Posted: 22 August, 2012 by The Grill Team

Fox Sports Boss Describes NRL TV Rights Negotiations As "Torrid"

Tags: Fox Sports, NRL TV Rights, Patrick Delany

Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delany has described the NRL TV rights negotiations as "torrid" as more information about the $1 Billion paydeal come to light.

"I've been in the media business for 16 year, and this was one of the hardest environments," Patrick Delany told The Grill Team.

"We've been in discussions with the NRL since the beginning of the year but the last six weeks have been clinically run and as a participant torrid."

Fox Sports Boss "Torrid" Discussions

LISTEN: Patrick Delaney Grill Team Interview

(Can't play audio above? Download the MP3 here)

The Fox Sports CEO told Matty Johns it was a close run thing with any of the three free-to-air channels being able to secure the NRL rights.

"I'm hearing Channel Ten was in there with a very strong deal and so the whole thing was up in the air."

Delany added "that didn't happen in the AFL deal."

The Fox Sports boss also denied allegations that they were in bed with Channel Nine from the beginning.

"We made it very clear to all three that what we wanted to keep Super Saturday," Delany said adding "the key thing for us was to get a Sunday evening game so we won't need that red button so often."

"Nine made a commitment very early that they would stick with us on exactly what we want and they also made a commitment on production," the Fox Sports chief said.

How The Deal Affects NRL Clubs And Expansions

LISTEN: Matty Johns On How Deal Will Affect The Clubs

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"Firstly, a lot of people are surprised that the salary cap has only gone up to $600,000 next year. It's a good move," Triple M's Matty Johns says.

If you go back to the Super League days, all of a sudden clubs were flushed with funds. Within two years, they spent it all.

People are questioning [the rise in the salary cap] - I explain it like this. It's like you winning the Lotto, and in your mind you'll give 100,000 to one of your kids. Do you give it to her straight away? No, because by the time she needs it, she would have spent it," Johns explained. "So you put it away... and spoon feed it to her."

"The clubs currently get $4.35 million from the NRL, now it's going to go up to $5.05 million, which is a good increase," Geyer

"You never know what's going to happen in the future, and the game needs to run at a profit," Johns added.

In the wake of the TV rights deal, any new teams or expansion into new markets has effectively been shut down, something which affects Triple M's Geyer deeply.

"It's a sad day... I know that at the moemnt the game is prospering unbelievably, but I'd love to see us as a fully national competition," Geyer said.

I'm also going to cop on the chin that we're not going to have [new teams] for five years, because that means for the next five years they'll knuckle down and make this the biggest competition," Geyer said.

"It's a bitter pill to swallow... but you bring in teams and it spreads the talent too thin," Johns said, clearly a fan of the clampdown on NRL team expansion.


Tags: Fox Sports, NRL TV Rights, Patrick Delany

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