Super League: TV revenue agreement provides 'greater financial security'

Theo Fages scores a try for St Helens
There have been no Super League games played since 15 March

Super League and the Rugby Football League have agreed broadcast revenues with TV rights holder Sky Sports that bring "greater financial security".

Sky has exclusive live rights to show Super League fixtures, but coronavirus has forced a halt to the sport.

No games have been played since Sunday, 15 March because of lockdown restrictions during the pandemic.

The agreement is subject to a resumption of the 2020 season, in line with government safety regulations.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement which acknowledges the disruption to Super League schedules but gives our clubs greater financial certainty moving forward in these challenging times," Super League chief executive Robert Elstone said.

Securing the agreement to the end of the 2021 campaign is a significant step towards rugby league's return, as the loss of key income such as ticket sales and merchandising through the curtailing of this season has forced the furloughing of staff and players under the government's job retention scheme.

While a government loan of £16m was made available to help the sport survive, the money is to support the business infrastructure of clubs, rather than paying player salaries.

There are a number of models being discussed among clubs and the governing body around how the return to play can take place, as the National Rugby League has done in Australia, and as Premier League and Championship football haves done in England.

It is hoped that crowds will be able to return at some stage in the competition, and much of the modelling around structure takes that into account.

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