2023 is a massive year for rugby league.
It follows the huge success of the Rugby League World Cup which reached millions in terms of viewers.
Furthermore, this season is the eve of rugby league’s new era under IMG.
But also crucially, it is the final year of some major broadcasting deals in Super League and an update has been given by RL Commercial who are working with IMG to usher in the new era of rugby league.
They revealed that “other players” are in the market for the broadcast rights as they said: “From a broadcast perspective Sky Sports are a long term partner and still continue to be a fantastic partner for the sport. Everybody will be aware they’re in the final year of their contract, we’re in discussions as you would expect.
“There are other properties in the market at the moment, we are actively talking to Sky but helpfully the market is buoyant. There are other players who perhaps weren’t in the market 18 months ago so that prompts good conversations as well. That’s part of the process, I can’t see it concluding imminently, it will be a process but certainly by the middle of the year we’ll hopefully provide an update on the broadcast market.”
They confirmed that the same applied to Channel 4 but revealed that the Channel 4 contract ties in with the Sky contract at the moment:
“Same goes with the Channel 4 contract, that ties in a little bit with the Sky contract at the moment. But soundings from Channel 4 are very positive in terms of continuing their relationship with Super League.
“Again we have to conclude the major domestic rights deal first. The BBC contract runs till the end of 2024 so that’s locked in, obviously they’ve been a long term partner of the sport and we hope they continue that as well. We also have Viaplay in the Championship as well, that concludes at the end of this year as well so it’s a key year clearly.”
So, it could be said that Sky and Channel 4 come hand in hand and thus the sport cannot have Channel 4 without sticking with Sky.