After months of public stoushes between the NRL and broadcaster Nine, the rugby league's chief governing body has announced a new television deal between the network and Foxtel to secure the code's future.
The effects of COVID-19 hit the NRL hard after they were forced to ground their competition and exposed past financial mismanagement.
But the code successfully turned the corner with ARLC chairman Peter V'landys at the wheel and rugby league became the first Australian professional sport to return to action last night.
Now V'landys and interim NRL CEO Andrew Abdo have both sorted the game's broadcasting future after fears Nine were willing to end their long relationship.
NRL and Nine managed to renegotiate their existing agreement which expires in 2022 after the code was willing to reduce its broadcaster fee, while Foxtel – with a heavy focus on its dedicated channel Fox League – has committed until the end of 2027.
"I want to thank Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany and Nine CEO Hugh Marks for reaching an outcome that puts the fans and the game’s future first,” V'landys said.
“I am delighted to have worked with our long-standing partners Foxtel and Nine to reshape and resume the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership.
"It is significant that on one of the most important days in our game’s history, we have finalised the deals to ensure its future."
Nine chief executive Hugh Marks added: “As we approach the kick-off for the resumption of NRL season 2020, I want to congratulate Peter on his leadership, and also Andrew for stepping into his role in these extremely difficult circumstances."
After financial fears of broadcasting rugby league, Nine are projected to save $27.5 million in both 2021 and 2022, whilst this current altered season will allow the network to save even more.
Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany said he was delighted by the outcome.
“The agreement between Foxtel and the NRL extends our existing broadcast rights for a further five years and cements our position as the Home of NRL until 2027," said Delany.
"It provides the NRL with the certainty to continue to develop the status of the game and gives fans the go-to destination for the best of NRL, all in one place."