Nine Entertainment Co. (ASX:NEC) announced to the ASX this morning that the company has signed an agreement for premium National Rugby League (NRL) broadcast rights for the 2018 to 2022 seasons.
The announcement will be music to the ears of all NRL fans. Under the agreement NEC will have exclusive Free-to-Air rights to broadcast 4 premium live games a week on each of Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons, as well as the Finals series, State-of-Origin, and other special event matches. The agreement also includes all free streaming rights for these games. The NRL may elect to grant the pay simulcast rights for certain games, but otherwise the live distribution of these games across any free visual media is exclusive to NEC.
Over the entire rights period the NEC’s average cost amounts to $185m per annum, inclusive of contra, however will be reduced if the NRL elects to grant pay simulcast rights for certain games.
NRL fans will enjoy a vastly improved Free-to-Air service with four premium live games each week, more than doubling the live coverage to over 270 hours per season, all of which will be available free on channel nine television and digital media.
CEO of NEC, David Gyngell, commented: “Rugby League is part of Nine’s DNA. This is a transformational outcome for supports, Rugby League and Nine, enabling viewers to see the best of the NRL, live and free, 4 days per week, anywhere, on any device. As the audience for television fragments, the value and marketing power of free, live premium sport across multiple media cannot be underestimated.”
The last twelve months have been difficult for NEC as the company’s share price has fallen over 40 per cent since its high in June, due to a reduction in earnings reported earlier this year. NEC’s earnings have suffered as a result of a weak Free-to-Air advertising market. By adding the NRL to it’s Free-to-Air broadcast, NEC hopes to spur view count and in turn grow its advertising interest.
Author: Ben Visser
Aug 10, 2015
Ben is a Wise-owl equity analyst focusing on ASX blue-chips stocks. Ben has a Bachelor of Business in Finance majoring in property valuations and management. In his role at Wise-owl Ben conducts in-depth fundamental and technical analysis which helps him to find profitable investment opportunities on the ASX and abroad.