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Foxtel And Kayo Face Off Against Nine And Stan For Rugby Australia Rights

F
oxtel has offered Rugby Australia around $35-40 million for its broadcasting rights, including a package which will see games broadcast for free on Kayo.

Foxtel have offered to put Super Rugby games outside of streaming service Kayo Sports’ paywall as part of its pitch to win the battle for Rugby Australia’s broadcast rights.

The pay-TV operator revealed a new “freemium” element to Kayo on Thursday in what was considered to be a major turn from the strict paywall model that was introduced when it launched in 2018.

Foxtel had offered Rugby Australia for their games to broadcast for free on Kayo as an alternative to an offer from Nine Entertainment Co.

Nine are reportedly not looking to sign a joint broadcast partnership with Foxtel as they seek to get Super Rugby on streaming site ‘Stan’, which would be a whole new look for the platform.

This announcement from Foxtel and the free-to-air Kayo bid looks to shut out Stan and Nine, as the attention starts to turn to a battle between Kayo Sports’ and Stan for the rights.

Former Rugby Australia boss, Raelene Castle, was determined to have more matches on free-to-air television to build a bigger fanbase, before being let go earlier in the year.

Part of Nine’s pitch – which caught Rugby Australia’s attention given the governing body’s desire for more reach – is to play a Saturday night Super Rugby match each week live on one of its free-to-air channels.

Whether the matches appear on Nine, 9Go! or 9Gem isn’t expected to be a sore point for Rugby Australia, given Super Rugby games have never been broadcast by a free-to-air network.

Under Nine’s $30 million proposal, Wallabies Tests, the Rugby Championship and a game of Super Rugby would air on the television network while other Super Rugby matches would be broadcast live on subscription streaming service Stan.

Negotiations are still on-going between Rugby Australia and their possible broadcast partners; however, the way Rugby is watched could change forever if Nine and Stan claim the rights.