The private companies that own the licences for four Super Rugby teams from New Zealand are seeking compensation from New Zealand Rugby.
The companies are seeking the compensation for an expected drop in revenues due to a league format change.
The Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders expect their gate receipts to fall significantly next season due to a reduction in the number of local derbies. Super Rugby is contracting to 14 teams in 2021, with the departure of Japan’s Sunwolves. The competition is moving from a regional conference format to a single league, round-robin format, meaning fewer head-to-heads between New Zealand teams.
Super Rugby’s private licence-holders run the operational and business functions of Super Rugby teams and the teams have already rejected one offer from NZ Rugby.
The teams also want a move to perpetual licences – the current licence system is time-limited.
There are five New Zealand Super Rugby teams in total – the Blues no longer have a private licence after it was acquired by NZ Rugby last year due to poor performance on and off the pitch. NZ Rugby is currently looking for a new private licence-holder for the team.