Network Ten signs with Rugby
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has announced Network Ten as the organisation's new free-to-air broadcast rights holder over the 2013 to 2015 period.
According to an official press release, under terms of the new three-year agreement Network Ten will replace Channel Nine as the free-to-air rights holder for all Wallabies Test matches played in the Southern Hemisphere in addition to select Test matches that Australia's national rugby union side plays in Europe.
Network Ten's latest acquisition includes television rights to all three Tests in next year's British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.
Additionally, Network Ten will air a weekly Super Rugby highlights package.
Though financial terms of the agreement were not officially released, Australian newspaper Herald Sun is reporting the agreement to be worth roughly US$2.5 million annually.
"We are delighted to welcome Ten as the new free-to-air home for rugby from 2013 to 2015," said ARU managing director and chief executive John O'Neill. "We look forward to working with them knowing rugby will be the primary football code in the network's programming stable. It’s important for us given the exciting times ahead - including next year’s highly-anticipated tour of Australia by the British and Irish Lions. The Lions Tour is a massive occasion. It has been 12 Years in the making and will be the biggest rugby event in this country since the 2003 Rugby World Cup."
Ten Network chief operating officer Jon Marquard added, "We are delighted to deliver live coverage of rugby union to fans over the next three years. The Wallabies showed on the weekend that a new generation of players is emerging and we look forward to helping grow the game by showing Tests live and on free-to-air television for all Australians to enjoy. This agreement for Wallabies Tests represents a new era in rugby union's growth and now cements Ten's position as the place all Australians can follow rugby union on free-to-air television.