Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Mumby Magic

Do we deserve to be in the National Papers?

83 posts in this topic

A simple question here: If specific newspapers increased RL coverage would you be inclined to buy those papers on that basis? If the answer is "no" then why should coverage be increased?

Whether we like it or not there is a fairly fundamental class divide between the followers of RU and RL - the former are more inclined to buy "their kind of paper" which often gives extensive RU coverage. I have severe doubts that if those papers increased their Rl coverage they would also increase sales.

That's their bottom line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Club RU should in honesty get more coverage than club RL

It often does. The 7'000 or so who watch Sale on a Friday night can look forward to reading a decent match report about their match in the following mornings nationals, whereas the 17'000 who watch Wigan just 30 miles away will be lucky to get a couple of lines in the 'World of Sport' or 'Other Sports' sections if anything at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Surely a measure of how popular these sports are at certain levels is Sky viewing figures. All sports have their top league and some international games shown by SS.

engage Super League coverage more often than not outstrips RU Premiership coverage, often by a considerable amount. How does this then translate that more people want to read about the RU Premiership than engage Super League? That doesn't make much sense to me tbh.

We can have no complaints at Test level, as RU tests often have double the viewing figures of a RU test, but tbh if we had half their coverage it would be a hell of an improvement.

I was thinking attendance wide but fair point though RL has more of a TV culture than RU so more complex with regards to it being an indication of interest.

Edited by bowes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was interesting to see Sale get their Friday night game in last Saturday's Mail when the reason for not covering Friday night Super League games is that they are too late for the edition.

Sale presumably play in a different time zone to Saints, Wigan and Warrington.

If you could show a sports editor last weekend's Wigan v Leeds game, and said that the final was likely to attract 65-70,000, and that the average attendance across the top level of the sport was above 10,000, and there were no pre-conceived ideas or prejudices involved, they would be falling over themselves to cover it.

Rugby League is tailor made for a mass audience.

The games are exciting more often than not. They provide any number of talking points, almost non-stop action and are played by incredible all round athletes - 99% of who are ignored by the vast majority of the media for the vast majority of the time.

I've often thought the sport's relentless nature sometimes works against it. There are no long pauses when commentators can waffle on about the superlative nature of what we've just seen and replay it over and over.

Rugby Union, tennis, cricket and golf are all apparently played by near magicians capable of the most incredible feats of skill. Our players...well you wouldn't know would you?

How many big profile pieces have there been on Adrian Morley for instance? Outstanding in a very good Warrington team, back to back Wembley wins, a success in the hardest rugby competition in the world. A character in every sense of the word.

When Warrington retained the cup, the rugby teaser on the front of the Sunday Times sports section was that Tom Rees was fit again.

Newspapers have all but given up providing any analysis, you certainly won't get much on Sky and while the BBC's studio team do a decent job, the magazine programme is hidden in the schedules and of limited value.

I think we're almost too far down the road to work our way back to fair national newspaper coverage and that the 2013 World Cup could be a make or break competition. Win it, or come very close, and we can try to build on what should be an increased profile in the short term. Perform like we did at the last one and our media future would be even bleaker than at present

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The strength of the game is definitely in the south.

The 3 northern clubs first home games got 5,000 5,500 and 7,500. This is against the Aviva league average of 12,000.

Of course it is bigger and more spread but as far as the Aviva league goes the real interest lies in the south.

When you consider that Exeter are new this year and that the 3 Northern clubs are not well supported, it is a fairly regional league. Compared to the amount of press it gets, how many people do you think are genuinely interested in the results of the Aviva Premiership. I would suggest there are a handful of people in the north.

League clearly deserves to be in the National press in comparison and it would be if the M62 happened to run through London.

It is interesting to note that Sale hardly has any competition in the North-West. They are the only club in the top tier of RU.

The next clubs are two leagues down in national league one, Macclesfield and Sedgley Park whose attendances hardly set the world on fire (the recent match between the two had an attendance of 397)

You do get the impression that RU is declining somewhat in the North and the ambitious up and coming clubs are from the South.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You must be getting old! The JohnM of the past would have swatted an extreme reaction like that like swatting away a dying autumn wasp! If there is personal abuse do what CKN is advises us to do till he is blue in the face - report it and get on with providing your entertaining but cutting posts.

