Nine and Fox Sports agree to May 28 restart date


The NRL has reached an agreement with its broadcast partners to restart the season on May 28 after the governing body presented a take-it-or-leave-it proposal on Friday afternoon.

A day after describing the NRL’s May resumption plan as ‘‘premature’’, free-to-air broadcast partner Nine softened its stance and will now support the proposed date, avoiding a potential courtroom showdown. It is likely the season will run for about 17 weeks, plus four weeks of finals and an Origin series after a potential October 4 grand final, although that is yet to be confirmed.

Nine chief executive Hugh Marks.Credit:Louie Douvis

“The meeting was extremely amicable,’’ ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys said on Friday night. ‘‘We are all united that the 28th of May will be our starting date. The meeting was a very positive one and we now have a starting date, but the length of the season will be confirmed next week.’’

It’s understood Nine wants clarity around the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup, and the potential postponement of the tournament scheduled to be played in Australia in October and November, before finalising the length of the season. Cricket Australia boss Kevin Roberts, however, has indicated an answer may not be given until August.



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