NRL 2020: Broadcasting pressures could force NRL to play out full season

The NRL is still targeting May 28 to resume its 2020 season, but will first need to strike a deal with broadcasting partners over the value of the rights.

The competition has proposed two formats - a 15-round schedule, where every team plays each other once, or a 16-round, two-conference system, pending approval of players and coaches.

But according to the Sydney Morning Herald, contractual obligations with broadcasters could force the NRL to stick with the originally scheduled 22 rounds, which would see play extend all the way to November.

Those matters emerged from a four-hour innovation committee meeting on Thursday, which also confirmed that a State of Origin series would be played mid-season.

The NRL is awaiting Government approval on border exemptions, before deciding whether to base all teams in Sydney.

The Warriors are expected to be granted a travel exemption that allows them to train as a team while in the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Making matters even murkier was the attack on NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg from rightsholder Channel Nine, which claimed he'd completely mismanaged the situation.

"At Nine, we had hoped to work with the NRL on a solution to the issues facing rugby league in 2020, brought on so starkly by COVID-19," said a spokesperson.

"But this health crisis in our community has highlighted the mismanagement of the code over many years. 

"Nine has invested hundreds of millions in this game over decades and we now find they have profoundly wasted those funds, with very little to fall back on to support the clubs, the players and supporters."

The NRL may be forced to remove Greenberg from his role.