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The SKY contract for RL - good or bad?


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299 replies to this topic

#121 JohnM

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:26 AM

the value of exposure ahead of the much greater income that comes from subscription TV then the BBC can be an option.


Just to be clear, just to be clear, what do you think that value is?

#122 JohnM

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:33 AM

As always your right Parky, RL did not attract a single decent player before SKY.....


The issue, though is not that players we no good before Sky/SL but where would those players be now if Sky etc had not happened. I'd say those players would be playing union at the top level, not amateur or semi pro rugby league.

#123 Padge

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:14 PM

What's the saying, extraordinary claims require extraordinary eveidence? It strikes me that a claim that RL in the UK is worse for having accepted the sky deal in 95 is by almost any consideration an extraordinary one.

Firstly who is to say that Sky/News international would have just walked away if they had been knocked back. We have know exactly how they responded to exactly that scenario in Ausralia. Any serious consideration of the result of turning sky down must at least consider the possibilty of Sky simply recruiting the top clubs of the day to leave the RFL and play in a new competition.

Secondly, how many of the decisons/changes that people may say have been wrong or detrimental have been a result of accepting the sky deal? I'm struggling to think of many, probably London & Paris wouldn't have been invited to compete in the top league in '95 maybe the same applies to gateshead and Catalans. I would readily accept that with the exception of Catalans none of them have massive successes but equally id struggle to make a case for them having taken the cause of RL in the UK backwards.

Of the major changes in the game since the advent of SL i cant think of any that sky have insisted on or even pushed for. Summer rugby may taken longer to happen but it was coming,. Im not aware that sky dictate the distrbution if tv funds, they certainly didnt for the initial contract as several non SL clubs got sizable chunks of it. Twinning is largely the result of not enough money rather than too much.

Maybe its possible to suggest that without the sky money available in SL financial consequences of relegation would not be so dramatic and as such the case for licensing could not have been made. However that kind of assumes no tv deal at all. Perhaps if a lesser deal had been in place licensing would hzve come even earlier.


The initial offer from Sky was for the money to be for the televising of SL only, Murdoch pitched the bid so high because he wanted to ensure that the UK branch of his Star League (Super League) could compete with the ARL as far as contract money went during his battle with Packer, by default that money was exclusively therefore for SL.

The RFL had a problem though in that the excluded clubs were extremely unhappy at the situation, particularly as there was nothing in it for them. Lindsey went back to News International and got more money out of them exclusively to buy off the clubs who would be outside SL, NI said basically that was it and they could take it or leave it and don't come back for more later.

I don't have the figures at hand but I think each 2nd division club got around £100,000 and each 3rd tier club got around £50.000.

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#124 The Parksider

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

As always your right Parky, RL did not attract a single decent player before SKY.....


As John M outlines the point is that before SKY RL could outspend Union and could take Unions stars like Bateman, Davies, Quinnell etc. Union were amateur (albeit it they had underhand payments)

If we dump SKY, union can take any RL player they want who needs a living wage because now they can outspend us.

And if the players want to stay in RL then Australia is the place to earn that living wage.

Your post seems to have a dig at me? Why not focus on the debate and the facts as John M and myself have outlined them to you?

#125 sheddings69

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

The issue, though is not that players we no good before Sky/SL but where would those players be now if Sky etc had not happened. I'd say those players would be playing union at the top level, not amateur or semi pro rugby league.


....like they did before SKY eh?

#126 sheddings69

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:26 PM

As John M outlines the point is that before SKY RL could outspend Union and could take Unions stars like Bateman, Davies, Quinnell etc. Union were amateur (albeit it they had underhand payments)

If we dump SKY, union can take any RL player they want who needs a living wage because now they can outspend us.

And if the players want to stay in RL then Australia is the place to earn that living wage.

Your post seems to have a dig at me? Why not focus on the debate and the facts as John M and myself have outlined them to you?


Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me........

#127 The Parksider

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:28 PM

The issue, though is not that players we no good before Sky/SL but where would those players be now if Sky etc had not happened. I'd say those players would be playing union at the top level, not amateur or semi pro rugby league.


The point you make is very fundamental when I think about it.

Even if the game tries to go back to 1995 it can't.

Nothing stands still so to pull the SKY plug when Union is professional and enjoying successful European cups and World cups what would be left for league?

If players would move to Union wholesale John, why not RL clubs???

#128 The Parksider

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:30 PM

Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me........


I don't think they have, but I can count about 10 people who don't want a debate but want to just post childish digs.

Sorry it's eleven now :lol:

#129 Johnoco

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:31 PM

....like they did before SKY eh?

You do realise there was no pro RU then and there is now? Grand canyon sized difference.

