Rugby union has found a new home after Rugby Australia signed a three-year, $100 million broadcast deal with Nine Entertainment.
Super Rugby, along with Super W and New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa, will be aired live and ad-free on Nine’s Stan streaming service from next year – ending Rugby Australia's 25-year long partnership with Foxtel.
Stan will also exclusively stream Wallaroos tests, the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup, as well as inbound tests for Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.
Meanwhile, the Nine Network will broadcast all Saturday night Super Rugby matches live, a first on free-to-air, along with finals matches and select inbound tests.
Club rugby matches are also part of the deal, which includes a two-year extension option.
Rugby Australia interim chief executive Rob Clarke said the fantasy deal was now a reality.
“This is a landmark deal that includes everything in the showbag, and it gives more Australians more access to more rugby than ever before,” he said.
“Australian rugby is transforming with an exciting future ahead, and this innovative partnership enables us to fast-track that growth from the grassroots up as well as showcase and promote the game like never before.”
Mr Clarke said Stan, which has 2 million Australian subscribers, was growing at a rapid rate.
“We’ve recognised that the broadcast landscape has changed, and we’re changing with it,” he said.
The deal is subject to a final sign-off by the SANZAAR Unions, which oversees Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship competitions.
It comes more than a year after Foxtel flagged a spending cut on non-marquee sporting content, aired on Fox Sports, following a $417 million loss in calendar 2018.