Peter V’landys seeks $200m American TV deal after NRL Las Vegas matches

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
08/02/2024
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NRL looking to expand US television coverage in 2024

V’landys says a good showing in Las Vegas on March 2 is key to securing a historic US television rights deal. 

News Insights

  • The 2024 NRL season kicks off in Las Vegas on March 2 with Roosters vs. Broncos & Manly vs. Rabbitohs.
  • The NRL double header will be broadcast at prime time in the US.
  • Peter V’landys believes the Las Vegas matches will lead to a full TV rights deal.
  • Fox Sports and the NRL are in negotiations currently.

According to ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys, the upcoming Sydney Roosters vs. Brisbane Broncos and Manly Sea Eagles vs. South Sydney Rabbitohs double header is just the beginning of the NRL’s presence on American television. 

The two matches will be broadcast at primetime in the US. V’landys says the NRL and American broadcaster Fox Sports are in talks to air the rest of the 2024 season on Fox. The deal could be worth up to $200m. 

V’landys wants five-year TV deal

All eyes are on the United States this NRL preseason. The league is set to play a historic double header in Las Vegas on March 2 (March 3 in Australia). Manly will face off against Rabbitohs, then fans at the Allegiant Stadium will get to enjoy Roosters vs. Broncos. 

We already know that this double header is the just the many the NRL will play in Las Vegas. The league has signed a deal to host games in Sin City until 2028. However, the NRL has ambitions for a much bigger presence in the US. 

According to The Daily Telegraph, ARL Commission boss Peter V’landys is pushing hard for a massive new US television rights deal with the major American broadcaster Fox Sports. The company is already set to broadcast the NRL’s double header on its main channel Fox Sports 1. 

The Manly vs. Souths broadcast will start at 6:30pm (1:30pm AEDT, March 3) on Fox Sports 1. Roosters vs. Broncos starts at 8:30pm (3:30pm AEDT, March 3). Both matches will be in prime time slots on the US West Coast, which includes the massive media markets of cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. 

V’landys hopes these broadcasts will be successful and lead to a larger television rights deal with Fox for other NRL matches from now through the 2028 season. 

Deal could be worth $200m 

According to The Daily Telegraph, V’landys push for a new TV deal with Fox isn’t all one-way. The American broadcaster is also reportedly interested in getting a deal done. The parties have been negotiating the terms for some time. 

V’landys believes the five-year deal could be worth as much as $200m for the NRL. It could be worth even more if the league’s double header in Las Vegas this March goes well. If the matches are a success, there could be more desire from Fox to broadcast the NRL in primetime slots. More primetime slots means more money for the NRL. 

The double header being shown live is a huge coup for rugby league and it’s important we stay on prime time TV in America,” said V’landys.

We will speak to Fox executives after the event, see what was successful, what wasn’t. I’m confident we will have the NRL live on American TV for the next five years.

As optimistic as V’landys was in his comments, he stressed that “We can’t just be there for one week, we want the whole NRL season to be shown live in America if we can.”

It’s unlikely that the NRL ever becomes a major sport in the US, but if it can capture even just a small percentage of US sports fans, the American market could make the NRL millions.