Sanzar signs lucrative five-year TV deal

Rugby unions in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa have secured a 35% increase in broadcasting income with a five-year deal worth $437-million, officials said on Thursday.

The 2011 to 2015 deal with Supersport in South Africa, Fox Sports in Australia and Sky Television in New Zealand replaces the current agreement worth $323-million said Sanzar, the joint venture of the three rugby unions.

Sanzar’s head, New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew, said the broadcasting deal represented a major vote of confidence in southern hemisphere rugby.

“We believe that rugby is in good health and that its appeal remains strong both in terms of participation and in terms of the interest of our fans across South Africa, New Zealand and Australia,” he said.

The increased income partly reflects changes to the Super 14 franchise competition covering the three countries and the planned expansion of the Tri-Nations Test series to include Argentina from 2012.

From next year, Melbourne will become the 15th Super Rugby franchise and a new conference structure will create a greater focus on local derbies within the competition.

The TV deal will help the Sanzar countries support amateur rugby and retain their best players and coaches, Tew said.

Southern hemisphere rugby chiefs have been worried about the exodus to European clubs of some top players lured by lucrative contracts.

Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O’Neill said 2011 would be a transforming season for the game in the Sanzar countries because of the changes to the Super rugby format.

“We came through a difficult financial period that affected sports and businesses across the globe and have subsequently emerged with a superior broadcast deal to the previous two in place from 1996 and 2006,” he said.

Tew meanwhile announced on Thursday that the NZRU lost a record NZ$15,9-million in 2009, due partly to the costs of hosting next year’s Rugby World Cup and the impact of the global recession. — AFP

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Ndabeni-Abrahams lockdown debacle: What we know

The minister has to answer to the president after a picture was posted of her apparently breaking lockdown rules

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Stay at home, Cyril said. But what about the homeless?

In Tshwane, forcing homeless people off the street resulted in chaos and the abuse of a vulnerable population. In Durban, a smooth, well-planned operation fared far better

Press Releases

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world