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Martyn Sadler

Premier Sports pulls out of the Championship

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it is nice to be able to eat in a different restaurant from time to time, don't you think?

 

 

 

Isn't this Cronulla's new sponsor's slogan?

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Yes it was, and you know it. PS has been losing money on its Championship broadcasts but was willing to regard it as an investment for the future; now they have been told they have no future in broadcasting British RL.

 

The other broadcasters that you cite make piles of money from broadcasting Champions League, so why would they even consider pulling them?

Premier had no contract past 2014, meaning that there was always a chance that they would not be broadcasting the comp in 2015, they would pretty much lose any bidding war that another broadcaster was interested in , let's be realistic.

 

They still have a fair bit of RL - Championship Rugby League may lose them money at the moment, but surely that is up to them to sell themselves better as a RL channel - removing content won't help that.

 

I find it strange that people will defend Premier pulling coverage that they have committed to because they lose money, yet criticise Sky for dropping the coverage in less controversial circumstances.

 

Premier also have the RLWC for 2017 - what if the 2021 rights are sold elsewhere, will they see their backside and not broadcast 2021.

 

They have acted petulantly because a business deal did not go their way.

 

They may feel that the RFL acted badly, but I suspect Premier have lost a lot of goodwill, from the RFL and the supporters.

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Premier had no contract past 2014, meaning that there was always a chance that they would not be broadcasting the comp in 2015, they would pretty much lose any bidding war that another broadcaster was interested in , let's be realistic.

 

They still have a fair bit of RL - Championship Rugby League may lose them money at the moment, but surely that is up to them to sell themselves better as a RL channel - removing content won't help that.

 

I find it strange that people will defend Premier pulling coverage that they have committed to because they lose money, yet criticise Sky for dropping the coverage in less controversial circumstances.

 

Premier also have the RLWC for 2017 - what if the 2021 rights are sold elsewhere, will they see their backside and not broadcast 2021.

 

They have acted petulantly because a business deal did not go their way.

 

They may feel that the RFL acted badly, but I suspect Premier have lost a lot of goodwill, from the RFL and the supporters.

 

Maybe they where hoping they would show some games in the new structure...

 

i.e.. pre split games, bottom 8 games and champ1 play offs....maybe even get a subsidie like horse racing.....

 

Maybe they where hoping that the new structure would lead to them gaining more subscription and advertising to show these games....

 

Now whats happened is they have been totally cut off....Sky has exclusivity, they are only showing 1 champ1 game (the play off for promotion?)

 

I would imagine very little before the split would be televised??

 

 

Premier therefore has a decision to make......should they continue their investment to broadcast (film and pay a production team/pundits etc...) and loose money, or pull the plug and loose no money but loose a little credibility?

 

They have chose the latter as it reflects better in the immediate bottom line as well as sends a message to the RFL!

 

Maybe if premier had teamed up with sky instead of virgin things would be different?

 

The main culprits in this is the RFL....I usually sympathise with the criticism they attract.....but in this case there is no defense.....

 

Would sky really have minded another station screening games they chose not to show?

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Premier also have the RLWC for 2017 - what if the 2021 rights are sold elsewhere, will they see their backside and not broadcast 2021.

 

They have acted petulantly because a business deal did not go their way.

 

They may feel that the RFL acted badly, but I suspect Premier have lost a lot of goodwill, from the RFL and the supporters.

 

Whilst not agreeing 100% with what Premier Sports have done, I do understand their frustration and angst towards the RFL. They were simply not informed of the RFL's intent until the press release was announced... that is crazy for a partner of the RFL, regardless of how much money they had or hadn't paid. Communication is vital in any professional organisation.

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Whilst not agreeing 100% with what Premier Sports have done, I do understand their frustration and angst towards the RFL. They were simply not informed of the RFL's intent until the press release was announced... that is crazy for a partner of the RFL, regardless of how much money they had or hadn't paid. Communication is vital in any professional organisation.

That's not true, they were informed on a call with the RFL.

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That's not true, they were informed on a call with the RFL.

 

When they believed that it was about which day they were going to broadcast Championship games this season. They were filleted, just admit it.

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Maybe they where hoping they would show some games in the new structure...

 

i.e.. pre split games, bottom 8 games and champ1 play offs....maybe even get a subsidie like horse racing.....

 

Maybe they where hoping that the new structure would lead to them gaining more subscription and advertising to show these games....

 

Now whats happened is they have been totally cut off....Sky has exclusivity, they are only showing 1 champ1 game (the play off for promotion?)

 

I would imagine very little before the split would be televised??

 

 

Premier therefore has a decision to make......should they continue their investment to broadcast (film and pay a production team/pundits etc...) and loose money, or pull the plug and loose no money but loose a little credibility?

