Telstra has been side swiped by no other than the NRL an organisation they tip millions into sponsoring with some now questioning as to why the big telco is hanging in as a shareholder at Foxtel.

When Nine Entertainment and Foxtel were negotiating new 2020 contracts a small bit of fine print, has seen Telstra customers denied access to the NRL for free from 2023 onwards.

According to Nine Media it was Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys that Telstra did not see coming.

ChannelNews understands that Telstra executives who are struggling to grow their mobile sales in Australia, are seething and one source has told us that they believe that both Nine Entertainment and Foxtel “conspired” to get rid of Telstra so that more advertising dollars could be channelled to Nine, Foxtel and the NRL.

Telstra who has a 35 per cent stake in Foxtel said, “We are … disappointed to learn the NRL, through their agreement with Foxtel, has decided not to make those digital rights on mobile available beyond 2022,”.

Some observers claim that Telstra has become “More of a hinderance” than a strategic partner for Foxtel and that the carrier could walk away from the relationship as they look to raise capital by selling Telstra property.

Under the existing Foxtel arrangement, Telstra mobile customers receive an NRL Live Pass app for free, allowing them to stream all games on their smartphones.

This is smart man . At the moment there’s 100k on line subscribers getting NRL for free. You seek the streaming rights to Foxtel/Kayo , have highlights packages , extra content like , press conferences , post game interviews exclusive to the NRL app. I think PVL said that Free to air will be gone in ten years , so that revenue stream will dry up , so they his period is about building capital to produce their own content into the future.

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