Broadcast revenue to flow into all parts of rugby

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Thursday’s $285 million broadcast deal could be just the beginning for Australian Rugby.

The 2016-2020 deal announced on Thursday morning covers all domestic and International matches except for the 2016 Spring Tour, which are negotiated separately.

This new deal has already grown 148 per cent on the last negotiated arrangement and forms just a portion of a complex SANZAAR arrangement.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver said the new revenue would filter down to all levels of Rugby.

Pulver was frank about the financial state of the provinces, committing $10 million a year over the next five years to help improve their positions.

“Happy (about their finances) would be an overstatement,” he said.

“We have some work to do there.

“The key beneficiaries of this will be the Super Rugby clubs.

“They have been the recipients of slow declines in their funding in recent years and we need to direct that to them.

“Super Rugby is an enormously important part of the high performance part of our game.

“So we’ll look forward to working with them to really stabilise their financial situation as well.”

While further details around broader funding will be released with the ARU’s strategic plan in the new year, Pulver promised to use the annual $57 million windfall to double the funding into community Rugby.

Pulver was not concerned about the figure being compared to other broadcast deals announced this year, with both NRL and AFL deals in the billions.

“Anything with a ‘B’ in front of it is clearly tempting but we are very, very happy with our relative meagre pickings to achieve 148 per cent growth in revenue from a broadcast outcome,” he said.

“I suspect it is the largest increase of any code. It reflects, I think, the growing status we enjoy in the sporting landscape.

“I’m confident that trend will continue.

“It’s not for us to try and match those codes in terms of broadcast value, it’s up to us to get the right growth that we need for the growth of our game.”

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