SARU secures big TV deal

2010-04-22 06:56

Johannesburg - SANZAR on Thursday confirmed new broadcast rights agreements for professional rugby competitions across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa over the five-year period from 2011 to 2015.

SANZAR has concluded agreements with SuperSport (Africa), Fox Sports (Australia) and SKY Television (New Zealand), and has reached a heads of agreements for the UK market and is awaiting finalization for the British and Irish Lions tour rights in 2013. Together these represent a significant jump in value on the existing arrangements.

The new agreement is valued at $437 million which is a 35 percent increase on the comparable components of the current five-year agreement which were valued at $323 million.

Agreements for additional territories such as France, North America and Asia are still under negotiation and will add to this total.

The agreements confirmed today reflect a significant growth in the value of core SANZAR competitions and deliver material increases for each of the South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby Unions.

Current SANZAR and NZRU CEO Steve Tew said the agreements reached with Supersport, SKY Television and Fox Sports represent a major vote of confidence in southern hemisphere rugby.

“We believe that rugby is in good health and that its appeal remains strong both in terms of participation and in terms of the interest of our fans across South Africa, New Zealand and Australia,” he said.

“This agreement underlines that and helps secure the new competitions and deliver them  in all three countries and also, importantly, supports the game’s funding which allows all three Unions to continue to develop rugby through our investment in the community and amateur game and the retention of our best players and coaches.”

The new agreements continue the evolution of SANZAR’s broadcasting rights following the original, landmark 10-year agreement which helped launch professional rugby in the southern hemisphere from 1996–2005, and the current five-year agreement which will expire at the end of 2010.

The new agreements have been structured in a different manner to the two earlier broadcasting packages with SANZAR signing directly with broadcasters in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

The new deals compare favourably with the existing agreement – struck with News Limited and SuperSport – for 2006-2010, and the initial 10-year SANZAR rights agreement in place from 1996.

Meanwhile, the proposed changes to the two marquee SANZAR competitions are already well underway.

Melbourne has been confirmed as the 15th Super Rugby Franchise from 2011 in a new conference-based competition.

Progress continues too on plans to include Argentina in a new Four Nations (currently Tri-Nations) competition from 2012.

Tew said the competition changes herald significant new appeal to rugby fans.

Market research undertaken in the SANZAR territories indicates fans place increased importance on local derby contests – which will be enhanced in the new Super Rugby competition – and support the potential evolution of the Tri Nations with the inclusion of Argentina, the third placed nation at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Australian Rugby Union Managing Director and CEO John O’Neill said 2011 would be a transforming season for the game across the SANZAR territories.

“This new broadcasting agreement, coupled with the exciting changes to take effect in Super Rugby next year, presents an opportunity for SANZAR to further enhance the popularity, profile and public support for the code,” he said.

“The implementation of a new and unique Conference format is ground-breaking and it will deliver more compelling Super Rugby on a more frequent basis in each of the three countries. The ‘local derbies’ concept is one that inspires a sense of tribalism and internal rivalry in each country and we will further capitalise on that through playing those matches on a home and away basis.

“These are encouraging times for the game. We came through a difficult financial period that affected sports and businesses across the globe and have subsequently emerged with a superior broadcast deal to the previous two in place from 1996 and 2006.”

Andy Marinos, who represented SARU in discussions as acting managing director of SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd, said: “We’ve reached what is a very good long term deal for SANZAR in what was a difficult economic climate when negotiations started.

“A more sophisticated approach to the allocation of rights as well as the retention of archive rights was achieved to ensure additional value for SANZAR on which to grow and expand the SANZAR competitions.

“We expect to achieve material increases across all territories and this deal will ensure that rugby continues to grow and proposer and sustain our wish  that SANZAR remains the dominant force in world rugby while the inclusion of Argentina also signals our intent to continually expand and develop our competition structures.”


