Rugby Australia looks for new pay tv deal

Rugby Australia may do a deal with Optus after Fox Sports said it was ending its coverage of the code at the end of 2020.

Wallabies Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Rugby Australia is looking for a new broadcasting partner with Fox Sports reportedly pulling the pin on their deal at the end of 2020.

News Corp Australia, majority owner of Fox Sports Australia, reported that after months of negotiations talks came to an end on Wednesday.

The struggling code will potentially look at a deal with Optus, News Corp Australia reported.

Fox Sports has had deals with rugby in Australia dating back to 1996, when the game turned professional.

The current television deal, signed in 2015 was worth $285 million, giving RA $57 million a year.

Fox Sports and Network Ten are the current domestic broadcasters of rugby in Australia, with Fox Sports showing all Super Rugby games and both screening Wallabies Test matches.

"We are preparing to take the package to market early this month," an RA spokesperson told News Corp Australia.

Rugby in Australia has had a difficult time in recent years with declining interest in Super Rugby, highlighted by lower crowds and television viewing numbers.

RA also made an undisclosed settlement, thought to be several million dollars, to former star player Israel Folau after he was sacked for social media posts ostracising homosexuals.