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Thread: Fox Sports is set to walk away from rugby union

  1. #61
    Rookie UnionThug's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    Latest piece from Pandaram in the Oz:

    Current broadcast partners Fox Sports have not signed RA’s nondisclosure agreements and will not, leaving Optus as the lone digital option, despite Qatari network BeIN Sports and streaming service DAZN flouting interest.
    I assume the eloquent panda meant they were FLOATING interest, however, with the definition of flout being to openly disregard, or to mock or scoff, I guess that would probably be appropriate in the circumstances!

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  2. #62
    Veteran valzc's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Shenton Park
    anyone able to post Daily Telegraph article from Pandaram on the broadcast deal (or lack of). Bloody paywalls!

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  3. #63
    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Optus has hosed down suggestions it was close to signing a broadcast deal with Rugby Australia (RA) before coronavirus hit, and gave the code more bad news by saying it won’t be looking to acquire local sports rights in the short term.

    Former RA CEO Raelene Castle resigned last month amid speculation she was in the firing line to be sacked as the sport’s perilous financial position was exposed by the global pandemic.

    One of the major criticisms directed at Castle was her failure to secure a new TV rights deal, having rejected an initial offer from Fox Sports because she believed she could get more money for the sport elsewhere.

    RA was also in broadcast discussions with Optus, and multiple reports have suggested the telco and rugby’s governing body were just days away from signing a deal before coronavirus wreaked havoc by cancelling sports leagues around the world.

    Some believe it was the final nail in Castle’s coffin. Had she been able to come to terms with Optus, the financial boost to rugby may have given her some breathing space in the job. But without anything set in stone and rugby’s cash crisis there for all to see, the sharks were circling and Castle was forced to jump before she was pushed.

    However, Optus Director of Sport Richard Bayliss said on Friday he doesn’t believe the two parties were as close as people think to inking a deal before COVID-19 struck.

    He also said he can’t see Optus, which broadcasts the English Premier League and recently acquired the rights to the Korean K-League, looking to move into any Australian sports in the near future.

    “It’s hard to almost look at that now given what’s happened in rugby since. I think the speculation was out there (about signing a deal with RA) but, to be honest, we weren’t particularly close, nor was it going to happen given COVID,” Bayliss said on the Big Sports Breakfast radio show.

    “Once that popped up, all bets were off. To be honest, we were focusing on football, that’s been our No. 1 sport — our only sport for the last couple of years. And whilst we’d like to go into different sports at some point, I don’t think it was particularly close.

    “Once COVID came along as well, it meant we had to bunker down and focus on our subscribers and keeping people employed, for a start.

    “And who knows what will happen in the future, but certainly in the short term there’s not much chance of us adding any major Australian rights.”

    It’s not what RA wants to hear as The Daily Telegraph reports Fox Sports - owned by News Corp, which publishes - will not return to the negotiating table.

    The broadcaster’s relationship with Castle soured and it will reportedly continue to stay out of discussions even though she is no longer in charge.

    Daily Telegraph rugby reporter Jamie Pandaram said on Twitter it was a “disaster” as RA now needs to look elsewhere for partners who will showcase its product on people’s screens.

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  4. #64
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    It’s not what RA wants to hear as The Daily Telegraph reports Fox Sports - owned by News Corp, which publishes - will not return to the negotiating table.
    Dunno whether this has any legs, but I saw it mentioned in an article discussing the current NRL TV rights argy-bargy with 9 stating that it's not a given that NRL will always be on their network in future. The piece stated that if 9 did walk, Foxtel would have wriggle room to acquire live coverage of Origins, Grand Finals, Tests etc., by walking away from RU and Futbol. They could, as they do now with Rugby, sub-licence content to Ch10 (or 7) to comply with anti siphoning. The NRL talking heads on Fox are giving that line a run too. I suppose it's not entirely impossible that an operator like PVL could also provide 9 with a fait accomplit just like Dave Smith did with Newscorp - leading to Rupert's "we love AFL" dummy spit. If nothing else it enable Rupert to get one back over 9.

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    "The main difference between playing League and Union is that now I get my hangovers on Monday instead of Sunday - Tom David

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