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Rugby Australia Releases Broadcast Rights Documentation

R
ugby Australia have released its largest and most comprehensive collection of rugby broadcast rights to date, with prospective broadcasters receiving documentation to begin the next phase of the negotiations.

With Rugby Australia’s current broadcast agreement set to expire on December 31, 2020, and the Super Rugby competition still without a finalised competition structure, Rugby Australia has informed prospective broadcasters to return submissions by September 4, 2020.

The rights package offers broadcasters a range of options or an ‘entire package’ rights ownership offering, including:

  • The Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup for the Australian Men’s national team, the Wallabies
  • International Tests for the Australian Women’s national team, the Wallaroos
  • A ‘State of Union’ competition between New South Wales and Queensland, with players to play for their state of birth or where they played their club rugby
  • An Australian domestic Super Rugby competition including five Australian teams, or, a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition that includes five Australian teams.
  • A four-week Super Eight competition, to be played at the conclusion of the respective domestic Super Rugby competitions, and be a cross-over Championship between the top two teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as well as one team from Japan and South America
  • A short form National Club Championship between the top Premier Club teams in Australia following the completion of the respective club competitions
  • New South Wales’ Shute Shield competition as well as Queensland’s Premier Club Rugby competition
  • A showcase of the best schoolboy rugby in Australia

Interim Rugby Australia CEO, Rob Clarke, said the broadcast rights packages that are being presented put the best interest of Australian rugby at every level first.

“We will do whatever is in the best interests of Australian rugby and we’ve been working hard on a variety of competition models, not just for Super Rugby but for every level of the game,” Clarke said.

“We have a whole range of new rights that we’re including into this package and we’re very excited by some of that new content.

“At Super Rugby level for 2021, we have incorporated two options, one is a domestic only model and the other is a trans-Tasman model.

“We have some new initiatives we’re also incorporating; a State of Union Series, which is our State of Origin, which is new content.

“A Super 8 Series, which is a four-week long crossover competition at the end of our domestic competition that includes the top-ranked teams from New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and South America.

“We also have a short form National Club Rugby Championship that we would like to launch with some of the best clubs in the country at the end of the club rugby seasons.

“Then of course, there are the rights to the New South Wales’ Shute Shield and Queensland Premier Club Rugby competitions, in addition to a showcase Series of the best schoolboy rugby around the country.

“When you look at it that way, there is a package of rights from grassroots right to the top of the International game and it’s a really high-quality offering for any prospective broadcaster, and one that we’re extremely excited about,” he said.