With the next Rugby Australia broadcasting deal reported to be worth just $30 million per year, Rugby Union finds itself in a very difficult position. With plummeting television ratings, broadcasters see little value in carrying Rugby Union on free to air television or pay television. This has seen long time pay tv broadcaster, Fox Sports, pull out of negotiations with Rugby Australia leaving Optus Sports as the only bidder for the rights to NRC and Super Rugby matches.
With Rugby Union in Australia in such a dire position, the question must be asked, should the National Rugby League look at a complete takeover of Rugby Union in Australia? A take over would involve the NRL buying into Rugby Union, running and funding the sport, and effectively being the administrator of both codes in Australia.
This is a subject that was tackled in the latest Fergo and The Freak podcast. To listen, click below!
While it is a very controversial idea, and one that would no doubt upset plenty of Rugby Union and Rugby League fans alike, there are some merits to there being one administration for both codes in Australia.
With the National Rugby League having more money than any other “Rugby” organisation on Earth, Rugby Australia would find itself very well funded and it would also possibly be able to tap into the NRL supporter base, and maybe even its talent base.
How would that change the standing of Rugby Union in Australia, and its standing on the world stage?