Wed, 30 Sep 2020

SYDNEY, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Rugby Australia (Rugby AU) has proposed several new competition series as part of a deal issued to potential broadcast partners.

In a statement released late Monday, Rugby AU said new competitions such as a State of Union series, national club championship, and an international Super Eight series would make up part of the deal, hoped to extend over a five year period.

The State of Union series will resemble the rugby league's State of Origin, while the Super Eight Series will be a four-week tournament involving the top two teams from the Australian, New Zealand, and South African and a team from Japan and South America.

The rights package also includes Wallabies and Wallaroos Tests, Trans-Tasman or Super Rugby AU competition, Shute Shield, Hospital Challenge Cup, and selected schools matches.

Interim CEO of Rugby Australia Rob Clarke described the offering as the "largest and most comprehensive collection of rugby rights ever put to the market in Australia," which he believed would prove attractive to broadcasters.

The rights could be carved up into sections for a variety of broadcasters or be sold as exclusively to one broadcaster.

"We know that porting broadcast rights have seen some challenging times in both Australia and in other markets around the world," Clarke said.

"We're entering the market at not a bad time because many of the broadcasters have gone through pretty fundamental renegotiations with a number of other sports and so a lot of their heavy lifting there has been done."

For the professional domestic competition, Clarke said Rugby AU would not be budging on its commitment to field five Australian teams going forward and "D-Day" was coming for New Zealand Rugby to include a team in the competition.

"At Super Rugby level we have two models that we've put forward, one is a domestic only model and the other is a trans-Tasman model," Clarke said.

"We have put a deadline from broadcast submissions of September 4 and before we enter into any final negotiations with a broadcast partner this has to be settled so D-day is coming."

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