As questions remain over what Super League will look like in 2024 from a broadcasting perspective with every game to be shown by Sky Sports but no further details yet available, the NRL have stepped up their plans to reach a global audience.
The NRL are already headed to Las Vegas at the start of 2024 and in a move to ensure the growth of the competition further they are in talks over streaming games with a company worth millions in the US.
According to WA Today, the NRL has begun talks with FanDuel, a US based betting company, over a potential live-streaming contract which would see rugby league matches shown on its platform to tap into the expanding American sports wagering market.
With the historic Las Vegas double-header that will open the NRL season looming on the horizon, Australian Rugby League Commission boss Peter V’landys and the NRL’s chief executive Andrew Abdo have stepped up plans to link with an official American wagering partner ahead of 2024.
FanDuel are a wagering company worth $US31 billion ($AUS48 billon). They are seen as the favoured contender, given its massive size and popularity in the United States.
According to NRL sources, negotiations are ongoing and the prospect of offering vision of live matches for sportsbooks in the US to run directly on its platforms has also been discussed.
This kind of model has previously been used by Australians in the case of horse and greyhound racing. They have countered more than a decade of segregated television rights by providing pictures to online bookmakers.
While this deal is far from complete, a partnership with FanDuel seems almost inevitable due to the ties in place between the NRL and FanDuel already. This is because its parent company is the Irish-based Flutter who also own rugby league’s official Australian betting partner Sportsbet.
But what about Super League? Well a streaming service has long been rumoured and according to IMG they are developing an OTT which is a form of streaming services.
How this will play into Super League coverage in 2024 and beyond is as yet unclear. It is also unclear whether or not every game will be available on main Sky channels or only available via the red button.