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Super League, RFL media-rights tender underway in UK

Dragons Catalans face Salford at Stade Gilbert Brutus on March 7, 2020 in Perpignan, France. (Photo by Alexandre Dimou/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Super League rugby and the Rugby Football League are believed to have initiated the sales process in the UK for media rights to their respective properties.

The invitation to tender was launched last week, according to rugby league publication, League Express.

It includes separate packages for Super League and RFL events.

Super League is the top-tier rugby league club competition in the Northern Hemisphere. It currently has eleven teams: ten from England and one from France.

The RFL package comprises rights to the Challenge Cup, England Internationals, the Championship and League One, and Women’s rugby league.

Pay-television broadcaster Sky currently holds the rights to the Super League as well as the RFL events in a five-year deal worth £40m (€42.8m/$50.8m) per year that expires in 2021.

The broadcaster has rights to at least 80 Super League matches per season, as well live rights for Challenge Cup knockout tournament matches, second-tier Championship matches and the annual World Club Challenge.

Super League and the RFL receive £30m and £10m annually from the deal, respectively, according to League Express.

The report added that Super League is looking to earn £32.25m per year if a £40m annual deal is achieved but would earn no less than £30m per year if the annual rights fee was £35m or lower.

Sky and the RFL earlier this year agreed a deal over Super League clubs’ television revenues for the 2020 season due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.