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The Parksider

The SKY contract for RL - good or bad?

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I don't believe in that at all anymore and have been for a long time now. I believe that all sports or all football codes are great products as long as there are fans who supports them just as passionately as ours.

Indeed.

But the problem is the passion for semi professional Rugby is much lesser than the passion for professional rugby in either code.

The question remains where would our top division be if it turned semi pro?

How many fans would peel away is a tough one to answer????

Let's be honest about our passion by comparing crowds when a club is doing well in SL to when it is doing badly in CC.

The loss of passion is very high indeed.

Would the fans of the top clubs retain the passion to attend matches, would crowds go back to 1995 levels, would other factors click in like the loss of the top players to union? A sense of decline? Rich men walking away?? the idea RL has no top clubs if it has no professional division?? Or are we all really that passionate that we'd stick by the game in enough numbers??

The passion for GB has fallen, just how further could that fall?? However if our best players are all in Australia honing their skills a la NZ's players maybe it will rise if this improves results??

Are we all really that passionate that we'd stick by the game in enough numbers to stem a decline??

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It is a well known that that the RFL (By appointing IMG) and not dealing direct as before totally p----d off vic wakling at sky who ctually offered less money in the end as a punishment to the RFL going the IMG route,in fact it was one of the reason,s why sky went out and signed up the H cup at the time as a backup.There is no alternative at present ESPN could not offer the money SKY do,BT have spent all the budget on premiership soccer and PREMIER SPORTS only offer a production only deal NO CASH.CM

Well that answers Ackroman's point. He may wish to come back.

Would the BBC be happy to sign up the Rugby League "league programme" if we went back to being a semi pro first division??

They want us as a professional sport now, but will they want a semi professional sport? Will the Challenge cup be a spectacle anymore as it is with professional clubs today or as it was in the nineties when top RugbyPlayers from both codes played in it??

A return to semi pro would not put top RL or RU stars on the Wembley stage anymore??

Would the Beeb still want the cup??

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How is the World Club Challenge treated by TV companies? Is it rolled in to the Sky Super League package?

Usually a competitive game in front of a big crowd, would be a good platform to showcase the sport if it was shown on BBC, its a slight tangent but just wondered if its ever been looked at as an individual event to be sold to broadcasters?

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How is the World Club Challenge treated by TV companies? Is it rolled in to the Sky Super League package?

Usually a competitive game in front of a big crowd, would be a good platform to showcase the sport if it was shown on BBC, its a slight tangent but just wondered if its ever been looked at as an individual event to be sold to broadcasters?

SKY show it so I cannot see how we can deplete SKY's schedule and get away with it!!

ANYWAY the question is about what would happen if we went back to semi-pro and I'd guess the WCC would not survive?

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Well that answers Ackroman's point. He may wish to come back.

"What if" threads are OK if you are prepared to allow contributors to speculate within the bounds of firstly possibility and then probability.

However you've already hijacked your own thread by dismissing all possibilities other than one so what's the point?

Your limited thinking that a void left by SKY would never be/ will never be filled by anything or anyone else thus leading to an inevitable reduction of RL to a two bit northern diversion similar to morris dancing is laughable. I have no desire to contribute further on this.

I also note you've clearly made your mind up on the answer and derailed the thread further by limiting the question to "what would RL look like as a part time sport" already.

Enjoy.

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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.

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1.If you.......

2. you've already........

3. Your limited thinking........

4. I also note you've.......

I have no desire to contribute further on this.

Please, the answer to the question is not about me.

You suggested RFL could have found funding elsewhere than SKY over the years

Canet Man and myself have followed this aspect of the game since 1995 and we could not think of where else.

So I politely asked you if you knew anyone/anywhere.

Your entitled to any opinion you like, I'm entitled to discuss it if you post in on here??

Again you and you ilk are hijacking posts on the idea that you can say what you want on here and not be challenged.

