The NRL is set to be the next step in its evolution as the Australian rugby league league (ARL) is set for its first season in 2017.
The new television rights deal between Fox Sports and Nine Sports has the ARL and NRL looking at a significant increase in their TV contracts, with the two sides likely to have an agreement for a combined $7.4 billion.
The two clubs are expected to announce the terms of their deals shortly, which could see them push the number of games per season to between 30 and 40.
The ARL will be the NRL’s biggest television deal to date, surpassing the current $7 billion deal with Fox Sports.
It is understood the NRL will pay around $1 billion in TV rights, with an additional $500 million to be paid out over four years.
The NRL has previously indicated that it will pay between $2 billion and $3 billion for a television deal, although it will have to work with other broadcasters to finalise its deal.
A deal for a new home ground would not be a huge surprise given the ARR’s struggles in recent years, with just one of its games played in 2016 and 2017, and just one win for the club last season.
The deal has been in the works for some time, with a new arena being planned for Penrith Stadium in 2018.
The $2.2 billion deal would see the ARRL receive a $1.6 billion return, with Fox agreeing to invest $500,000 per game into the ARLC’s football operation.
The AFL has been on a roll with the television rights deals, having been awarded $4 billion worth of television rights over the last two seasons.
The total value of the AFL’s television deals is estimated to be around $10 billion, with Sky, the NRL and the ARI signing up to the same deal.
The ABC is expected to also be a major player in the new deal, with some of the networks set to make significant investments in their television rights for 2017.