Huge broadcast deal for southern rugby

NEW Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew has hailed the new broadcast rights agreement for competitions across Australia, South Africa and New Zealand as a major vote of confidence in southern hemisphere rugby.

The US$437million, five-year deal will run from 2011 to 2015.

Tew said: "We believe rugby is in good health and that its appeal remains strong, both in terms of participation and in terms of the interest of our fans across South Africa, New Zealand and Australia."

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Meanwhile, the NZRU has announced a record loss of NZ$15.9 million for 2009.