  • Burtfred - 2010-04-22 07:13

    Now watch the ANC go flat out to gain control of rugby in SA. This lucrative deal will attract them like bees to a honeypot.

  • George - 2010-04-22 07:32

    What do such deals mean for South Africans who do not have access to DSTV? It is meaningless to be lucrative yet ordinary South Africans do not have access to viewing Rugby on SABC channels. What a disgrace.....Its such a shame. Thats why South Africans will always stick to soccer cause they can always view games on SABC channels ..Live...

  • Murdoch Trengove - 2010-04-22 07:35

    Nice for SARU but still no light at the end of the tunnel for people like myself who have terrestrial TV. When will the SABC start negotiating to have SUPER 14 and test series broadcast live??? I refuse to fork out the ridiculous amounts charged by DSTV to enjoy this luxury, which in essence is every patriotic South Africans right to enjoy!!

  • Amelam - 2010-04-22 07:38

    This will surely irk Komphela as SARU continues to do well despite his interfering and he has still not managed to drag rugby down to the chaotic state of other sports codes.

  • 50cal - 2010-04-22 07:43

    wonder who was paid the backhand in this deal. Maybe Juliass had his finger in the pie again

  • Walt - 2010-04-22 07:55

    Burtfred, you are so damned right about that one! There will be an all-out "putsch" to displace Hoskins. God save rugby!

  • Emile - 2010-04-22 08:06

    Wait until the ANC hears about this!!! Their long fingers will somehow grab some of this cash. Just wonder how much Bafana Bafana is worth? Maybe $500.00 (including VAT). Now Malema will also want to nationalize rugby. Just shows you; The real world only cares about quality and achievement. Very well done in any case SARU. Good luck in trying to keep the ANC out of this deal.

  • Delano - 2010-04-22 08:06 r someone who sees politics in everthing so no difference from someone line Julius. Get a life or get out.

  • Andre - 2010-04-22 08:08

    @Burtfred. NO SHIT !!!

  • Well Duh! - 2010-04-22 08:24

    If it wasn't for rugby being controlled by dstv they (dstv) would probably have 60% less viewers. They know what's good for them.

  • Ray - 2010-04-22 08:33

    Get ready for the "Too many whites in the team" bull. Time for the govenment to cash in, and neshilinisashion of spots in the cuntry..

  • craig - 2010-04-22 08:36

    they need money to pay for malema court costs

  • Samantha - 2010-04-22 08:43

    Great, however when will we be able to see local matches such as the Curry Cup on local telly?

  • @ George - 2010-04-22 08:45

    That's why we have soccer on TV George. Quality and performance is not for free. You sound just like a member of the ruling party: We want... not we deserve or we will work for it!!!

  • Just a Fan - 2010-04-22 08:46

    Rugby is still only available to the elite! Saru should have tried to have the games air on the national broadcaster - even if they are aired delayed. How is rugby supposed to be incorporate previously disadvantaged peoples when they cant even get to see our teams play.

  • @ Delano - 2010-04-22 08:49

    Quite right there Delano. The only problem is that in South Africa the ANC tends to drag politics into everything - have you been living on the moon for the past decade.

  • anti marinos - 2010-04-22 08:49

    Hierdie Walliese Griek Marinos ken sy storie. Hoop nie sy Stormers strike weer voor die Bulle game nie. Stormers verloor more teen Reds, mark my fu?.,ng words

  • Kalfie - 2010-04-22 08:57

    Burtfred - I think you meant " like flies to a turd".

  • @Murdoch Trengove - 2010-04-22 09:18

    You want luxuries you need to pay for it. I dont have a ferrari, doesnt mean that I am entitled to it. I need to pay for it. So pay for it and then you can watch great rugby.

  • Andre - 2010-04-22 09:19

    @Kalfie LOL, LOL, LOL !!!!!

