Rugby league fans across the world will now be able to watch all games from the NRL, after they and the IMG approved a 5-year agreement that guarantees immediate access to the NRL for UK, US, Asia and Pacific-based fans.
The agreement means that overseas fans have world-wide access to all NRL games, as well as State of Origin, Test matches played in Australia, the City v Country clash and the NRL All-Stars game.
The agreement will also provide NRL fans across the world with:
â€¢ Guaranteed television coverage in key markets including the UK, USA, Asia, and Pacific;
â€¢ Access to all games in HD either through television or online platforms, as well as access to a 30-minute weekly highlights show;
â€¢ A free digital NRL Channel for international fans featuring match vision and a mobile NRL app;
â€¢ All NRL and State of Origin matches available on a live or near-live basis via television or online, mobile applications, smart TVs or other media platforms;
â€¢ International fans in regions where there is no TV or IPTV rights deals in place will be able to access matches for free on a leading web destination, such as YouTube or USTREAM.
Shane Mattiske, the NRL's interim Chief Executive says that the agreement gives international rugby league fans the chance to feel included, to watch their favourite players in the NRL, and gives the game itself increased exposure around the world.
â€œWhatâ€™s exciting for Rugby League fans around the world, is that we now have in place a range of different options for them to watch matches across television and digital mediums,â€ said Mattiske.
â€œTo have guaranteed television exposure in key markets such as the UK, USA and Pacific is really significant for growing the gameâ€™s international exposure.
â€œAs IMG Media finalises deals in markets around the world, we will be able to confirm the processes in which fans will be able to tune in to watch all the excitement of the Telstra Premiership and the best representative contests in sport, including State of Origin.â€
IMG Media is also 100% committed to ensuring that rugby league is shown across the world, with Chris Guinness, the Senior Vice-President and Head of Asia Pacific at IMG Media, also excited about the new deal that has been agreed to.
â€œWe are very excited about extending our relationship with the NRL over the next five years,â€ he said.
â€œThe relationship has evolved from traditional international TV distribution to a complete 360 degree involvement covering all aspects of the NRLâ€™s international media assets and we look forward to working closely with the NRL in this new exciting era.â€