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NRL To Block Telstra Streaming Matches From 2023

The NRL will stop Telstra from streaming matches from 2023, with the league reportedly aiming to renew the broadcast deal with Nine for a further five-years after 2022.

The decision comes within the recently signed broadcast deal extension with Foxtel, which is owned 65 percent by News Corp and 35 percent by Telstra, through to 2027, that stipulates Foxtel is prohibited from on-selling the digital rights on mobile for the NRL in the 2023-2027 cycle.

Telstra, the NRL’s naming rights partner through to 2022, is reportedly upset with the code according to The Sydney Morning Herald, with a spokesperson confirming Telstra would not hold the mobile digital rights to the NRL beyond 2022.

“We are… disappointed to learn the NRL through their agreement with Foxtel has decided not to make those digital rights on mobile available beyond 2022,” the spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The NRL has maintained that protecting the digital rights to the competition will increase the value of its free-to-air broadcast deal, with plans to begin negotiations with Nine next month for the 2023-27 cycle.

The move to block Telstra from streaming matches will likely sweeten the deal for Nine, who would be able to show all games through the free-to-air television channel, along with the 9Now streaming app, without competition from the Telstra Live Pass mobile broadcast platform.