Also don't forget to press the "ignore" function. No offence to Bowes here though I do enjoy his opinions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To answer the question in the OP, while we deserve to be in the national media, it would be hard to argue the case for the coverage to be more extensive. Why? Simply because at national level, RL isn't as popular as other sports. This comes down to the sport being centred around the club game. In other sports the main focus of attention is on the international game - Football, Cricket and RU being the main examples. Until we make the international game the focus of attention, or at least more important than it is now, nothing will change.

I know a lot of people on here are convinced it's just a big RU led conspiracy. 10 or 20 years ago it was probably true. But things have moved on. Comparisons are made between crowds like 15,000 for Leicester V Northampton and 85,000 for Warrington V Leeds. The important comparison should be 70,000 or so for the England RU team and the 20,000 for the England RL team. And that's even before you take into account the crowds for Wales and Scotland.

International competition is where you pull in the interest of the general sports fan. It's these people that RL has left behind. Pull them in with big international matches, and their interest may spread down to club level and hopefully even amateur level and participating in the game itself.

The Eddie Waring documentary midweek made a telling point. Every few weeks upto 1996, RL was broadcast into everybody's home. The sport picked up a lot of interest from the casual sports fan all over the country. That, sadly, was partially abandoned. RL's visibilty to the public at large has reduced, and along with it the interest. Cricket has faced the same dilemma - go for the money from Sky or keep the terrestrial coverage with the widespread coverage. The jury's out on the effects on cricket, but RL definatley seems to have suffered.

Your last paragraph is very true You only have to look at the huge levels of interest genbrated by Kangaroo tours to see this. The 1990+94 series had the same effect. Changes in the newsprint industry have not helped either. Sky might have saved the game in some people's view, but it killed the international game and keeps it from the widest possible audience. Even the crowds it draws are incomparable, so it killed it for many fans as well.

Edited by StevieM13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be very interested to hear what from the newspapers themselves about how they decide the allocation of coverage between RU n RL.

As businesses you would imagine they have some financial basis for deciding how much coverage to give each sport and some relationship between what their readers want n what they get in terms of coverage.

The implication from their actyions is that over the last 30 years or so ,although RL attendances have gone up ,the interest in RL from their readership,at least relative to soccer,Cricket n RU has gone down.

Something David Sadler could organise?A forum with sports editors of the major papers and a fact based discussion on how they decide their coverage?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd be very interested to hear what from the newspapers themselves about how they decide the allocation of coverage between RU n RL.

As businesses you would imagine they have some financial basis for deciding how much coverage to give each sport and some relationship between what their readers want n what they get in terms of coverage.

The implication from their actyions is that over the last 30 years or so ,although RL attendances have gone up ,the interest in RL from their readership,at least relative to soccer,Cricket n RU has gone down.

Something David Sadler could organise?A forum with sports editors of the major papers and a fact based discussion on how they decide their coverage?

The buggers don't even turn up to the CC Final when given freebies, they'll never turn up to a 'forum' where they might have to actually work.

Edited by tonyXIII

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd be very interested to hear what from the newspapers themselves about how they decide the allocation of coverage between RU n RL.

As businesses you would imagine they have some financial basis for deciding how much coverage to give each sport and some relationship between what their readers want n what they get in terms of coverage.

The implication from their actyions is that over the last 30 years or so ,although RL attendances have gone up ,the interest in RL from their readership,at least relative to soccer,Cricket n RU has gone down.

Something David Sadler could organise?A forum with sports editors of the major papers and a fact based discussion on how they decide their coverage?

But it's not a choice between the two, it's a choice between a whole raft of minority sports and RU has a massive spread of clubs across the country. There are 5 leagues in Yorkshire alone with 13 clubs to a league and I'll bet each club has at least 2 sides so that's 130 teams playing most Saturdays, which is the thick end of 2,000 people playing in one county alone. To just look at the headline figures of SuperLeague and Aviva Premiership is to miss the majority of the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But it's not a choice between the two, it's a choice between a whole raft of minority sports and RU has a massive spread of clubs across the country. There are 5 leagues in Yorkshire alone with 13 clubs to a league and I'll bet each club has at least 2 sides so that's 130 teams playing most Saturdays, which is the thick end of 2,000 people playing in one county alone. To just look at the headline figures of SuperLeague and Aviva Premiership is to miss the majority of the story.

If there is so much interest in the game, wouldn't this transfer into Sky viewing figures?

