The NRL will be without an official program for the first time in a century with the Big League magazine to be shut down for 2020.
The weekly publication’s six full-time staff were told on Wednesday morning that it would not be produced this year, with NRL games to go ahead without crowds.
Officially owned by the NRL and licensed to News Corp, the magazine has been the record for the game since its inception 100 years ago in 1920.
It also produces the official programs for State of Origin and grand finals, as well as the season guide.
The first two rounds for this season and the overall preview had already been printed and sold.
The decision will leave the code without a recognised magazine this year after Rugby League Week was shut down by Bauer Media Group in 2017.
There are still hopes Big League could be revived for 2021.
Under the long-standing deal between News Corp and the NRL, the league pays the media company an annual fee to produce the magazine.
News Corp then pays for staff salaries and production costs.
Staff had been stood down since the competition was stopped in March, with the view to return on its resumption later this month.
The developments comes as the NRL attempts to cut costs across the game by up to $50 million.
Both the NRL and News Corp have been approached by AAP for comment.