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Fox Sports to televise NRL in the USA


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.

ABOUT FOX SOCCER AND FOX SOCCER PLUS
FOX Soccer, part of the FOX Sports Media Group, offers the most comprehensive multi-media coverage of world-class soccer available in the United States. Encompassing FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus, FOXSoccer.com and FOX Soccer 2Go, the network serves as the primary television, online, and mobile smart phone and tablet destination in the U.S. for elite competitions including England’s Barclays Premier League and FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, Italy’s Serie A, Women’s Professional Soccer and the Australian Hyundai A-League in addition to such prestigious tournaments as England’s Carling Cup, the CONCACAF Champions League™ and CONCACAF Gold Cup. Flagship FOX Soccer is Nielsen-rated and available to service providers in High-Definition, reaching more than 40 million cable and satellite households nationwide. FOX Soccer Plus is a premium network providing the core fan with even more international and domestic high-level sports competitions in HD. In addition to live, exclusive soccer matches from the best leagues in the world, FOX Soccer Plus delivers premium rugby from the RaboDirect PRO 12 League, Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup, among other competitions. Live match coverage is also available online via premium broadband service FOX Soccer 2Go, and for fans on-the-go, via the new FOX Soccer mobile and tablet applications. For more information – as well as news, features, analysis stats and more – visit one of America’s most-visited online soccer destinations at FOXSoccer.com, and the network’s Facebook page and Twitter feed (@FOXSoccer).

ABOUT THE NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE
The National Rugby League (NRL) is the world’s premier rugby league competition, with sixteen teams across Australia and New Zealand delivering thirty weeks of lightning-paced skill, power and entertainment in Australia’s most-watched television sport.The intense unpredictability of this gladiatorial competition has seen nine different premiers over the last 13 years, and 2012 is already being seen as the closest race ever staged in the 104-year history of the Premiership.Over the first 26 weeks, all sixteen teams will play for the right to take part in a four-week finals series that culminates in the Telstra Premiership Grand Final at ANZ Stadium, known to many around the world as the main venue for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.For more information visit www.nrl.com.

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