I am not talking about Internationals, I have no issue with extensive coverage of that, but when Aviva Premiership gets this extensive coverage, despite the clear lack of national interest, then it is an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick comment on the M62 arguement, most of the comments about our clubs being around the M62 are Rugby League fans moaning, Union fans don't complain about the M4, The football fans didnt moan when nearly half the clubs in the Premier League were from in and around London, they just got on with it and enjoyed the sport. Ours, however, teams are being looked down on for wantin to achieve great things but being near the M62.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If there is so much interest in the game, wouldn't this transfer into Sky viewing figures?

I am not talking about Internationals, I have no issue with extensive coverage of that, but when Aviva Premiership gets this extensive coverage, despite the clear lack of national interest, then it is an issue.

This is where RL is a little different from RU. Because of the international element there are a lot more of the occasional supporters. They'll watch if England are playing, but beyond that they're not that bothered. The interest in the sport doesn't filter down to the club game. But thanks to the 6N and the WC there are a lot of them about when the internationals are shown.

RL doesn't seem to catch the 'floating voter' anymore because the big international occasions tend to be on Sky. Only the devoted RL fans watch - in their numbers it has to be said - but by and large it'll be the same audience that watches the SL matches. RL just doesn't have as many, well supported, big international occasions as RU does.

On Sky you're only talking to a section of the country - those that subscribe. Any sporting event on Sky has to compete with what's on the 3 other sports channels. With the amount of football shown on TV nowadays the average sports fan will go with the big events - usually football. The SL coverage on Sky is only really preaching to the converted. I suppose you could say that after all the football there isn't a lot of time left for sports like RL.

It's the saturation coverage that football recieves in this country that is really causing us problems. Indeed every other sport in the country can probably say the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If there is so much interest in the game, wouldn't this transfer into Sky viewing figures?

I am not talking about Internationals, I have no issue with extensive coverage of that, but when Aviva Premiership gets this extensive coverage, despite the clear lack of national interest, then it is an issue.

One issue not often mentioned is RU traditionally had more senior clubs up north than in any other region so because there were so many near each other there was less support for any individual one and thus it was harder to attract enough support when the game went pro (Leeds are a merger of Headingley and Roundhay think of in RL terms how big crowd the equivalent would get and would supporters of other West Yorkshire clubs go watch them?) Twickenham and surrounding areas was the other area with too many clubs hence mergers, relocations and clubs dropping down the leagues, historically there was not a single senior club in the entire South East outside of London but 10 in London!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But it's not a choice between the two, it's a choice between a whole raft of minority sports and RU has a massive spread of clubs across the country. There are 5 leagues in Yorkshire alone with 13 clubs to a league and I'll bet each club has at least 2 sides so that's 130 teams playing most Saturdays, which is the thick end of 2,000 people playing in one county alone. To just look at the headline figures of SuperLeague and Aviva Premiership is to miss the majority of the story.

RU certainly is strong at this level in Yorkshire but if these clubs do have second teams won't they already be in the league structure at a lower level.There's no need to count them twice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The upsurge of Super League changed the face of Rugby League in more ways than one. It seems it was around this time that International attendances seemed to drop as the club game became Full Time and many SL clubs attendances grew. A drop international interest in the sport has paralleled the national media slowly, slowlyy dropping away from our sport. Could we fill Wembley or even Old Trafford now for an International fixture??

The World Cup's inconsistency of numbers, concept and irregular year patterns makes our sport look amateurish at the top level. The first RU world cup was somewhat of tin pot tournament but consistent year patterns and strategic hosting venues has enabled it to build. I feel our next World Cup is one of only consolidation and the retreat to our northern venues will emphasise how much work is still to be done.

Edited by Mumby Magic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RU certainly is strong at this level in Yorkshire but if these clubs do have second teams won't they already be in the league structure at a lower level.There's no need to count them twice

Actually no 2nds (3rds, 4ths...) play in merit leagues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is where RL is a little different from RU. Because of the international element there are a lot more of the occasional supporters. They'll watch if England are playing, but beyond that they're not that bothered. The interest in the sport doesn't filter down to the club game. But thanks to the 6N and the WC there are a lot of them about when the internationals are shown.

RL doesn't seem to catch the 'floating voter' anymore because the big international occasions tend to be on Sky. Only the devoted RL fans watch - in their numbers it has to be said - but by and large it'll be the same audience that watches the SL matches. RL just doesn't have as many, well supported, big international occasions as RU does.

