The [Serious] Broadcast Rights Negotiations thread

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Re: The [Serious] Broadcast Rights Negotiations thread

Post by pussycat »

AFL could face real challenges to secure 2017-2021 TV rights deal with clubs on league’s back

Jon Ralph
Herald Sun
August 20, 2014 8:00PM

The AFL might have to brace for tough negotiations when it comes to the next TV rights deal.

THE AFL has been warned it faces real challenges to secure a $1.5 billion TV rights deal as clubs urge the league to extract every dollar from the next rights agreement.

The league will start official negotiations for the 2017-2021 deal over the off-season with Nine, Ten, Seven and Foxtel.

Club bosses believe the AFL needs to extract $1.5-$1.8 billion given the AFLPA’s likely cash grab and discontent from clubs about equalisation taxes.

But leading media analyst Steve Allen warned yesterday the expectation of untold riches was not supported by the perilous balance sheets of the AFL’s suit

The AFLPA’s collective bargaining agreement expires ahead of the 2017 season and new boss Paul Marsh will push for significant pay rises after modest increases in recent review.

Poor clubs want more money and the anger from rich clubs is apparent over equalisation luxury taxes that will bite hard, with a review of those deals also coming after the 2016 season.

The AFL has also tipped more money than first budgeted into expansion sides Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney.

The TV rights produce 70 per cent of the league’s wealth and in principle the league should be primed for a big increase on the last $1.258 billion deal.

The AFL will secure a massive increase in digital rights, has a Thursday night package to sell, and has all options on the table about selling off individual timeslots to all networks.

Allen said yesterday those positives were offset by the financial position of networks and ratings up only fractionally this year.

“I don’t think there will be another bumper deal, I think it is fully priced,” Allen said.

“They will get an increase because they can create some competitive tension, but if you analyse the position of each of the major player, why would they substantially increase their bids?”

“Ten is a basket case. Would their shareholders be happy about funding another round of rights?

“The audience for Seven has bounced around and they haven’t suffered under their deal but have they gained? Are they prepared to bid a lot more?

“Nine have been involved before but historically the NRL and AFL are vital enemies for revenue and ratings. I don’t think Nine having both sits comfortably with them.

“The AFL would say we want Friday nights on your main channel and the NRL would say get stuffed, we have that timeslot.

“Most sporting rights are not getting close to fully priced. Nine is publicly listed, Ten is publicly listed, Seven is quasi-listed and they can’t do stupid things because execs will be fired.”

Telstra paid $153 million for the AFL’s digital rights and the expansion in that marketplace alone will guarantee a rise in the league’s TV rights deal.

Some clubs believe the league will secure a similar jump in rights to the one that saw the AFL go from a $780 million deal to $1.258 billion only five years later.

But while Ten boss Hamish McLennan is on record as keen for a slice of the rights, it is believed it could afford only a game per week at most. ... 7031143151
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Re: The [Serious] Broadcast Rights Negotiations thread

Post by pussycat »

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Apr 26 2015 at 4:04 PM
Updated Apr 26 2015 at 8:30 PM

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Rugby league sparks $3b in TV rights scrum

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State of Origin rugby league is set to be the centre of billion dollar rights negotiations. State of Origin rugby league is set to be the centre of billion dollar rights negotiations. Anthony Johnson

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by John Stensholt

A $3 billion bidding frenzy between three free-to-air television networks and pay-TV provider Foxtel for sports rights has been sparked by rugby's league's decision to enter the market a year ahead of schedule in an effort to steal a march on rival code AFL.

Cashed-up incumbent free-to-air broadcaster Nine Entertainment Co is prepared to pay a record amount for sports rights to keep its rugby league rights, but will face strong competition from Seven West Media and Network Ten.

Nine's rivals are particularly interested in the three-match State of Origin series,usually among the highest rating of any TV show each year. NRL chief executive Dave Smith had indicated he wants the networks to bid for Origin as a separate asset, believing a move could unlock significant value for the sport and potentially valuing the series at between $50 million to $100 million alone.

