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Telstra targeting extension of long-running NRL partnership

Australian telecommunications company Telstra has rejected reports it could end its long-running naming rights sponsorship of rugby league competition the NRL, stating it is instead in talk over extending the deal.

Australian media reports suggested that Telstra was on the verge of giving up its naming-rights sponsorship, which it has held since 2001, and would instead seek to stay on in a lesser capacity.

However, a Telstra spokesperson told the Australian Financial Review newspaper: “Reports that Telstra is looking to not renew our NRL naming rights are untrue. We are proud of what we have built with the NRL to date and are in negotiations to continue our partnership beyond 2017. We are unable to comment further as negotiations are ongoing.”

The National Rugby League agreed a multi-faceted extension to its partnership with Telstra in December 2012. Under the terms of the five-year renewal, Telstra reportedly doubled the A$90m (€60m/$66.5m) it is thought to have paid for the previous five-year contract signed in 2007. The agreement extended naming rights for the Telstra Premiership into a record 17th season.