The NRL has signed a $1.8 billion deal with Fox Sports, Nine Network and Telstra

The 2015 NRL grand final winners. Photo: Getty.

The NRL has signed a $1.8 billion, five-year deal with Fox Sports, Nine Network, Telstra.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Fox Sports has bought the rights to Saturday night games from Nine for $35 million a year, or $175 million over the full five-year contract.

The deal will see Fox Sports broadcast every game of the 2016 NRL season: three games on “Super Saturday”, a Sunday afternoon game and Monday night football — all live and exclusive — as well as simulcast Thursday night football, Friday night football and Sunday games with Channel Nine.

Former NRL CEO Dave Smith had promised to deliver a $1.7 billion payday for the code’s TV rights but a surprise deal with Channel Nine in August left News Corp, the half-owner of Foxtel, and Telstra blindsided. News Corp subsequently struck a six-year, $2.5 billion deal with the AFL, along with other media partners Telstra and the Seven Network.

Many saw Smith’s resignation in October as a sign that the code was unhappy with his dealing, despite him saying it was entirely his decision to quit.

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