The NRL's move is expected also spark intense negotiations across the networks and Foxtel and Fox Sports Australia as all parties seek to cut joint venture deals to potentially spread the financial burden the new contracts will cause. "It is unlikely any free-to-air network can exclusively own both the AFL and NRL," one source said.

Ten, which has struggled in the ratings and needs a significant boost to its balance sheet, is prepared to cut deals with other networks in an attempt to gain a foothold in either sport. Its involvement in any talks will bring the competitive tension both the NRL and AFL are seeking.
Huge lob

Seven, meanwhile, could lob a huge bid for State of Origin and force Nine to dig deep to keep all rugby league free-to-air rights. Meanwhile, Foxtel and Fox Sports are likely to push for a NRL deal similar to that it already has with AFL, where it broadcasts every match live, some of which are simulcast on free-to-air. Fox Sports currently shows only five of eight NRL games live.

Foxtel and Ten could big together, particularly if a long-mooted deal for the pay-TV operator to take a 14.9 per cent stake in Ten comes to fruition.

Mr Smith told network bosses on Friday the sport was keen to commence negotiations on a deal to follow its current $1.2 billion broadcast rights contract with Nine, Fox Sports Australia and Telstra that expires in 2017.

It means rugby league is in the market a full year ahead of usual, as sports usually try to sign contracts about a year of the end of current deals, and at the same time as the AFL. The NRL is also free for the first time to negotiate without a "first or last rights" clause that previously compelled it to offer matching rights to the incumbent broadcaster.
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Re: The [Serious] Broadcast Rights Negotiations thread

Post by Beaussie »

Sounds like good news to get some competition into the bidding. Personally, I'd like to see Channel 7,10 and Foxtel share the rights. Always thought Channel 10 was great for the promotion of the game in the northern states in particular and would love to see a return of shows like Before the Game and the Fifth Quarter. Just no Robert Walls :****
Channel Nine ready to tackle AFL broadcast rights
Date June 9, 2015 - 7:30PM
Jon Pierik and John Stensholt

Channel Nine has signalled it is keen to claim a slice of the AFL broadcast rights for the first time in a decade.

The executive charged with leading Nine's bid, Jeff Browne, met AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan last week, indicating the network's interest in securing one match a round.

This would likely be a Saturday game, ensuring Nine can preserve its coverage of live NRL matches on a Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

Nine's move comes as the bidding for AFL rights is set to heat up after McLachlan held a series of meetings with TV executives, including Seven's chief executive Tim Worner and his Network Ten counterpart Hamish McLachlan during the past fortnight.

The AFL is set to tell the free-to-air networks, Foxtel and Telstra to begin official work on the next rights deal by the end of June.

Nine's bid for one AFL match could put it in direct competition with Ten, which has also signalled an interest in regaining a piece of the action, while incumbent free-to-air rights holder Seven is keen to keep at least the majority of its rights.

The AFL wants all broadcasters to seriously bid for the rights, believing this would inject enough competitive tension with Seven and Foxtel to ensure it reaches its desired deal of more than $1.7 billion – up from the current five-year contract of $1.25 billion, including digital rights with Telstra, which expires in 2016.

Nine last shared the AFL rights from 2002 to 2006, with Ten and Fox Footy. The network was praised for beefing up coverage of the marquee Friday-night games and turning these into more of a "news" event, while also showing matches on a Sunday. However, it would lose the rights when that deal expired, and was replaced by the returning Seven.

Browne had recently been asked by McLachlan to help the league's broadcast negotiations, with the AFL keen for a new deal to be in place by the end of the year before expiring after the 2016 campaign.

However, the former Nine CEO and one-time AFL lawyer was head-hunted by several media outlets, and chose Nine on a deal reportedly worth up to $1 million. The Nine contract also allows him to play a pivotal role in the bid for the NRL rights. These negotiations have been brought forward by rugby league chiefs in a bid to avoid networks from over-spending on the AFL rights. ... hjycn.html
"One in every 24 Australians is now a member of an AFL club, a sign that the national reach of Australian football has never been greater," League CEO Gillon McLachlan said.
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