Reports suggest Sky Sports lead the way in Super League TV rights
Reports in the media have suggested that the Super League is close to striking an exclusive pay-television rights deal with Sky in its domestic market for a further three years, closing the book on a sales process in which the league explored every possible option to secure a better offer.
Sky has entered a “30-day exclusive negotiating period” to secure a new deal for Super League rights that will run from 2024 to 2026. Sky has broadcast Super League in the UK since its inception in 1996.
Prior to the statement issued by RL Commercial, the joint venture between Super League and the Rugby Football League that acts as the league’s commercial rights-holder, several UK media reports had talked up competitive domestic broadcast rights bids from pay-television broadcaster TNT Sports or multi-platform broadcaster DAZN.
In an interview with Love Rugby League, RL Commercial managing director Rhodri Jones said the new deal will see the organisation retain rights that were previously afforded to Sky – thought to be digital clips and highlights rights – and that once those rights are either sold or otherwise exploited, he hopes Super League will “end up at a similar point to where we’re at currently” in terms of media rights income.
His comments all but confirm that Super League will earn less in its new deal with Sky compared to its its current two-season deal with the broadcaster covering 2022 and 2023.
“There’s a lot of hard work to get to that [similar] point,” Jones continued. “We’ve managed to retain a few useful opportunities and rights through the discussions with Sky and their offer and we’ve demonstrated to clubs how we’re going to fill that delta.”