Foxtel could miss out on NRL: Gallop - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Foxtel could miss out on NRL: Gallop

David Beniuk 24/08/2011 06:09:59 PM Comments (0)

NRL boss David Gallop says Foxtel risks being frozen out of rugby league's next broadcast deal if it isn't prepared to pay full value for the rights to the competition.

Responding to a pay TV executive's comments that talk of a $1 billion-plus deal was "confusing", Gallop said every NRL game could end up on free-to-air television.

"We need to receive value and recognition for the fact that over 70 per cent of the top hundred shows on Foxtel are rugby league games," Gallop told AAP on Wednesday.

"Clearly, if we don't believe we're getting the appropriate value for that, we'll explore other options."

Consolidated Media Holdings (ConsMedia) executive chairman John Alexander said on Tuesday there were "question marks about some of the sporting costs".

ConsMedia is a part owner of Foxtel and Premier Media Group, the producer of Fox Sports.

"I don't think there is any appetite at Fox Sports to hand vast additional cheques for no extra value," Alexander said.

"Unless (current free-to-air broadcaster) Channel Nine has got much deeper pockets than we all believe, then I think the prices that have been talked about with the NRL remain confusing."

NRL clubs were recently told a five-year deal from 2013, worth $1.4 billion - significantly more than the AFL's $1.25 billion - was a possibility.

The deal will be negotiated by rugby league's incoming independent commission, expected to take control of the game on November 1.

Gallop said Alexander's comments represented good old fashioned haggling.

"It's not surprising that any buyer in any market is going to play down the price, but we look forward to demonstrating our value to the broadcasters when we get the chance," Gallop said.

By "extra value", Fox Sports could mean more than the current five games screened live on the network.

More games could mean more teams but Gallop said recently expansion was unlikely until 2015 as the existing 16 NRL clubs reaped the benefits of the new deal.

The AFL contract includes all nine games being shown live each week on Foxtel from 2012, when the GWS Giants complete that league's latest round of expansion.

The Nine Network currently screens three NRL games a week, but only one live in NSW and Queensland.

Nine boss David Gyngell has suggested more ad breaks, at scrums or drop-outs, to increase the value of the rugby league product.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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