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FOX Soccer Plus, America’s premium television network dedicated to delivering the world’s best soccer and rugby to hardcore fans, is the new home of Australia’s National Rugby League.
Known domestically as the Telstra Premiership, the NRL is world’s elite rugby league championship, boasting 16 teams across Australia and New Zealand. This exclusive media rights agreement brings coverage of live matches to FOX Soccer and FOX Soccer Plus beginning March 1, lasting through the 2013 season. Additionally, the network is carrying Australia’s premier rugby league regional series, the State of Origin.
The NRL Telstra Premiership title is contested between 15 Australian clubs and one team from New Zealand, with the 2012 campaign kicking off the first week of March. The season lasts through September, culminating in a premiership-deciding game, the NRL Grand Final. This event is one of Australia’s most popular sporting spectacles and one of the largest-attended club championships in the world.
“By bringing the NRL Telstra Premiership to our family of networks, we have ensured that rugby fans across the United States have access to one of rugby league’s most esteemed competitions,” said David Nathanson, General Manager of FOX Soccer. “The NRL is an exciting, fast-paced brand of rugby league, with some of the richest rivalries in the sport today. Coupled with the historic State of Origin series, we are providing our fans with a full slate of premier rugby league properties.”
FOX Soccer Plus’ first NRL Telstra Premiership contest takes place on Saturday, March 3, when Penrith Panthers host Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (3:30 a.m. ET). Coverage continues on Monday, March 5 as South Sydney Rabbitohs play Sydney Roosters (3:00 a.m. ET).
FOX Soccer is airing both the NRL Grand Final and State of Origin matches. The latter represents an annual best-of-three rugby league series contested by the Maroons and the Blues, two teams that represent the best players in Queensland and New South Wales, respectively. Players are selected to represent the state in which they first played senior rugby league. The State of Origin series is one of Australia’s most-watched sporting events dating back to the early 1980’s.
FOX Soccer Plus is carrying two NRL Telstra Premiership matches per week throughout the season, along with weekly half-hour highlight shows to recap each round of play.
For more information regarding FOX Soccer, please visit www.FOXSoccer.com, www.twitter.com/FOXSoccer and www.facebook.com/FOXSoccer.
Full NRL information can be found at www.nrl.com.