The BBC showed RL for many decades and mostly treated it as a joke event. Why was there a petition in 1976 against the BBC and their treatment of the game (and Eddie Waring) if it was all as great as some people are making out? Yes many people were aware of RL but only in the same way they were aware of Kendo Nagasaki or Mick McManuss...almost a novelty thing.
And I'll ask again, how much money were the BBC offering and how many live league games per week?
That is the one telling letter so far, in as much that it clearly display's the attitude that the BBC had to R/L for so many years.
Eddie Waring was a joke(just look where he ended his career?)and the game itself was portrayed often as such by the BBC, incidentally when they held a similar monopoly that sky is being criticised over and, without paying a bean into RLs coffers.
Personally I do not understand this yearning for the days when MILLIONS watched every bit of R/L televised simply for the fact it was on the BBC.
For all its faults, the prime one being that we R/L fans are forced into subsidising football viewers to the extent we are. Nonetheless we would certainly have had a much reduced sport had sky not arrived and injected into the game the funds it has done.