The NRL could receive up to $1.7 billion in a record broadcast deal with Fox Sports which will see every game in every round shown live for the first time.
News Corp reported on Tuesday the soon-to-be-secured deal between the NRL and Fox Sports for Rugby League broadcast rights from 2018 to 2022 could see major changes to match scheduling, including a Thursday night game and possibly ending Monday night football.
Only one match would be held on Friday night under the new deal, with three on both Saturday and Sunday and the new Thursday night football fixture.
All eight matches would be shown live on Fox Sports, with an additional three games to be broadcast live on free-to-air television.
State of Origin, said to be more valuable than even the NRL grand final, will remain on free-to-air.
The $1.7-billion broadcast windfall will be a 70 per cent increase on their current $1-billion deal, which would help the NRL to lift the salary cap from $7.5 million to $11 million.
Grants to clubs would also rise from $7.8 million to $12 million, helping them retain the game’s elite players.