Spike TV will be the exclusive American television home to the 2009 National Rugby League playoffs and championship game, it was announced today by
Brian J. Diamond, senior vice president, sports & specials, Spike TV. The network will telecast three weekly NRL playoff contests beginning Friday, September 11, culminating with the Grand Final on Sunday, October 4. All NRL games will emanate from Australia and will air on Spike TV same day-tape.
This marks the first time NRL matches will air nationally in the United States on basic cable. The NRL is one of the premiere rugby organizations in the world featuring some of the best players in the sport including
Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm),
Jarrod Hayne (Parramatta Eels),
Jamie Soward (St. George Dragons),
Kurt Gidley (Newcastle Knights), and
Matt Orford (Manly Sea Eagles). The 16-team league features fifteen teams from Australia and one from New Zealand. World-renowned actor
Russell Crowe owns the South Sydney Rabbitohs. The Grand Final, traditionally one of Australia’s most popular sporting events, will be held at ANZ Stadium in Sydney in front of 80,000 fans.
“Given the entire population of Australia is only 21 million people, having our playoffs aired in almost 100 million homes on Spike TV is a very exciting opportunity for our game,” said NRL Chief Operating Officer,
Graham Annesley. “I have no doubt that Spike viewers will love the physicality, speed, toughness and non-stop action of the NRL.”
The NRL playoffs are produced by Nine Network Australia and will air in HD on Spike TV.
Andrew Johns, and
Phil Gould comprise the announce team.
NRL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE ON SPIKE TV
(all times same day tape)
Friday, September 11 (11:00pm ET/PT)
Friday, September 18 (11:00pm ET/PT)
Friday, September 25 (11:00pm ET/PT)
Grand Final - (note - will air in the morning in the U.S.):
Sunday, October 4 (11:00am ET/PT)