NRL and Fox Sports reach broadcast deal extension agreement

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Fox League will remain the home of the NRL after the announcement of an extended broadcast deal with Foxtel until the end of 2027.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys and Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany reached the agreement after weeks of negotiations and comes hours before the restart of the NRL season.

The deal, which keeps live NRL on Fox League for an additional five years after the expiry of the current deal in 2022, is a massive win for rugby league fans and Foxtel customers who won't miss a minute of the action.

The deal provides certainty for the next five years with an extended Foxtel partnership until 2027, and the next three years with Nine with the renewal of the existing contract until 2022.

In a media release on Thursday, ARLC Chairman Peter V'landys thanked both broadcast partners and said the agreement was a win for fans, the game and all partners.

"I want to thank Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany and Nine CEO Hugh Marks for reaching a broadcast agreement that puts the fans and the game's future first," Mr V'landys said.

"I am delighted to have worked with our long-standing partners Foxtel and Nine to reshape and resume the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership. It is significant that on one of the most important days in our game's history, we have finalised the deal to ensure its future.

"Our negotiations were tough but always in a spirit of goodwill and shared ambitions for the betterment of rugby league. We could not have reached our May 28 restart ambitions without the teamwork and collaboration of our partners."

The agreement with broadcasters continues the current structure:

- Foxtel will show all eight games every weekend - including five exclusive telecasts each weekend;

- Nine will continue to televise three games - Thursday and Friday nights, plus Sunday afternoon;

- The last five Saturday night games of each season will continue to be broadcast on Foxtel and on Nine in the build up to the Finals series;

- Nine will continue its exclusive coverage of the three State of Origin matches, to be held this year on November 4, 11 and 18.

"Foxtel is incredibly pleased to support the NRL through this difficult period and to have footy back on Foxtel this weekend, every round, every game, live and ad free during play," Mr Delany said.

"This is a great outcome for footy, for fans and for players. It's also a hugely important signal to everyone in Australia, and around the world, that we will get through these times, and we can keep players and coaching staff safe while we all enjoy the game.

"The agreement between Foxtel and the NRL extends our existing broadcast rights for a further 5 years and cements our position as the Home of NRL until 2027. It provides the NRL with the certainty to continue to develop the status of the game and gives fans the go-to destination for the best of NRL, all in one place.

"Being back on the field and back on air tonight doesn't happen without leadership. I want to acknowledge Peter V'landys and everyone at the NRL and the clubs for their passion to get the game back. It's been outstanding.

"We have also had incredible support from the New South Wales and Queensland Governments and from Prime Minister Morrison. It really has been a team Australia effort and it shows us all what can be accomplished through co-operation, even in the most difficult of times."