On Sky you're only talking to a section of the country - those that subscribe. Any sporting event on Sky has to compete with what's on the 3 other sports channels. With the amount of football shown on TV nowadays the average sports fan will go with the big events - usually football. The SL coverage on Sky is only really preaching to the converted. I suppose you could say that after all the football there isn't a lot of time left for sports like RL.

It's the saturation coverage that football recieves in this country that is really causing us problems. Indeed every other sport in the country can probably say the same.

Agree with all your points about the International game, howveer my point about the Sky viewing figures is because both sport's club games are on Sky, so they are directly comparable.

Based on coverage of RU Premiership and engage SL in certain papers, you woul surely think that there is 5-6 times more interest in the RU competition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If there is so much interest in the game, wouldn't this transfer into Sky viewing figures?

I am not talking about Internationals, I have no issue with extensive coverage of that, but when Aviva Premiership gets this extensive coverage, despite the clear lack of national interest, then it is an issue.

IMO this is how this sort of works.. and league needs to look at it too and get the intertnational game profile risen to have the same effect.

The international game gets the interest of the general population becuase they can get behind an England side easier than they can a random side around the country.. However, they also want to read about the premiership in the papers BECAUSE this impacts on the national side, by reading it in the sunday papers they get an idea of who is playing well, who should be called up etc and they are able to comment about it in more detail down the pub. and so the interest to ead the articles and read about the players is there because of how those players etc impact the national side which is their main interest.

however, union is perhaps stuck still in the old days, with the spread of the premiership clubs people still support their local sides and go out and support them (where i am you may go and watch sheffield, rotherham, doncaster or just your local park side rather than travelling to Leciester or Leeds [spits]).. you have no affinity and so maybe avoid the premiership unless it happens to be on while you are sitting there and nothign else is on (very much the way i do it.. if Sheffield were there i would tune in for their matches but they arent, i have no affininty to any premiership side but if there is nowt else on i would watch it, not going to give up an afternoon with the boy to watch teams i couldnt care less about htough.. yet i would for say an england match)..

The international game stirs interest. it stirs interest in people finding out what is happening at club level// then if there is a club near them they get involved with thatclub watching it/playing/helping.. and thumb through papers trying to find out about the top level players.. IF they have a top level club close enough they will go an support, get a passion and watch on tv..

the other way is to hope that the domestic game on tv stirs the passion for people to take on a domestic side as their own and so want to find out about it, watch on tv then try to find a local side etc etc.. IMHO this is much harder as you are asking people to affiliate with a place they dont know and really dont care about.. where as with England/GB/Wales/Scotland etc they automatically have an affiliation.

juist an opinion based a bit on myself and friends no scientific fact or figures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agree with all your points about the International game, howveer my point about the Sky viewing figures is because both sport's club games are on Sky, so they are directly comparable.

Based on coverage of RU Premiership and engage SL in certain papers, you woul surely think that there is 5-6 times more interest in the RU competition.

The viewing figures for club games is one area where RL beats RU hands down. This might have something to do with the fact that the club game in RL is perceived to be the most important level of the game. For many non-RL people the sport means Wigan v St Helens or Hull v Hull KR. Non-RU fans would immediately associate RU with England and the 6Nations. Therefore because a game between Wigan and St Helens has less of an appeal to the casual sports fan than a game involving an England team, RL makes itself less popular. It's nothing to do with the quality of the fare on offer, it's simply that more people would be interested in a game involving the national team than one involving 2 club sides.

I also think it depends on which newspaper you read, and also where in the country you happen to have bought it. A paper like The Times which has a large readership within the M25 will focus more on RU because it's more popular. On top of that there's the simple fact that most newspapers are based in London - the bias towards London in all forms of media is getting worse. Watching the TV news, a story from London will usually get national coverage - a comparable story from anywhere else in the country will probably only feature on the regional news bulletin.

As I said in my earlier post, for all the criticism of coverage of RU, the bias towards football is 10 times worse. This weekend Stoke play West Ham. Now is that really a game which really desrves the amount of coverage it will no doubt get? Not for me it isn't, but because it's a football match all the papers will have at least half a page devoted to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IMO this is how this sort of works.. and league needs to look at it too and get the intertnational game profile risen to have the same effect.

