates the NRL fan loves rugby league and loves it on television, which is very promising going forward for the media rights negotiations."

Gold Coast chief executive Michael Searle said the evidence was there for a large payday.

"It just proves every week our numbers are phenomenal," Searle said.

"It's a difficult environment but one thing that not too many people would disagree with is that rugby league's in a really strong position, back to probably the growth curve that we had back in 1995."

The scenarios relating to the new broadcast deal were shown to the clubs to give them an indication of how the different figures would affect the salary cap and club grant.

Gallop has been determined for some time to bridge the gap between the grant and the cap - which currently stands at $750,000.

Minor adjustments to next year's figures will see that gap cut by $100,000, but those numbers are set to be dwarfed under the new broadcast deal.

"We've modelled some minimum numbers around the cap and the grant just so that everyone's got an idea of meeting that expectation that the grant not only gets up to the level of the cap but ultimately exceeds it," Gallop said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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