Telstra Sign Five-Year NRL Deals for Naming and Digital Rights
Wednesday 12 December 2012 2:32 PM
Rugby League fans will for the first time be able to watch matches live on mobile phones and tablets, regardless of their carrier, under a new five-year digital media and sponsorship agreement between Telstra and the Australian Rugby League Commission.
Under the partnership, announced in Sydney today, Telstra will acquire the following properties:
• Exclusive broadcast rights of all NRL matches for mobile and tablet devices*,
• Naming rights to the Premiership and Sunday Football,
• Operation of the NRL website and related team sites, the official NRL app, and the official NRL fantasy games;
• Extensive highlights packages during and after games
• Exclusive post game access/press conferences to mobile and tablet devices
• Extensive signage and marketing activation rights.
*Five matches per round live and three as per Nine Network broadcast times
The National Rugby League and Telstra have cemented the most successful commercial partnership in Australian sport, extending the naming rights for the Telstra Premiership into a record seventeenth season.
Telstra, in partnership with the NRL, will form NRL Digital Media, a unit dedicated to providing fans unprecedented online, mobile and tablet access to the latest in Rugby League action, debate and entertainment for the next five years.
As part of a game-wide digital strategy committed to providing fans with the ultimate digital experience with the game:
• For the first time, Rugby League fans will be able to watch Telstra Premiership, State of Origin and Test matches live to-air on mobile phones and tablets via the Official NRL App on iPhone and Android, regardless of their carrier. Matches on Channel 9 will be simulcast and those on Fox Sports will be live;
• A full-time NRL Digital Media production unit working out of Rugby League Central will be created that is dedicated to providing fans with the best digital content in Australian sport, including unprecedented levels of video, player interviews and special behind-the-scenes insights;
• Rugby League’s technology platforms will be rebuilt from the ground up, with the NRL, NRL clubs, NSWRL, QRL and One Community all slated for new digital solutions that will give fans fun and easy interactive access to all the latest content;
• Fans will have access to extensive highlights packages during and after games, access to an alternative camera angle during the broadcast and to exclusive post-game features and press conferences on their mobile and tablet devices.
Interim ARLC CEO, Shane Mattiske, said the new partnership between Telstra and the ARLC will jointly deliver more fans unprecedented coverage of the game and benefits that flowed through to the sport’s grassroots.
“The renewal of our partnership with Telstra is great for the game and great for all fans," Mr Mattiske said.
“Over twelve years Telstra has been a key partner at every level of the game and we are delighted they have extended their commitment to Rugby League. This extended partnership will see a significant investment in innovation that will deeply engage more fans than ever before in the excitement of Rugby League.
“Telstra’s commitment and enthusiasm to delivering leading edge technology to fans through innovative mobile and ‘tablet’ coverage, a new official app and a great new NRL.com and clubs websites has been a key factor in renewing our association. Telstra is a partner that deeply understands the game and you can’t help but be impressed by what they are committed to achieving over the next five years.”
Mr Mattiske said Rugby League’s ongoing partnership with Telstra would deliver fans unprecedented coverage of the game.
“The Telstra Premiership is the longest running competition naming rights sponsorship in Australian sport and to extend that with the most significant naming rights sponsorship investment in the game’s history is a wonderful indication of the strength of Rugby League’s brand,” Mr Mattiske said.
“Telstra’s proud history in supporting Rugby League and its fans at all levels of the game, from the Telstra Premiership through to the game’s grassroots and community programs, is at the heart of its commitment to providing the investment and latest technology for a digital network that is changing the ways fans connect with the game.
“Together we have achieved significant growth in the game’s digital network over the past few years and this new investment will fast-track its future development and provide fans with unrivalled coverage and engagement with the game.
“Importantly it is a partnership that ensures Rugby League has the opportunity to create further revenue during the life of the agreement as we expand the opportunities for members and fans.”
Telstra CEO, David Thodey, said Telstra was unmatched in its ability and commitment to deliver Rugby League to more Australians and match content will be available to all consumers via the NRL app.
“Australians have embraced smartphones and tablet devices and this partnership provides for us to make the app and its live coverage available to all NRL fans where and when they want it,” Mr Thodey said.
“Whether it is watching live coverage of the Telstra Premiership while they are out and about, catching up on latest news or highlights or competing with friends in fantasy football and tipping, the 2013 season will see Telstra and the NRL deliver an unprecedented experience.
Mr Thodey said that as well as taking the league to a wider audience, the partnership between Telstra and the NRL would support the continued growth, success and enjoyment of the game.
“At NRL games and events, fans will have the opportunity to interact with the sport and their heroes in new and unique ways. Meanwhile we will continue to develop the sport through local community programs," Mr Thodey said.
“Telstra’s sponsorship of the NRL will help connect more Australians to the sport, whether they are elite players, local clubs or the next generation of players and fans."