Great Britain

Super League’s multi-million private equity investment hopes ‘still alive’

DEAL ON?

SUPER League's multi-million pound plan to flog of part of it is still alive - but has taken a back seat to a 'life or death' new TV deal and keeping the sport going.

The competition has been sounding out potential interest in buying part of it in a private equity investment deal, much like rugby union's with CVC which netted £200 million for a 27 per cent stake in the Gallagher Premiership.

But SunSport has been told the shutdown has shelved any deal for the time being, even though one was fairly close, with Rothschild and other parties in the running.

However, sources say interest is still alive and may go through when, or if, Super League gets going again.

As well as making sure Super League survives in tact, which executive chairman Robert Elstone believes it will, getting a new broadcast contract for 2022 and beyond remains top of his priority list.

Current broadcasters Sky, who paid £200 million for the existing contract, are thought to lead the race to keep the TV rights and are said to be keen on keeping it.

However, it was doubtful whether they could match the current terms, even before rugby league and football went into shutdown.

The current situation, those TV talks and their importance for the 13-a-side code's future mean any investment talks are on hold - and none may come at all.

One power broker told SunSport: "It's going to be a long and laborious process and it's doubtful it will happen.

"A new TV deal, which is life and death for the game, has to be struck before we even think of a new investor."

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