Nine Entertainment Co chief executive Hugh Marks has heaped pressure on the NRL to significantly reduce its broadcast rights fee, expressing a willingness to walk away from the sport if he doesn’t get the right deal.
The NRL and its two broadcast partners, Foxtel and Channel Nine, remain at loggerheads over the value of the sport – both in a reduced 2020 season and going forward into future years.
Marks, speaking with analysts and investors as part of the Macquarie Australia Conference 2020 on Tuesday afternoon, provided an insight into Nine’s hard-nosed approach and gave the strongest indication yet the network could relinquish its rights to rugby league.
“It’s not a given that NRL has to be part of our future,” Marks said on the conference. “It has to just pay its way like all of our content does, and if it doesn’t, well … again, we are less reliant on that as a revenue source.”