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 five-year digital media and sponsorship agreement between Telstra and the Australian Rugby League Commission, announced today.
Under the partnership, Telstra will have:
- 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.
Telstra Media working alongside Australian Rugby League Commission will deliver a game-wide NRL digital strategy committed to providing fans with the ultimate digital experience.
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 will be established working out of Rugby League Central and featuring a large full-time staff focussed to deliver and provide fans with the best digital content in Australian sport, including unprecedented levels of video, player interviews and special behind-the-scenes.
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 and to exclusive post-game features and press conferences on their mobile and tablet devices.
Interim ARLC CEO, Shane Mattiske, said the new partnership 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 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 grass-roots 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.”
Question time at Telstra Experience Centre
From left to right: Rick Ellis Group Managing Director Telstra Media, David Thodey CEO Telstra, John Grant Chairman Australian Rugby League Commision, Shane Mattiske Interim ARLC CEO
Telstra Chief Executive Officer, Mr 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,” he said.
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,” he said.
*Five matches per round live and three as per Nine Network broadcast times