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Presenting the game


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#1 Eddie Rombo

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:23 PM

After all the talk about promotion and relegation, poor attendances and the national team been unable to beat Australia, I feel that one of Rugby League’s real problems is the way it is presented on Sky.

 

The game in Europe is often compared to the NRL, I feel we have a great on field product but we could learn a lot from how they present their game. While watching the NRL, Ray Warren often gives us nicknames for players, such as “The Polar Bear” for Ben Hannant and “Billy the Kid” for Billy Slater. While these are not the most amazing nicknames, they add an extra level to the player. Surely the Sky presenters could come up with a few names for players, either their own nicknames or ones the commentators have gave them. This has worked well in sports such as darts, would Phil Taylor be a household name without his “Power” moniker? Most successful boxers have a nickname such “Hit man”, “Iron”, “Cobra”, “Money”, the list goes on.

 

   The Super League of Extraordinary campaign was a good start, so why do the commentators not refer to the players by those names given to them in the campaign. For example Gareth the hit man Hock or Leroy the cobra Cudjoe sounds a lot better, especially to children and makes the players stand out from the crowd.

 

   In the NRL there are a number of sponsors that pop up through the game, such as the Keno replay and the bookmaker that comes on to give the match odds before the game. Why can’t we attract sponsors for this, we could get William Hill or Betfair to have a spokesman telling us the match odds and there must be a company in the U.K willing to sponsor the Video ref and other segments of the show.

 

    The commentary needs an overhaul, Eddie Hemmings and Stevo should function as the shows hosts. A commentator needs to be found, similar to Martin Tyler in football or Ray Warren. Let them tell us about what is happening, not endlessly argue about the rules or what the ref is doing wrong. We should be told the history of players, what clubs they played for, their junior teams, injuries they have suffered, how fast they are, how strong they are in the gym etc and so forth ( to quote Stevo)

 

There should also be a couple of players to give us expert analysis on the game, how the players will be feeling and thinking. The NRL does this particularly well with Darren Lockyer and Brad Fittler, Andrew Henderson does this well on Premier sports. Someone like Ellery Hanley or Paul Sculthorpe would be good in this role, true greats of the game.

 

 

  Finally I feel the game should be portrayed as the epic sporting contest Rugby League at its best is. It should be made to seem dramatic, the players are warriors risking it all for their teams, awesome skill levels and the athletic abilities of the players should be what we are consistently reminded of. The contest should be talked up constantly, how tough the game is, the injuries, such as Paul Woods testicle injury should be highlighted again and again to show how tough these men really are, especially when compared to footballers. The history of the game should be celebrated, past players and highlights of great games between teams should be shown before the match to build anticipation.



#2 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:38 PM

Can't disagree with that.

The main thing is to replace Eddie and Stevo. They aren't with the new generation anymore and are just getting left further and further behind.
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#3 EastLondonMike

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:12 PM

Agree about replacing Eddie and Stevo, and addressing the desperate need for some new blood in the production of SKYs RL coverage. Its a personal bugbear of mine, and i hate to see it done as badly as it has been done in the last couple of seasons on SKY.

It has to happen in the next year or so. it just has to!

The sponsors thing is so obvious also. Sponsoring the MOM, half-time highlights, full-time review, big play of the game etc. It might not reap huge financial rewards at the start, but anything would be better than nothing. And it would allow more to be spent on the production. Who knows after a couple of seasons of sponsoring such things we might be able to afford things like Video refs at all games.

I know some dislike the fact NRL games are so heavily sponsored, so such things would no doubt please some and not others. but they would help the game greatly.

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#4 1976PMJwires

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:39 PM

Eddie and stevo ain't the problem, were a minority sport.... They love there rugby ...... wether were from Sheffield, Rotherham, Chester, Gloucester or Bristol were struggling. We just need to respect the fact..... World Cup year and no super league sponsorship !!

#5 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:41 PM


Eddie and stevo ain't the problem, were a minority sport.... They love there rugby ...... wether were from Sheffield, Rotherham, Chester, Gloucester or Bristol were struggling. We just need to respect the fact..... World Cup year and no super league sponsorship !!


