The NRL has flexed significant financial muscle despite suffering from two COVID-interrupted seasons in 2020 and 2021, posting a $43m surplus for their last financial term and returning record-breaking grants to clubs.

But the clubs have demanded clarification on the value of the broadcast rights to the code, which will be held by Nine Entertainment Co, the publisher of this masthead, and Foxtel, which has entered into an extended agreement with V’landys in the first month of the pandemic when the 2020 season was suspended.

Latrell Mitchell and the stars of the game are still waiting for next year’s salary cap.Credit:Getty Images

Those deals are now firmly in the spotlight after the AFL announced a $4.5 billion television deal with Seven and Foxtel for the period 2025-31, which eclipses the NRL deal from next year.

The NRL has yet to reveal the value of the Foxtel component of the deal, citing commercially secure terms, but multiple sources have insisted the NRL’s rights package is around $400m. per year from 2023.

V’landys told the Herald last week “we have a few tricks up our sleeve” with broadcast rights, and the NRL has another four years to negotiate its rights to match the AFL until the end of 2031.

While some clubs would not object to the NRL increasing its asset base, they debate how much should be used to support it and whether it would be best to return it to stakeholders.

The development comes as the NRL weighs in on a tussle between the players and their managers, with the former set to collect a $38.5million ‘outperformance payment’ bonus without having to pay any commission to their agents.

The Herald revealed on Tuesday that a consortium of players’ agents were pushing to recoup $2.5 million in bonuses given to their clients for the growth of the game.

Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the NRL and the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA), players share any significant advantages or disadvantages in the finances of the game and are entitled to a dividend after the game is released. of COVID under better conditions. financial form than originally planned.


The Players’ Agents Association (RLPAA) wants a commission on bonus payments to players which, given most traditionally charge 6.5%, would take around $2.5 million out of their collective pockets.

However, in a new RLPA memo to its members – obtained by the Herald – it seems that the head office has sided with the players, who will receive the funds on their next payment cycle.

“We have also made progress on the issue of agent fees and will communicate to clubs that in our view [and supported by the NRL’s statement of position]the payment is not a gambling commission and therefore there is no need for agent fees to be deducted by the clubs,” the RLPA letter states.

“This means that all players will only have tax and superannuation deducted from your gross payout.

“As we’ve always said, once you’ve received payment, it’s up to you if you want to agree to pay anything to your agent – it’s a private contractual matter between you and your agent.

“Our view is that payment is not required as payment is not a game fee. If you would like to discuss this with us please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance and advices.

Stream the NRL Premiership 2022 live and for free on 9Now.

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