General 2016 NRL Fixtures/Draw

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Warriors Orange Peeler
New 6pm Friday night game part of overhaul of NRL broadcast deal
55 minutes ago
Rebecca Wilson and Nick TabakoffThe Daily Telegraph

New broadcast deal could deliver 6pm game to Fox Sports. Pics Adam Head

  • New Friday night 6pm game for Fox Sports
  • Overall deal reported to be worth $1.85b
  • Monday night football scrapped under new deal
  • New broadcast schedule could begin 2016

A NEW 6PM Friday night game would be scheduled under a proposed NRL broadcast deal that would also see Super Saturday return to Fox Sports.

Fox Sports could seize as many as five live games in a deal currently under negotiation between News Corp, the NRL and the Nine Network, which could deliver the game $1.85 billion and be sealed as early as this week. The new deal has taken shape in the weeks since former League boss Dave Smith’s resignation last month, with talks making significant progress in the last week.

Under the proposal, Nine gives up its Saturday night prime-time game to Fox Sports (wholly owned by News Corp) for around $30 million a year, or $150m over five years, after that game was taken away from Fox in the deal Smith negotiated with former Nine chief David Gyngell earlier this year. That deal also included the loss by Fox Sports of its exclusive Monday night games. Once the Nine deal was announced, Fox advised the NRL that it was not interested in negotiations unless Super Saturday was back put on the table.

Fox would also pay Nine about $15m a year for the simulcast rights to screen Nine’s Thursday, Friday and Sunday games under the deal. Negotiations are also underway to fast-track any new broadcast deal to as early as next year, although talks are still ongoing on this issue.


If all parties agree on these measures, the NRL could attract up to $1.85b for its overall rights, or about $360m a year. Nine could see the original $925m cost of its deal over five years reduced to $700m for its three free-to-air games each week, as compensation for its reduced coverage.

If Fox Sports gets everything that it wants, it could now pay up to $800m. The rest of the $1.85b figure would come from digital rights (about $200m), international TV rights ($100m) and naming rights for the competition ($50m).

A Friday night game kicking off at 6PM would be a key sweetener for Fox Sports, which would televise those matches from Auckland, Brisbane or Townsville from 2016.

This would ensure games held in the earlier timeslot would also attract a crowd because arriving early for matches in peak hour on a Friday night in Sydney would be too difficult in peak hour traffic.

The $925m deal agreed between Nine and Dave Smith earlier this year gave Nine all four of the top games each weekend, including Saturday. The Friday 8PM game would remain the clash of the week, followed by Saturday 7.30PM game, Sunday 4PM, Thursday 8PM, Saturday afternoon games, Friday 6PM and Sunday 2PM.

In another sensational development, Fox Sports has formally given up its Monday Night game, so it can retain three matches for Super Saturday. Nine will commence Thursday night games next year if all parties agree.

The free-to-air league broadcaster has also agreed to the simulcast plan for a share of the ad revenue on Fox Sports. Pay-TV subscribers can expect a similar coverage to the AFL, which has simulcast all matches for several seasons.

Sources close to the negotiations say the new deal, expected to be trialled next year, is on tenterhooks but huge progress had been made in the last week. The departure of Dave Smith last month and the exit from Nine of David Gyngell early in the week were seen as a sweetener for Fox Sports to re-enter talks with the NRL and Nine.

Fox Sports swung into negotiations with Nine and the NRL to shore up their position but insiders say the monetary value of the entire deal is still short of the record breaking $2.2 billion AFL negotiation, announced earlier this year.

However, the AFL’s deal runs over six years and includes an extra game per round.

The new NRL broadcast deal will not commence until 2018 but The Daily Telegraph understands that all parties would prefer to start the new programming next year. It is unclear when the handover of the contract money will take place.



8pm: Nine


6pm: Fox Sports

8pm: Nine

Super Saturday

3pm: Fox Sports

5.30pm: Fox Sports

7.30pm: Fox Sports


2pm: Fox Sports

4pm Nine

*To potentially start in 2016
Hate the 6pm AEST timeslot. Will still be working or sitting in rush hour traffic when the game kicks off. I'll be livid if the Warriors play in that slot...
I actually quite like the 6pm Friday slot, I watch a lot of super rugby in a similar time slot 5:30aus/7:30nz time)and its quite nice to catch a game straight after work and still have time to do something else if you want after.

For those in Auckland would this time slot effect whether or not you go to games?
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Move over Broncos, here come the Friday night Warriors!!!