Could you repeat that again in English please...
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#6 EastLondonMike

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:43 PM

We're a sleeping giant of British sport!

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#7 terrywebbisgod

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:45 PM

Eddie and stevo ain't the problem, were a minority sport.... They love there rugby ...... wether were from Sheffield, Rotherham, Chester, Gloucester or Bristol were struggling. We just need to respect the fact..... World Cup year and no super league sponsorship !!

They may love Rugby League but they are paid to commentate on the game,not reel off the same old cliches week in week out or make up penalty calls that don't exist,then argue the point for the next five minutes while the game continues.


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#8 Dave T

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:01 PM


Eddie and stevo ain't the problem, were a minority sport.... They love there rugby ...... wether were from Sheffield, Rotherham, Chester, Gloucester or Bristol were struggling. We just need to respect the fact..... World Cup year and no super league sponsorship !!

no matter how many times you repeat this about the game being on its knees and using the lack of title sponsor to demonstrate it, the game just carries on and doesnt actually die. Dont be so melodramatic.

#9 markleeds

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:12 PM

After early promise even Brian Carney is shocking. Have a piece of eye candy (both male and female) present the show and let Clarke and Dave Woods commentate. Get rid of Carney (he can go work for Leeds doing their PR) Eddie and Stevo (just plain embarrassing) along with Barrie and Terry (wrong image). Also start grooming Wilkin and Crabtree for when they retire.

Edited by markleeds, 06 May 2013 - 04:17 PM.


#10 Blind side johnny

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:15 PM

Eddie and Stevo's jobs are to make the Sky productions entertaining and attractive, particularly to less committed viewers than those who post on here. Sky aren't the least bit bothered about how "the sport" is presented unless it also serves Sky's objectives to do so. What fans of the game think they want from Sky and what Sky themselves want will undoubtedly be markedly different. I think this line of attack is barking up the wrong tree.

 

On a slightly different tack BBC get massive criticism for the style of summarisers/ presenters on Match of the Day and have for years; they haven't changed and nor have their viewing figures.


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#11 markleeds

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:19 PM

I think the game needs to be presented in a classier way, get rid of the over the top graphics and make the presentation a bit more simple.

Edited by markleeds, 06 May 2013 - 04:20 PM.


#12 Mistress_Marlowe

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:48 PM

After early promise even Brian Carney is shocking. Have a piece of eye candy (both male and female) present the show and let Clarke and Dave Woods commentate. Get rid of Carney (he can go work for Leeds doing their PR) Eddie and Stevo (just plain embarrassing) along with Barrie and Terry (wrong image). Also start grooming Wilkin and Crabtree for when they retire.

 

Why does either man or woman have to be "eye candy"? Clare Balding has been one of the best rugby league hosts in broadcasting and is not usually to be found in the FHM top 100 sexiest. Let's be a bit more progressive and have people there on merit, not looks.


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#13 thirteenthman

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:54 PM

The commentary needs an overhaul, Eddie Hemmings and Stevo should function as the shows hosts. A commentator needs to be found, similar to Martin Tyler in football or Ray Warren.

 

 There should also be a couple of players to give us expert analysis on the game, how the players will be feeling and thinking. The NRL does this particularly well with Darren Lockyer and Brad Fittler, Andrew Henderson does this well on Premier sports. Someone like Ellery Hanley or Paul Sculthorpe would be good in this role, true greats of the game.

 

To pick up on a couple of your points, firstly on the commentators. Go and have a read of one of the Australian foums like League Unlimited and you'll see threads devoted to Ray Warren, criticising his style of commentary and basically saying he's past it. He and Phil Gould regularly get into mock arguments about the refs and go off on a tangent.

 

The point about more expert analysis from ex or current players is a very good one. Andrew Johns does this very well on the NRL coverage, regularly picking out points about the halfbacks play, kicking style or how tries are set up. The problem I guess is finding people who are both knowledgeable, but also come over well on TV. For me, the likes of Terry O'Connor fail on both of these counts.



