Channel Nine could lose state rights as rival station ‘launches $150m bid’ to steal footy’s crown jewel


Channel Nine could lose state rights as rival station ‘launches $150m bid’ to steal footy’s crown jewel

Peter V’Landis met with Sevens officials this week and V’Landis has a strong working relationship with Racing Seven after an NRL match on Sunday afternoon.

Channel Seven has reportedly launched an audacious bid to wrest the rights to the State of Origin series from rival broadcaster Channel Nine.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’Landis and Code CEO Andrew Abdo met Sevens CEO James Warburton and sporting director Lewis Martin at a Sydney restaurant last week.

According to the Daily Telegraph, they were in talks with the broadcaster’s $150 million bid to broadcast the interstate series on Seven and Fox leagues and streaming services Kayo and 7 Plus.

The State of Origin series is consistently among Australia’s most-watched programs, giving Nine a ratings bonanza (pictured, Queensland after winning the 2023 title).

Footy supremo Peter V’Landis and NRL CEO Andrew Abdo were photographed meeting Seven’s CEO and sporting director at a Sydney restaurant last week.

Game three of State of Origin this year (won by NSW, pictured) was rated higher than a similar game last year.

While the three-match series ranks at or near the top of Australia’s most-watched programs every year, it’s starting to lose some of its luster despite being a ratings bonanza.

Despite a very healthy 3.3 million viewers for this year’s opening game in Adelaide, the number from 2013 is still well up on 3.949 million.

The network’s bid will include men’s, women’s and under-19 interstate games with a commitment that each game will be broadcast not only in the NSW and Queensland markets, but also in the nationally rival AFL market, the publication reported.

Seven and Fox will spend $30 million per year — $10 million per game — over five seasons.

As well as the Origin bid, Seven are also said to want an NRL game for every Sunday afternoon when tendering is reopened.

Seven CEO James Warburton’s Origin bid will be a game-changer for not just sports but Australia’s TV landscape

Everest at Randwick is worth $15 million and is Racing NSW’s showpiece event which V’landys successfully negotiated with Channel Seven for coverage.

Warburton and Martin have an established and strong relationship with V’Landis due to their coverage of Seven’s premier racing carnival, as the footy supremo also leads Racing NSW.

He met with network honchos last month to discuss their ongoing partnership and coverage of the world’s richest horse race, The Everest, which is held annually at Sydney’s Royal Randwick.


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