Forget TV: sport has gone mobile.
Rugby League fans can watch matches live on smartphones and tablets – regardless of their carrier for the first time, as part of the latest Telstra – NRL digital media sponsorship deal announced in Sydney today.
Under the new five-year deal, Telstra receives exclusive rights to all NRL matches for mobile and tablets (five live matches per round and 3 shown the same time as Nine and Fox Sports), shown via the Official NRL App on iOS and Android devices.
Telstra also bags the naming rights to the Premiership and Sunday Football, post game access/press conferences, highlights packages during and after games, and will operate the NRL’s new website and related team sites, the official NRL app and fantasy games.
Rugby League’s technology platforms will also be rebuilt from scratch, with the NRL, NRL clubs, NSWRL, QRL and One Community all set for new digital solutions.
Interim ARLC CEO, Shane Mattiske, said the new deal “is great for the game and great for all fans.”
“Over twelve years Telstra has been a key partner at every level of the game and we are delighted they have extended their commitment to rugby league. This extended partnership will see a significant investment in innovation that will deeply engage more fans than ever before in the excitement of Rugby League.”
Telstra did not disclose the value of the five year deal, believed to be worth in the region of $100m.
However, the sum Telstra coughed up for NRL rights reflects “the significant growth in reach of digital content on mobile and other digital devices since the last deal was signed and what we foresee in the digital media space looking forward,” a spokesperson told SmartHouse.
Telstra CEO, David Thodey, said Telstra was unmatched in its ability and commitment to deliver Rugby League to more Australians and match content will be available to all consumers via the NRL app.
“Australians have embraced smartphones and tablet devices and this partnership provides for us to make the app and its live coverage available to all NRL fans where and when they want it,”
Telstra has also pledged to continue to develop the rugby code through local community programs.