I have a challenge on the idea SL crowds are false because season ticket holders do not always show up. I think that is right up to a point, but in my experience they often lend their tickets to people to use so we do sit with the odd empty seat now and again, but more often that not there's a different face in it.

Hope it was OK me mentioning that?

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In short - I'm not sure what choice we had - the BBC don't broadcast regular league games for any sport any more.

This is pretty much it in a nutshell. People clammering for prime-time exposure haven't taken the time to stop and think about the tv climate today compared to the 70s and 80s. The only sport that is on any terrestrial network regularly in prime-time weekdays is European club/International soccer - even then that isn't on the Beeb. It certainly isn't the case of just put it on and people will watch, the cup final ratings are pretty low by BBC standards and at the rate the corperation is losing sport currently we'd have to have left for Sky, or someone like them, sooner or later anyway.

In general, for sport, people now go to Sky. It may not be liked, but it's true. (Unless it's of earth shattering international importance though - World Cup, Olympics etc - and RL will not be in that catagory ever)

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And Australia have stood still all this time have they?

OOh I do appreciate your questions, succint and credible.

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This is pretty much it in a nutshell. People clammering for prime-time exposure haven't taken the time to stop and think about the tv climate today compared to the 70s and 80s. The only sport that is on any terrestrial network regularly in prime-time weekdays is European club/International soccer - even then that isn't on the Beeb. It certainly isn't the case of just put it on and people will watch, the cup final ratings are pretty low by BBC standards and at the rate the corperation is losing sport currently we'd have to have left for Sky, or someone like them, sooner or later anyway.

The only sport whose regular season league games the BBC shows live? American Football. Who'd have thought it, just a few years back?

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This is pretty much it in a nutshell. People clammering for prime-time exposure haven't taken the time to stop and think about the tv climate today compared to the 70s and 80s. The only sport that is on any terrestrial network regularly in prime-time weekdays is European club/International soccer - even then that isn't on the Beeb. It certainly isn't the case of just put it on and people will watch, the cup final ratings are pretty low by BBC standards and at the rate the corperation is losing sport currently we'd have to have left for Sky, or someone like them, sooner or later anyway.

In general, for sport, people now go to Sky. It may not be liked, but it's true. (Unless it's of earth shattering international importance though - World Cup, Olympics etc - and RL will not be in that catagory ever)

The second TV negotiations I think resulted in an offer from the BBC for full rights to the game, but I do not know how far they intended to screen the game.

In my question I am assuming that we could go back to the Beeb and get a similar scale of offer?

However you seem to say time has moved on and they may have less interest and offer less money?????

Thoughts??

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However you seem to say time has moved on and they may have less interest and offer less money?????

Plenty of belt-tightening at the Beeb these days. And, in a climate where the right-wing areas of the press will savage the BBC at the slightest opportunity, imagine the howls of outrage if they bid a realistic amount of money for Rugyb League?

The BBC are not a current option for live coverage, I'm afraid. And their risible scheduling of The Super League Show demonstrates that there is still a residual dislike of the sport at high level.

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The only sport whose regular season league games the BBC shows live? American Football. Who'd have thought it, just a few years back?

Thats the trouble those running BBc sport are probably in the same mindset and live on the same planet as do some Aussie DJs.

They believethey are way ahead of the crowd and oh such bloody cleverdicks, when really they aren't.

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Maybe the BBC don't 'hate' rugby league at all? Maybe they just don't see it as a big enough sport to bid silly money for?

Do they still show 10 games of Championship football per season, or did that stop last year?

I'm not sure why folk are sniping at the BBC for not showing preferential treatment that they don't show to any other sport either. It seems strange.

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The second TV negotiations I think resulted in an offer from the BBC for full rights to the game, but I do not know how far they intended to screen the game.

In my question I am assuming that we could go back to the Beeb and get a similar scale of offer?

However you seem to say time has moved on and they may have less interest and offer less money?????

Thoughts??

