Rugby Australia has signed a three-year deal worth $100 million with Nine Entertainment Co. which will see Super Rugby games shown on free-to-air television for the first time.
Starting next year, the contract ends a 25-year partnership between News Corporation’s Foxtel and the code in Australia.
All Super Rugby AU matches will be live and ad-free on Nine’s video-on-demand streaming service Stan, as well as Super W and all games from New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa.
The Nine Network will also screen Saturday night’s Super Rugby AU match live, which is a first for the code, as well as finals matches.
Stan will also stream the Rugby Championship, Bledisloe Cup, Wallaroos tests, as well as all inbound tests for Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina with select games also broadcast free-to-air on Nine.
Club rugby games in both NSW and Queensland are also included in the landmark deal.
The parties reached in-principle agreement, which is now subject to final sign-off by the SANZAAR Unions.
RA interim boss Rob Clarke said the deal would give fans more access to all levels of rugby.
“This is a landmark deal that includes everything in the show-bag, and it gives more Australians more access to more rugby than ever before,” Clarke said in a statement.
“Australian Rugby is transforming with an exciting future ahead, and this innovative partnership enables us to fast-track that growth from the grassroots up as well as showcase and promote the game like never before.
“We’re particularly pleased for Super Rugby to be live on free-to-air for the first time in its history.
“We’re also thrilled to partner with streaming service Stan, which now boast more than two million Australian subscribers and are growing at a rapid rate.
“We’ve recognised that the broadcast landscape has changed, and we’re changing with it.”
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