#14 Eddie Rombo

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:01 PM

To pick up on a couple of your points, firstly on the commentators. Go and have a read of one of the Australian foums like League Unlimited and you'll see threads devoted to Ray Warren, criticising his style of commentary and basically saying he's past it. He and Phil Gould regularly get into mock arguments about the refs and go off on a tangent.

 

The point about more expert analysis from ex or current players is a very good one. Andrew Johns does this very well on the NRL coverage, regularly picking out points about the halfbacks play, kicking style or how tries are set up. The problem I guess is finding people who are both knowledgeable, but also come over well on TV. For me, the likes of Terry O'Connor fail on both of these counts.

Ray Warren may not be everyone's cup of tea but he is definitely more knowledgeable on the game than Eddie Hemmings and is a better commentator than what we already have. I'm not saying we should have Ray Warren but someone like him, with a good knowledge, who actually comments on what is happening in play. 

 

Terry and Barrie often stumble over their words and sound unsure of themselves. We need people who can get their point across clearly and entertainingly.

 

What are everyone's thoughts on nicknames for players to raise their profile and also the sponsorship opportunities been missed?

 

How would other members improve the way the game is presented?  



#15 Eddie Rombo

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:11 PM

Eddie and Stevo's jobs are to make the Sky productions entertaining and attractive, particularly to less committed viewers than those who post on here. Sky aren't the least bit bothered about how "the sport" is presented unless it also serves Sky's objectives to do so. What fans of the game think they want from Sky and what Sky themselves want will undoubtedly be markedly different. I think this line of attack is barking up the wrong tree.

 

On a slightly different tack BBC get massive criticism for the style of summarisers/ presenters on Match of the Day and have for years; they haven't changed and nor have their viewing figures.

Surely it would serve sky's objectives to have a better presented programme that would attract more viewers by been better to watch. If the game is presented more professionally and as a must see product then it would drag in new viewers as well as keeping existing viewers happy.

 

People watch Match of the Day to see the highlights of the premiership matches not for the analysis, it has high viewing figures because it is the first chance for viewers to see the highlights of the day's games. Highlights of football will always be popular on a Saturday night, plus it is a much more popular sport and Match of the Day is an established British tradition.



#16 Dave T

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:11 PM

Aussie sport and British sport is different. Shoe-horning nicknames into commentary would be cringeworthy and we'd have people complaining about more Americanisation.

I think the presentation is perfectly fine tbh, commentary could absolutely do with freshening up, but tbh I suspect we'll never be happy.

#17 Eddie Rombo

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:13 PM

Why does either man or woman have to be "eye candy"? Clare Balding has been one of the best rugby league hosts in broadcasting and is not usually to be found in the FHM top 100 sexiest. Let's be a bit more progressive and have people there on merit, not looks.

Clare Balding would be a great new addition



#18 Garvers

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:20 PM

I'm struggling to think of a single worse idea in the history of rugby league than asking Eddie & Stevo to invent nicknames for players.  

 

And I've heard most of Lobby's...



#19 Just Browny

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:36 PM

Don't we have nicknames for players anyway? Stevo certainly does.

Rob Burrow - 'Beep beep'
Ade Gardner - 'The man who runs through walls'

And if Gardner's doesn't make the case for not having nicknames, I don't know what does.

Edited by Just Browny, 06 May 2013 - 06:36 PM.

I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.


#20 Eddie Rombo

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:07 PM

I'm struggling to think of a single worse idea in the history of rugby league than asking Eddie & Stevo to invent nicknames for players.  

 

And I've heard most of Lobby's...

I'm struggling to see where anyone has suggested the much maligned Eddie and Stevo would be put in charge of handing out nicknames to our stars. I would think that a marketing team would be behind the names chosen similar to the super league of extraordinary campaign. The nicknames would make the players stand out from the crowd, giving them a unique identity and making them more memorable to the casual viewer, which surely everyone agrees, the game needs more of.






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