More live Super League games, length of broadcast deal and the broadcasting ‘back-up’: Rugby League Commercial explains all

LAST month, Rugby League Commercial outlined their plans for more live Super League games and addressed the potential broadcast deal length.

Currently, Sky Sports enjoys the main broadcasting rights but there are only three live Super League fixtures each week during the season – something which RL Commercial managing director Rhodri Jones wants to change.

“I’m trying to think of another example where a sports league doesn’t have all its games available for broadcast,” Jones said.

“And that’s certainly the direction of travel we’re going in.

“There will be more broadcast games available. Define broadcast? I think broadcast streaming, OTT (over-the-top) comes in.

“We’ve got the OurLeague platform ready to go, if we need it. That’s our back-up, depending on the outcome of the domestic rights deal that we hope to conclude.”

That being said, a new broadcast deal will not be multi-year, but likely two or three years.

“The longer-term deals at the moment are for what we’d say gold standard properties so F1, Premier League, tennis, golf, are generally eight, nine, ten-year deals,” Jones continued.

“The reality for us will be two to three years, I would think to start with.

“There’s an element of we are going through a year of transformation and we need to show that it’s not just going to be transformation that we’re going to make changes and changes for good.

“There’ll be an element of a broadcast contract that kind of says ‘OK, we’ll go on the journey with you but you need to show and demonstrate to us that you have changed, and then let’s talk about a long-term deal.

“I think that’s where we’ll end up.”

It’s set to be an extremely interesting time in the world of rugby league as the sport enters into a new era under IMG.