 

They have chose the latter as it reflects better in the immediate bottom line as well as sends a message to the RFL!

 

Maybe if premier had teamed up with sky instead of virgin things would be different?

 

The main culprits in this is the RFL....I usually sympathise with the criticism they attract.....but in this case there is no defense.....

 

Would sky really have minded another station screening games they chose not to show?

 

I suspect Sky would have minded. Exclusivity is important here.

 

We have witnessed first hand on here fans saying that they cancelled Sky and subscribed only to Premier as they can get their RL fix on there, with the NRL, SOO, Championship and Internationals actually being a pretty well rounded package from Premier. This package now looks a hell of a lot weaker, for the same price. I'm sure the numbers Sky lost would be small, but the point is that Sky will want anybody interested in RL to subscribe to them.

Sky are paying around £3m per year to Championship clubs under the new deal, I'm sure they want exclusivity for that.

 

I suspect a more positive approach for Premier would have been to enter into dialogue with a view to seeing what other coverage may be available (Northern Rail Cup, representative friendlies etc). This is a rare situation where the broadcaster needs RL more than we need them.

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When they believed that it was about which day they were going to broadcast Championship games this season. They were filleted, just admit it.

I'm not really sure of the issue. There was an extremely attractive financial package on offer from Sky for the Championship starting the year after Premier's contract ends. The RFL signed this deal. If they suspected there was even a remote chance that Premier could offer millions of pounds to cover the comp then they may have spoken to them. There was zero chance of this happening.

 

Premier had rights for free. The RFL could get money for them and took the deal. What do you suggest the RFL should do?

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That's not true, they were informed on a call with the RFL.

 

Ok, I am misinformed then. It is still rank bad business practice not to inform a partner before a deal has been signed...

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Ok, I am misinformed then. It is still rank bad business practice not to inform a partner before a deal has been signed...

Hmm, not convinced by that. Not at all.

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It wasn't perfect but it is nice to be able to eat in a different restaurant from time to time, don't you think?

 

Or should it be the Sky-way or the highway?

The best thing about Premier was people were paying a tenner a month purely to watch RL, so they could aim their commentary etc at anoraks like ourselves. Sky has to cater to a much wider audience, which is largely the reason why people get would up with their commentary team.

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When they believed that it was about which day they were going to broadcast Championship games this season. They were filleted, just admit it.

 

If only they'd put in a bigger offer then.

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Hmm, not convinced by that. Not at all.

 

We'll just have to disagree! ;)

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I suspect Sky would have minded. Exclusivity is important here.

We have witnessed first hand on here fans saying that they cancelled Sky and subscribed only to Premier as they can get their RL fix on there, with the NRL, SOO, Championship and Internationals actually being a pretty well rounded package from Premier. This package now looks a hell of a lot weaker, for the same price. I'm sure the numbers Sky lost would be small, but the point is that Sky will want anybody interested in RL to subscribe to them.

Sky are paying around £3m per year to Championship clubs under the new deal, I'm sure they want exclusivity for that.

I suspect a more positive approach for Premier would have been to enter into dialogue with a view to seeing what other coverage may be available (Northern Rail Cup, representative friendlies etc). This is a rare situation where the broadcaster needs RL more than we need them.

NR cup is no more..... I presume that if there was no split but P&R was there they may have hoped the interest was there......to be profitable

also they will definitely screen the next world cup as they wont be filming, they will just need a studio in the UK!

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No doubt you feel the same about Championship clubs?

What has the Championship clubs got to do with the inability of Premier Sports to properly fund a Super League contract.

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I rang PS today to cancel my subscription that I have had for 2 years and only renewed it on 20th January.    They made me an offer of a £40 refund which I have accepted and they were very apologetic about not showing Championship RL this season.

 

PS may not directly have paid anything to Championship clubs but I would wager that the RFL marketing people used their connection when they were striking the sponsorship deal with Kingstone.     Sky didn't want Championship rugby league and that showed when the rugby league magazine programme Boots ' n All became a weekly Super League programme.   Can anyone remember the last time they devoted more than a passing 2 or 3 minutes to mention Championship games on that programme?

 

This deal has enabled them to get rid of a rival with the help of the RFL and we will find out once again just how much Sky are interested in Championship games.   

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The best thing about Premier was people were paying a tenner a month purely to watch RL, so they could aim their commentary etc at anoraks like ourselves.

That is what I will miss about Premier's Championship coverage; that and the homely style of their presentation which they became adept at over time.  Their pundits were always articulate, intelligent and knowledgeable.  They may have had fewer camera angles available but who gives a monkey's nuts about that when there was usually some good rugby league on offer, some witty but informed and well expressed commentary and little insights like coach interviews and the innovation with the video ref, sponsored by LoveRugbyLeague.com. 

 

Such a shame.

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