#130 sheddings69

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:37 PM

I don't think they have, but I can count about 10 people who don't want a debate but want to just post childish digs.

Sorry it's eleven now :lol:


Debate would imply the consideration and deliberation of differing viewpoints Parky. Please feel free to start....

#131 sheddings69

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:41 PM

You do realise there was no pro RU then and there is now? Grand canyon sized difference.


Goes without saying but do you really believe that all top league players would immediately defect to Union? I think the SKY money was a great opportunity for the game to grow and develop......grow in certain areas it has but shrink rapidly in others it has also.

#132 The Parksider

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:44 PM

Debate would imply the consideration and deliberation of differing viewpoints Parky. Please feel free to start....


Well I considered and deliberated your idea as regards a returned to semi pro RL attracting players in the same way today as they did pre-1995.

Both JohnM and myself respectfully suggested that it would not happen in terms of the top players because RU can take players with their financial muscle as opposed to the pre-1996 position where League could take unions best and did.

You could have considered and deliberated that, you could have either agreed with us or agreed to disagree.

I'd have been happy to have accepted if you did not want to agree. Childish digs however have no place in an adult debate.

I do note however you feel there would be no wholesale switch, and I'd agree that would be the case up to a point - just how many RL players would union want???

However how many would they have to take of our top stars for people to think twice about playing or watching???

There's no doubt that semi-pro RL would survive and IF that meant it became a tiny northern game then for those who do not worry about such things e.g. - Marauder says it would be a "happy" game......

then fair enough.

Edited by The Parksider, 11 December 2012 - 01:57 PM.


#133 Johnoco

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:44 PM

Goes without saying but do you really believe that all top league players would immediately defect to Union? I think the SKY money was a great opportunity for the game to grow and develop......grow in certain areas it has but shrink rapidly in others it has also.

Yes beyond a doubt. And what's more I wouldn't blame them.

#134 sheddings69

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:51 PM

Yes beyond a doubt. And what's more I wouldn't blame them.


So the position is that the RFL have received millions of pounds in SKY funding. Have they wisely invested that in the infrastructure of the game or simply lined the pockets of a few clubs / players / agents? Correct me if I'm wrong but you now believe that if SKY decided to pull their funding RL would lose all its top players to RU? Therefore, the game is no longer able to support itself and is completely at the whim of a media tycoon and could effectively collapse should funding be withdrawn?

So getting back to the original question - has SKY been good for the game?

#135 The Parksider

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:53 PM

Yes beyond a doubt. And what's more I wouldn't blame them.


Looks like an agreement of sorts that short term some should move to union. Would that become a wholesale thing over the years or are our traditions too strong? Would a club defect is something I'd like opinions on.

Also how would the fans react? That's something there has been no comments on......

#136 The Parksider

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:55 PM

So the position is that the RFL have received millions of pounds in SKY funding. Have they wisely invested that in the infrastructure of the game or simply lined the pockets of a few clubs / players / agents? Correct me if I'm wrong but you now believe that if SKY decided to pull their funding RL would lose all its top players to RU? Therefore, the game is no longer able to support itself and is completely at the whim of a media tycoon and could effectively collapse should funding be withdrawn?


It couldn't financially collapse you are right in my (humble!) opinion.

Only if it continued to follow the habit of spending more than it earns.

Even if all clubs were semi pro they don't have to spend more than they earn

Edited by The Parksider, 11 December 2012 - 01:56 PM.


#137 Johnoco

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:55 PM

All pro sports apart from soccer would collapse if the rich backers pulled out....why is RL any different? Sky has been good for the game, even if you want to argue certain things could have been done better (which I'd agree with)

I'd lose my house if I lost my job but I don't live life thinking about it.

#138 sheddings69

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:00 PM

All pro sports apart from soccer would collapse if the rich backers pulled out....why is RL any different? Sky has been good for the game, even if you want to argue certain things could have been done better (which I'd agree with)

I'd lose my house if I lost my job but I don't live life thinking about it.


SKY has been good for part of the game.....in my opinion it has been a massive missed opportunity.....but its not too late to change; if there's a will there's a way.

.....and you wouldn't lose your house, you'd get yourself another job!

#139 Griff

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:01 PM

Sky has been good for the game but it's been better for other games.

Partly because we've not been as smart in using the money - partly because we were starting from a position of a regional game - partly other things.
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#140 sheddings69

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:02 PM

It couldn't financially collapse you are right in my (humble!) opinion.

Only if it continued to follow the habit of spending more than it earns.

Even if all clubs were semi pro they don't have to spend more than they earn


Agreed.

Can and should the sport sustain full time professionalism even now? The financial performance of our 'top' SKY sponsored clubs suggests not.