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V’landys Insists NRL And Broadcasters Are Unified

V’landys Insists NRL And Broadcasters Are Unified

Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman, Peter V’landys, has insisted the NRL is united with its broadcast partners as the league continues plans to return to action on May 28.

V’landys had lengthy meetings with the league’s broadcast partners, Foxtel and Nine Network on Friday, and all three parties agreed to keep developments confidential, but V’landys said everything went well.

“It was an extremely constructive meeting,” V’landys said.

“It all went extremely well.

“The partners are united,” he said.

This meeting comes after Channel Nine launched an attack on the NRL’s plans to restart the season at the end of May, claiming the league had poor decision-making and long-term mismanagement from the highest levels.

Nine also told the stock exchange they would save as much as $130 million if the season were cancelled, as they held concerns over the revenue they would receive with games scheduled in empty arenas.

This led to Nine saying they would like to re-negotiate their free-to-air broadcast deal with the NRL, to which V’landys also said he is open to negotiating an extended TV deal beyond 2022, which would need the cooperation of both partners.

Foxtel, on the other hand, supported the NRL’s decision to bring live sport competition back, as they desperately want live content both for their pay TV model and Kayo streaming service.

With six weeks before the NRL’s planned return date, the league will continue conversations with broadcasters, as they further develop a clearer structure of what the rest of the 2020 Premiership season would look like.

Early reports have indicated the NRL would look to extend the season beyond the initially planned October date, with a further 18-rounds to be played, with every club playing each other once, along with extra rival matches.

The proposed structure would also include the State of Origin competition being played as late as November, following the Grand Final, however, the league is unable to give any feedback from the broadcast partner meeting on how this plan was received.

As the NRL continues to plough ahead with the season return, the New Zealand Warriors have been given approval from the nation’s government to travel to Australia, despite strict travel restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

The Warriors are now awaiting an exemption from the Australian government that would allow them to quarantine for 14 days after entering the country at a recreational facility at Lennox Head on NSW’s far north coast instead of being forced to quarantine at a hotel.

If the Queensland government relaxes its border restrictions, the Lennox Head facility would make it easier for the team to travel if NRL games are played in Queensland, otherwise the team may have to relocated to a central Sydney location.

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