Murphy presses on for CQNRL

GEOFF Murphy is not giving up on getting a Central Queensland team in the National Rugby League (NRL), despite the NRL putting expansion plans on hold.

NRL chief executive David Gallop revealed any plans to introduce teams in new areas would not be looked at before 2011 after being advised it was unlikely to receive an increase in television revenue.

“We’ve done some research during 2009 about expansion and whether we should be expanding to maximise television revenue,” Gallop was reported as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald last week.

“The answer that has come back thus far is that the best thing we can do to maximise television revenue is to have an exciting competition, a competition where there are no easy games, where people are genuinely backing their team every week because they think they are a chance of winning.

“Adding teams won’t necessarily do that for us,” Gallop told a forum with club members in Sydney last week.

Gallop said the issue would be reviewed in 2011 – a year before the NRL’s television deals expired.

John Brady, NRL’s director of media and communications, said the game’s revenue streams would not support another team but he expected new revenue streams in 2011 from the new TV deal.

“You’ve got be in a position to invest and the next time we are is 2011,” Brady said.

Brady said the 2013 date for a new side was not an NRL starting point but a date pushed by others.

Mr Murphy, chairman of the CQ NRL Bid Team, said the comments would not derail the push for a CQ team.

“We’re continuing to have discussions with the NRL at the highest level,” Mr Murphy said.

“We remain confident that we can add to the NRL competition as early as 2013 and at the same time, increase the NRL’s capacity to attract more revenue from its broadcasting partners.”

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