NRL rights stall TV deal

PNG company wants change to $25m venture

A MULTI-MILLION dollar deal for the sale of Media New Guinea Limited hangs in the balance over a botched arrangement over National Rugby League Rights. Telikom PNG wants Fiji Television to reduce the agreed 27 million Kina deal by the cost of the NRL rights which is five million Kina for two years. On August 10 Fiji TV chairman Nouzab Fareed claimed the sale and purchase agreement signed earlier with Telikom PNG remained intact. “We are looking at TV and media in Papua New Guinea. There is room for that because PNG has not had a serious engagement in the media industry in the past,” Mr Fareed said. “They have about three or four TV stations. Last year, they had two new TV stations so there’s a lot of room for growth there.”

But sources within PNG Telikom said company executives were furious upon learning they had signed an agreement to buy Media New Guinea from Fiji TV without the rugby league rights. “The whole reason for buying MNL was to have the rights to the rugby league because the Papua New Guinea audience really loves NRL,” the source said. “But the (NRL broadcast) rights owners want $US1.5million before we can access the league.

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