Channel 7 linked to NRL TV Contract

It is still four years out till the renegotiation period, but the Channel 7 camp has already started planning their battle plans to steal one of the jewels from Channel 9?s sporting crown, pulling together what is expected to be one of the largest contracts offered for Australian sport on Free to Air television.

Rugby League has held a dominate position on Australian televisions, continually drawing huge audiences in both NSW and Queensland, as well as a growing audience in Victoria. Yet for a measly $16 million per year, Channel 9 holds the rights till the end of the 2007 NRL season.

Channel 7, who lost their AFL contract over two years ago have been desperate to find a sport to replace it, and are believed to be willing to offer a number of promotional benefits to the NRL including coverage into non-league heartland areas like Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria are the same times (or even live) as NSW and Queensland currently receive.

Channel 7 are also believed to be trying to go for more than just the current number of two games on Free to Air television each week.

Channel 10 have also been linked to be prepared to offer a deal for the NRL, however what they are prepared to put on the table is not yet known.

The new contract is expected not to include the 2008 World Cup or any international games, with this component to be organised by the Rugby League International Federation