The international game gets the interest of the general population becuase they can get behind an England side easier than they can a random side around the country.. However, they also want to read about the premiership in the papers BECAUSE this impacts on the national side, by reading it in the sunday papers they get an idea of who is playing well, who should be called up etc and they are able to comment about it in more detail down the pub. and so the interest to ead the articles and read about the players is there because of how those players etc impact the national side which is their main interest.

however, union is perhaps stuck still in the old days, with the spread of the premiership clubs people still support their local sides and go out and support them (where i am you may go and watch sheffield, rotherham, doncaster or just your local park side rather than travelling to Leciester or Leeds [spits]).. you have no affinity and so maybe avoid the premiership unless it happens to be on while you are sitting there and nothign else is on (very much the way i do it.. if Sheffield were there i would tune in for their matches but they arent, i have no affininty to any premiership side but if there is nowt else on i would watch it, not going to give up an afternoon with the boy to watch teams i couldnt care less about htough.. yet i would for say an england match)..

The international game stirs interest. it stirs interest in people finding out what is happening at club level// then if there is a club near them they get involved with thatclub watching it/playing/helping.. and thumb through papers trying to find out about the top level players.. IF they have a top level club close enough they will go an support, get a passion and watch on tv..

the other way is to hope that the domestic game on tv stirs the passion for people to take on a domestic side as their own and so want to find out about it, watch on tv then try to find a local side etc etc.. IMHO this is much harder as you are asking people to affiliate with a place they dont know and really dont care about.. where as with England/GB/Wales/Scotland etc they automatically have an affiliation.

juist an opinion based a bit on myself and friends no scientific fact or figures.

I agree with this, and am a massive supporter of our International game and feel this is the biggest way we can get greater media presence, however I still struggle with the concept that people want to read about the RU Premiership, but don't want to watch it on Sky.

If the international game is stirring that much interest, why aren't the viewing figures better. Is there really that ,uch difference between viewers and readers? I suppose this is where it comes back to the type of people that are watching/reading, although I suspect it is more to do with the type of people writing/editing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with this, and am a massive supporter of our International game and feel this is the biggest way we can get greater media presence, however I still struggle with the concept that people want to read about the RU Premiership, but don't want to watch it on Sky.

If the international game is stirring that much interest, why aren't the viewing figures better. Is there really that ,uch difference between viewers and readers? I suppose this is where it comes back to the type of people that are watching/reading, although I suspect it is more to do with the type of people writing/editing.

i think its the same as i read about the premiership football but i dont watch it, match of the day or full games.. but i would watch international football.. i also watch league 1 where my team play.. and i think RU has similar.. people will watch maybe the highlight real but becuase they arent interested in the clubs they may not watch the game as they have other things to do and they get their RU "fix" by watching hteir local national2/3 or regional league team..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sex sells

Joking apart - this is what TGG needs...more exposure for our fit players to get the crowds back...g/f's bring b/fs

Cameo roles on Soaps is the future ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also don't forget to press the "ignore" function. No offence to Bowes here though I do enjoy his opinions.

I often enjoy his posts, and he contributes a lot of information, but he does have a tendency to 'go off on one' and present his opinions as absolute fact (don't know where the hell he gets that from).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get a little bit annoyed about this subject and find it hypocritical at times when we seek more attention from the national newspapers when our own trade paper(s) give a substantial part of our game very poor coverage, in my opinion.

As a Championship 1 club supporter I have complained to Martyn Sdaler about the lack of coverage for Championship and Championship 1 clubs in the Rugby League Express. Martyn obviously didn't agree with me stating that they gave two pages for Championship clubs news and "sometimes" a mention on page 2 or 3. Wow.

Take a look at any weeks copy and in the majority of cases you have to wait until about page 10 before you get 1 page for the Championship clubs and then the next page is for the Championship 1 clubs. Stevo has a full page every week and very rarely, if ever, mentions Championship or Championship 1 clubs. Martyn himself has at least half a page for his column and again rarely, if ever, mentions the lower leagues.

In the rear of the paper there are about 8 pages usually covering academy, amateur and australian rugby league before we get to the letter pages which are usually full of SL club fans calling each others teams, etc.

I suggested they should change the title to Super League Express but I note they haven't changed it. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

So, how can we complain about our game not getting national media coverage when we don't cater for a large part of it ourselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



League Express - Mon 10th April 2017

Rugby League World - April 2017