Put it this way - in the past two or three years I don't think there is a single sport that the BBC cover that hasn't had it's coverage either cut back or completely dropped.

(Bar the American Football example, which had slipped my mind and I don't know loads about)

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Maybe the BBC don't 'hate' rugby league at all? Maybe they just don't see it as a big enough sport to bid silly money for?

The point in that case is about it being only on in at a reasonable hour in the north of England though, rather than the money they pay.

I personally don't think it shows the BBC hate the sport, but I do think it shows there is a lack of thought by the people in charge of such matters especially at a time when the BBC are struggling for sport to show.

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Bar the American Football example, which had slipped my mind and I don't know loads about

They show the Monday Night Football game each week, but only on the red button and online, its on at about 1am. Games can then be watched on the iPlayer too.

Cant imagine they pay much for it, although they have had Super Bowl rights for a while I think.

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Well SKY money to Superleague clubs is about £1.2M a year.

SL clubs need to pay wages of about £1.6M a year to compete

So really without SKY money there'd be no professional clubs.

That's it simplified if that help you to answer the question.

The dilemma the SL finds itself in is, however, that for over half the clubs that Sky money is not enough to sustain a fully professional league.

Therefore the stark choice facing SL is between 1. getting quite a bit more money from Sky to enable all the SL clubs to remain fully professional and have a reasonable chance of being solvent or 2. Fail to get any more money and having to revamp SL either as a semi pro comepetition or reducing the salary cap to a point where the clubs can compete and remain professional on the current level of Sky funding.

The SL just cannot remain where it is with clubs going to the wall with regularity, with, I suspect, more to come because they are pursuing the unachievable goal of full time professionalism on the current level of Sky funding.

Before I get jumped on by other proponents of SL, let me say I would prefer they all remained fully pro AND solvent and I realise if we have to downsize we will fall even further behind the Aussies than we are already but,as of this moment, the league is stuck between a rock and a hard place and something has got to give.

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The point in that case is about it being only on in at a reasonable hour in the north of England though, rather than the money they pay.

I personally don't think it shows the BBC hate the sport, but I do think it shows there is a lack of thought by the people in charge of such matters especially at a time when the BBC are struggling for sport to show.

In the days of internet TV and most households now having access to BBC iPlayer, I don't think that is necessarily much of an issue anymore.

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The SL just cannot remain where it is with clubs going to the wall with regularity, with, I suspect, more to come because they are pursuing the unachievable goal of full time professionalism on the current level of Sky funding.

If the club Chairmen could count, full time professionalism is easily possible with the current level of Sky funding.

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In the days of internet TV and most households now having access to BBC iPlayer, I don't think that is necessarily much of an issue anymore.

True, although I still think it's poor form and is essentially a box-ticking exercise for the BBC. The longer they keep the SLS debuting in the north only, the more they can show OFCOM "Look at what we are providing in terms of regional content".

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The second TV negotiations I think resulted in an offer from the BBC for full rights to the game, but I do not know how far they intended to screen the game.

In my question I am assuming that we could go back to the Beeb and get a similar scale of offer?

However you seem to say time has moved on and they may have less interest and offer less money?????

Thoughts??

The best solution, if we could persuade Sky to go for it, would be to keep Sky for the money and allow the BBC to broadcast one game a week for the greater exposure to the public that the game gets from their greater number of viewers. If the BBC broadcast American football, it must be on the cheap because the rights to televise that in the US dwarf the Sky money. RL could get by with a cheap contract with the BBC also if we could also keep Sky on board.

Sky might never agree to any rival broadcaster impinging on their monopoly of RL in the UK, but, if they did, that would be the best solution.

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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.

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OOh I do appreciate your questions, succint and credible.

Thanks but its a major point that some people seem to want to ignore. You'd think we had been playing the same team since those1982 tourists. The reality is that the Aussies have also moved up several gears since then and today's Aussie team may well wipe the floor with that team or today's England squad may have hammered the 82 team.....but we don't know.

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