  • Eddles - 2010-04-22 09:31

    Is this deal really something good for the growth of the sport? I Dont think so!!!! How about the young boy in the township that doesn't have DSTV, Pretty stupid of SARU to hand all the rights to Supersport and then say they want to transform Rugby. So you have a coaching clinic once a year in the township, take the National team and all the cups that we won there for a day. But what happens when the kids go home? Do they have access to rugby then, can they sit back and watch a game on SABC.....SARU better wake up, before the ANC does

  • Myself - 2010-04-22 09:40

    @burtfred and Emile- It is amazing how u critens are obssesed with ANC. You must getv used to the fact that no whitey will ever rule RSA. So you get over yourself and comment on the story line. You evil savages.........

  • Burtfred - 2010-04-22 10:18

    @myself Who mentioned race? Are you assuming that I am non-black, or is it because I'm being honest? Or do you have a problem with you own skin colour, whatever that happens to be?

  • Burtfred - 2010-04-22 10:32

    @ Delano If it is true that "I see politics in everything", maybe it is because the ANC politicians are involved in many things that they should not be involved in. They are involved either directly as a party investment, or indirectly through "cadre deployment" in all sorts of non-political activities. Stories of corruption and conflict of interest are not some creation of my imagination, they are widely documented and even proudly acknowledged by the ANC, often under the banner of "redressing the imbalances of the past". Stories that come to mind are, for example, The Arms Deal, Eskom and Chancellor house, JCI and many, many others. To compare me with Julius Malema is so far off the mark it is hardly worth comment. I am not a member of any political party, and I don't go around rousing the rabble, I don't advocate killing people, and I have never suffered from any Napoleonic or Hitleresque delusions of grandeur. Regarding SA rugby, it is the one sport we have managed to become world champions at, more than once, despite attempts by the ANC to gain control of it. Come to think of it, Julius is probably already making plans to nationalize rugby so he can get his hands in the honeypot. Delano, when you suggest that I should " get a life or get out", you sound just like that ex- minister of safety and security and sometimes communist, Charles Ngkula. We all know how his similar statement in Parliament was treated by reasonable, decent people around the world. I have no intention whatsoever of "getting out" of South Africa. I have every intention of contributing towards a country that is safe, progressive and fair to all her citizens. Just as I have always done. I just don't see yours pals down at Luthuli House being the solution to the problems we have in South Africa. They are actually the problem and yes they are everywhere, in case you haven't noticed.

  • Myself - 2010-04-22 11:19

    @Burtfred you really sound bitter. Anyway I guessyou dont know the role of the government. You are a waste......................

  • @ Eddles - 2010-04-22 11:37

    I think you have just answered your own question without even knowing it. The question should be WHAT IS THE SABC DOING ABOUT BROADCASTING RUGBY !!!. Don't blame DSTV or MNET. SABC wastes all their money on corruption and kak soccer games. Why don't they also fork out a few Dollars for rugby rights?

  • Emile @ Myself - 2010-04-22 11:39

    Big word for a little man!!!. As usual you are missing the point - so typical.

  • The Godfather - 2010-04-22 11:59

    I see a lot of negative comments. You guys who don't have DSTV, it's something you will have to take it up with the SABC.

  • Rugby fan - 2010-04-22 12:10

    Guys I don't have DStv and I would like to watch all the matches live but we should not pick on SARU for making a good business decision. If the SABC was run like a proper business and competitively tendered for the rights to broadcast rugby then we could all be enjoying the sport. Also maybe if all the people in the township paid their TV licence but then again I'm sure the SABC execs will just pay themselves bigger bonuses.

  • DeonL - 2010-04-22 13:16

    To the complainers of no DSTV: Work harder or get an second income like most of us and you can all afford the cheaper DSTV bundles, it is realy worth it! We need more people working in our country and less on welfare!

  • Tommygun - 2010-04-23 02:07

    Please get it to us in Canada. We have to watch rugby on the soccer channal Satanta. Outside of North American sport, soccer is the next most boring game.

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