All seriousness, it's a News article trying to get a better deal for the TV rights, they're panicking since Optus bought the EPL rights
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Awesome if it comes off.
What a perfect start to the weekend! Friday night black-out, 7 Days and another Aus blockbuster!
Makes every other team chase us for points too.
Hate the 6pm AEST timeslot. Will still be working or sitting in rush hour traffic when the game kicks off. I'll be livid if the Warriors play in that slot...

Isn’t that 8pm NZ time though? still working at that hour?

For the tv viewer it’s a good time slot, get a bit weary waiting for the 9.45pm channel 9 kickoff we currently have.

Thursday nights have never done much for me, but its better than Mondays.

The typical warrior home game is probably still 5.30 super Saturday, 7.30 nz time though right?
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Been reading a bit about this on other forums. Had a bit of chuckle about the News Limited journalists not understanding how daylight savings works,

The new deal will take advantage of the time difference between NSW and Queensland. That only lasts for 4 rounds. The timezone would be why they are looking at the Warriors for 6pm / 8pm on Fridays.

It will be interesting to see what Doyle's and the clubs thoughts on this are. Crowd wise our best times would be 2pm NZ, 4pm NZ then 7:30 NZ.

Sunday 2pm NZ time isn't a normal NRL time slot but we have had a few games there,
Suits me down to the ground.

Selfishly I say Yeeeehaaaa

Getting Friday evennigs off work is heaps easier for me.
For those in Auckland would this time slot effect whether or not you go to games?
We used to have a few 7.30 starts 20 years was murder getting through the traffic from up north...but they were always cracker games with good crowds and atmosphere
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Love a Friday night game, especially when the Warriors blow a 20 point lead to lose by 10. Spend the rest of the weekend kicking the cat, which really pisses off the neighbours, it's their cat.
8pm NZ time kickoff is absolutely perfect... As long as it's not always the Broncos!!
I agree with snake77 it will be interesting to see what big Jim's thoughts are on this. One of the benefits of the usual Sunday scheduling (other than a 7 day turn around) was the fact that it minimised the chance of a clash with union and in NZ where it tends to dominate TV scheduling this is particularly important. Jim must be aware of the threat this poses particularly when chasing the floating viewers.

As someone who tends to watch the game in a bar it was quite noticeable when the two codes were going head to head the rugby would always get the dominant screens and the commentary. I live in Welly and there were a couple of times when non Hurricanes games actual got the front billing over the Warriors and you just had to suck up Justin Marshall's bleating while hoping that the Warriors weren't going to implode on you in that final 20.
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it would see the warriors playing on fridays alot which would be good i reckon as long as the blues remain crap.
Yeah but I would say they see all of New Zealand as their target market and then you have all 5 NZ franchises to contend with and there's always one screening Friday night in the prime time spot. No problem if your watching at home but as I said before sucks when you're out.
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fuck foxtel i was really looking forward to channel nines Saturday games
four games free to air would have been great
I have no fear of competing with Friday night Yawnion games. This is our big opportunity to grab NZ prime time audiences.
We know we need to step up and this is a great chance to show NZ what league is all about in full competition with the kick n clap boys. If they don't like it, they can move to Sunday afternoon.
Bring it on I say! This is League, world class sports entertainment and it's for the big boys. Kindly step aside....
Yeah I agree this is a huge opportunity. With Jim at the helm, the latest acquisitions and the general direction the club seems to be going now is as good a time as any to make serious inroads into unions traditional dominance of the airways. However I would be very surprised if Jim was not conscious of the double jeopardy nature that this opportunity poses, one that is probably specific to the warriors. At the end of the day deliver on the field and this could be massive in helping to secure the transient viewers and hopefully emerge from the tedious oversupply that has become Super rugby, continue to not deliver on the field and we will just see a continuation of the status quo.
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At the end of the day deliver on the field and this could be massive in helping to secure the transient viewers and hopefully emerge from the tedious oversupply that has become Super rugby, continue to not deliver on the field and we will just see a continuation of the status quo.
Some good points.

Listening to RadioSport the last few years there seems to be a lot of viewer fatigue towards the format of Super Rugby.The new format might continue that or add some interest. There might even be more interest due to a new winner last year and a bit of a honeymoon period. But I'd rather compete with Super Rugby instead of the NRL screwing our schedule and we play at the same time as the All Blacks. That is ratings suicide in this country.

Sunday afternoon would be ideal as its day time and most likely an uncontested time slot.

Our climate isn't as nice as Australia's for night time football. So hopefully the crowds remain consistent. It seemed like we played a lot more Saturday night games during Cleary's time here. We managed to do well taking advantage of the conditions. If it helps us win I'm all for it. Let's fill our team with guys who can step in the dewy grass and watch the Australians slip over.

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