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ACT Brumbies confident ARU broadcast deal will cover losses in Super Rugby

The ACT Brumbies are satisfied the financial reward of a new broadcast deal will offset the hole in their budget when they lose one home game in a new 18-team, four-conference Super Rugby structure from 2016.

Super Rugby will be overhauled in two years, with an extra team from South Africa, a team from Argentina and a potential Asian club to join the current franchises in a structure ARU chief executive Bill Pulver described as "unquestionably the best outcome for rugby in Australia".

The radical transformation will mean Australian teams play one less home game on a two-year cycle as well as playing against all five New Zealand teams in a 15-game season.

The Brumbies had been reluctant to commit to the proposal, due to the prospect of losing up to $500,000 a year on the gate because of less home games.

Pulver met with Australian chief executives on Thursday to detail the plan and said there was "comfort" the new model would generate increased finances. The ARU is reportedly chasing a $40million-a-year broadcast deal in Australia.

"We believe the contribution from the new broadcast deal will be better than what we've currently got," Brumbies chief executive Doug Edwards said.

"We could have lost maybe $500,000, but we think the extra games in the competition, and a team in Asia, will lead to more opportunities.

"It's the best model and the extra content will give us the financial increase to offset the loss of home games. But there's still bit of work to be done."

Competition changes include:

  • A South African conference – comprising six South African teams, a team from Argentina and another, likely from Asia – which will be split into two conferences of four teams each.
  • All Australian teams will play all New Zealand teams each season.
  • 135 regular-season matches, up from 120 matches, with an expanded eight-team finals series, made up of five teams from the Australasian group and three from the South African group.
  • Australian teams will play all teams from one of the South African Conferences each season.
  • Each team will play 15 regular season games compared to 16 matches in the current structure – eight home and seven away, or vice versa over a two-year cycle.
  • All four conference winners will automatically advance to the finals, plus the next three highest-ranked teams in the Australasian group and the next best team from the South African group.

Australian clubs and the ARU are pushing for the last team in the competition to be based in Asia – either Singapore or Japan – but the licence is being put to tender.

Super Rugby officials are about to start negotiating a new broadcast deal. Trying to secure games on free-to-air is part of the talks.

Pulver was confident the deal would secure enough funds to help cash-strapped Australian clubs.

"[Losing home games] clearly was one of the issues [teams] were concerned about," Pulver said.

"Compensation needs to come by way of a broadcasting agreement which achieves sufficient revenue to distribute funds to the Super Rugby clubs to satisfy their financial needs.

"[In South Africa and New Zealand] there was a real desire to reduce the amount of games being played. To compensate for home and away derbies for every Australian team ... you'll play every New Zealand team.

"That's a very attractive option. There are also eight teams in the finals series instead of six [currently], so there are swings and roundabouts."

It's likely two South African teams will host finals given they will have the strongest sides in two conferences.

It has been traditionally hard for Australian and New Zealand teams to travel to South Africa and win finals matches, although the Brumbies beat the Pretoria Bulls in a semi-final last year.

South African teams are yet to win a game in Australia or New Zealand this year.

"It's about trying to strike the right balance and that's one that doesn't show any preference to the key countries. I'm delighted with the outcome," Pulver said.

"Finals are very lucrative, that's where you make a lot of money and get great TV ratings."

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45Leicester City Stadium
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 3 0 3 0 -49 0
Uruguay 2 0 2 0 -107 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 3 2 1 0 56 11
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 2 0 2 0 -32 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Tonga 3 1 2 0 -22 6
Georgia 3 1 2 0 -71 4
Namibia 2 0 2 0 -58 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Canada 3 0 3 0 -71 1
Romania 2 0 2 0 -61 0
View all

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