Parramatta fans towards the end of and post match. Parramatta Eels vs Melbourne Storm in the NRL Grand Final at ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Rugby League
Parramatta fans towards the end of and post match. Parramatta Eels vs Melbourne Storm in the NRL Grand Final at ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Rugby League

Nine want to ‘wipe’ NRL from 2020 broadcast

Channel Nine has doubled down on its claims that it does not want rugby league to return this year following its stinging criticism levelled at the game last week.

ARLC chairman Peter V'landys broke bread with Nine boss Hugh Marks on Tuesday in a meeting which V'landys described as "constructive".

However, Nine newspapers reported that "Nine expressed (in the meeting) its preference to wipe the 2020 season".

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This follows public comments that Nine would save $130 million if the NRL season was scrapped.

While it appears Nine remain lukewarm to the prospect of rugby league returning this year, they have given their long-term commitment to the code.

More high level talks will happen on Wednesday.

This time between Fox Sports heavyweights and NRL executives.

Some fans could be without rugby league in 2020.
Some fans could be without rugby league in 2020.

NRL boss Todd Greenberg, chief operating officer Andrew Abdo will meet with head of Fox Sports Peter Campbell and head of television at Fox Sports Steve Crawley to discuss the mechanics of what the competition will look this season.

This follows conversations Greenberg had with Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany.

It comes as V'landys plans to meet Delany and his Nine counterpart Marks later this week to thrush out plans for the game going forward.

That meeting is vital for shaping how this year's competition will look ahead of the planned May 28 restart.

V'landys broke bread with Marks on Tuesday without Greenberg after the game's free to air partner savaged the NRL's management last week.

It is understood Marks made it clear to V'landys that they remain committed to showing rugby league this year and even hinted a desire to ink a longer-term contract despite their very public broadside at the game.

V'landys said described the talks as promising.

Andrew Abdo (L) will replace Todd Greenberg (R) in the talks with Fox Sports. Picture: Richard Dobson
Andrew Abdo (L) will replace Todd Greenberg (R) in the talks with Fox Sports. Picture: Richard Dobson

 

"Nine CEO Hugh Marks and I had a constructive and co-operative meeting about rugby league in 2020 and beyond," V'landys said.

"I am buoyed by Mr Marks' support of rugby league and his commitment to the game. The meeting provided us with the opportunity to outline our positions and discuss next steps to navigate this crisis.

"We are both focused on the long-term success of the game and, while there is more work to do, I am optimistic we will find a way through this together. Our next meeting, where we will endeavour to construct a road map for the game this year, must include Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany."

The NRL will not intervene in the agreement Fox and Nine have with each other which allows Fox to simulcast some matches.

Project Apollo are continuing to work in the background ahead of a planned meeting on Friday where they are expected to announce a clearer path to resume the season next month.

Originally published as Nine want to 'wipe' NRL from 2020 broadcast


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