Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) has agreed an international rights deal with Fox Sports Australia, an Australian group of sports channels owned by News Corp Australia.
Fox Sports Australia will take the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership to a global audience through a direct-to-consumer international streaming product named Watch NRL. The service will only be accessible outside of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Territories, and will offer overseas fans live coverage of a selection of games from the top-tier Australian rugby league competition.
Subscribers of Watch NRL will also be able to watch the Holden State of Origin Series – the annual best-of-three series between state representative sides from New South Wales and Queensland – and Australia’s men's and women's international home fixtures.
"This is a fantastic result for fans outside of Australia and it means that more people will have the chance to watch rugby league live than ever before," said Todd Greenberg, chief executive of the NRL. “We're fortunate that we have passionate and enthusiastic NRL fans right throughout the world and many of them are just as vocal and committed as our local fans that live where each of our teams are based."
Patrick Delany, chief executive at Fox Sports, added: "When we negotiated the new NRL broadcast deal in 2015, News Corp committed to helping grow the game in Australia and overseas.
"In 2018, that promise comes to life when Fox Sports delivers the world's first international NRL streaming service to feature every NRL game plus Fox League's famous entertainment shows – anywhere, anytime live and on demand."