Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:49 PM
If we take a look at the options here -
Premier Sports - They signed up for a 3 year deal last time, so a 4 year one isn't totally out of the question. It depends with the new rights negotiators if they are playing hardball or not. Premier may well have got them for dirt cheap last time - plus it was technically sharing with Sky. We don't know how well they do in the viewing figures, but I guess a lot of people subscribe to them purely for RL.
ESPN - Unlikely. It's quite likely ESPN UK is set to wind down it's operation here (ESPN America and Classic will probably stay). It looks like they are going to sell their last major rights - the FA Cup with 1 year left to run - to BT.
BT- Unknown quantity - NRL would be cheap (for them) filler. They won't particularly care that their channel will launch in the middle of the NRL season, as they'll have the playoffs and Grand Final to launch with. That said, I think it's not exactly likely but their strategy has been hard to predict so it can't be ruled out.
SKY - They love the big events - State of Origin, playoffs, final - but don't seem to be interested enough to commit to the whole year. It could well be Sky are trying to wangle the same share deal as the past three years, but the negotiators may want an "all or nothing" stance. Pure speculation, but it would be interesting to see if Sky got the whole season for the big games at a price which would be cheap for them, but out of the reach of Premier.
Interesting to see what will happen, although the delay in an announcement implies there could be interest from other parties.
Play off mini league winner - 2002. Bronze Medalist - 2003. Big Split Group Winner - 2006. Minor Stupidship - 2005, 2006. Cup Silver Medalist - 2008, 2009
CHAMPION - 2005, 2009, 2010