NRL officials are preparing for a tough fight over funding for the next three years and are working with the Government on a model that could provide the game with some certainty for the foreseeable future.
Key points:The NRL’s board is meeting today to discuss future funding modelsThe NRL has already taken a hit over the last few yearsThe NRL says they’re in the process of making changes to the way the sport is run, but the Government has been slow to acknowledge the needThe NRL is also considering changes to how they fund the game.
But they have yet to announce any new plans and have yet at this stage to release a report.
While the game is struggling to keep up with inflation, the NRL’s chairman David Gallop has called for the league to look at ways to increase revenue.
“I don’t think we’re looking to be in a position where we’re spending billions of dollars on a football club that’s not sustainable,” he told the ABC.
“It’s not just about us not having the money to fund the football club.”
The NRL, which had hoped to be able to make $10 million a year from its broadcast rights, has also been hit by major changes to its business model and revenue model in recent years.
The NRL currently owns more than 90 per cent of the TV rights to the NRL and currently makes just under $2 million a season.
But that is likely to drop to just over $1 million next year and be closer to $600,000 in 2022.
As well as a new television deal, the league has also committed to increase the number of home games it plays, although it has yet to finalise its plans for that.
But the NRL has admitted it has struggled to sustain its current level of revenue and the report by the sports committee is being discussed today to determine the future of the game and its future funding model.
While Mr Gallop acknowledged the NRL needed to look beyond the TV deals and the amount of revenue the league made, he said there were some areas where it could make some progress.
“We have some areas in terms of increasing revenue where we could potentially go further, particularly in the area of the commercial side of things,” he said.
“And I think we can do that, we’ve got to look, we can work on that, but we need to be mindful that the business model is changing.”
Mr Gallop said the NRL would be looking into ways to ensure it could “continue to operate in a sustainable way” but he admitted they were in the “possible” process of discussing “sustainable” ways of funding the game’s future.
“The next step is to look into how we can continue to operate the game in a way that allows us to maintain and grow the revenue that we’ve made from broadcasting and we’ll be looking closely at that in the coming weeks and months,” he added.
“What’s clear is that the game has been a financial success and we’re very fortunate to be a part of that.”
Mr Gallagher said he would be interested to see what the Government would do about the NRL if they were to announce their own funding model next week.
“There are some things that we will be examining and we need a more detailed view of the way we’re funding the sport, particularly as it relates to the business,” he says.
“That’s something we’ll want to take into consideration in discussions over the coming months and hopefully we can come up with a plan to work with the Federal Government in the future.”
Topics:nrl,sports-organisations,league,sport,nsw,australia,brisbane-4000,brisbanon-4250,newcastle-2300,vic,qld,nsp,sa,vic-2450,vic-1021First posted March 16, 2020 13:59:34Contact Greg Ormsby