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MidlandsJohn

French RL exposure vs. other sports

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Having read through the "next French team in the UK structure" thread I thought of a question, but didn't want to derail the main thread.

The question is, just how much of a minority sport is RL in France?

Obviously football rules over everything, I would assume Union is the clear number 2 (for its TV/media exposure if nothing else) but what happens after that? I know the likes of handball and volleyball are highly popular so does RL find itself in fifth place or are there other sports that still beat it?

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17 minutes ago, MidlandsJohn said:

Having read through the "next French team in the UK structure" thread I thought of a question, but didn't want to derail the main thread.

The question is, just how much of a minority sport is RL in France?

Obviously football rules over everything, I would assume Union is the clear number 2 (for its TV/media exposure if nothing else) but what happens after that? I know the likes of handball and volleyball are highly popular so does RL find itself in fifth place or are there other sports that still beat it?

If you drew a line from Metz to La Rochelle union is probably bigger than football south of that line. Not in total participation numbers as football always comes top in every country but in commercial terms and spectator numbers. 

The French also watch a lot of cycling.

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34 minutes ago, MidlandsJohn said:

Having read through the "next French team in the UK structure" thread I thought of a question, but didn't want to derail the main thread.

The question is, just how much of a minority sport is RL in France?

Obviously football rules over everything, I would assume Union is the clear number 2 (for its TV/media exposure if nothing else) but what happens after that? I know the likes of handball and volleyball are highly popular so does RL find itself in fifth place or are there other sports that still beat it?

Handball and volleyball aren't highly popular. The national team gets live TV and lots of watchers only because they win everything, nobody watches the local comp and most of those who watch don't even know the players. 

Football rules over the north and big cities, Union rules over the south and "not so big cities". League rules over Perpignan!

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Thanks for that - I'd just assumed with handball that international success would filter down to the national league, but obviously not.

Also, is there regional bias in terms of sport - has RL for example always been seen as a "Southern" game in the same way that people who don't really follow it in the UK think it doesn't exist outside the North?

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3 minutes ago, MidlandsJohn said:

Thanks for that - I'd just assumed with handball that international success would filter down to the national league, but obviously not.

Also, is there regional bias in terms of sport - has RL for example always been seen as a "Southern" game in the same way that people who don't really follow it in the UK think it doesn't exist outside the North?

Most French don't know about League. We know about League in Perpignan, Aude, Avignon and Toulouse. For the rest of France it is a marginal game. Rugby (Union+League) is considered a southern game however.

A breton team (Vannes) entered Pro D2 (second level in Union) and everybody went crazy for "The northern team!". 

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13 minutes ago, MidlandsJohn said:

Thanks for that - I'd just assumed with handball that international success would filter down to the national league, but obviously not.

Also, is there regional bias in terms of sport - has RL for example always been seen as a "Southern" game in the same way that people who don't really follow it in the UK think it doesn't exist outside the North?

Well, the way it was suppressed in schools and that it couldn't even call itself by its own name for so many decades means that RL's national profile has had to re-grow from the areas where the flame of the game was kept burning, and that's the South.

There are about the same number of licensed Handball and Rugby Union players in France, assuming we can trust the latter's calculation methods. Tennis' official number of licenced players makes it the second biggest nationally, behind Football (unless you count shrugging).

Basketball is a very "major minor" sport, if you get the meaning, as is Motorsport, although the latter's a very broad umbrella of different types of activities - a bit like collating the figures of all oval-ball codes of Football.

Edited by Futtocks

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29 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

Well, the way it was suppressed in schools and that it couldn't even call itself by its own name for so many decades means that RL's national profile has had to re-grow from the areas where the flame of the game was kept burning, and that's the South.

There are about the same number of licensed Handball and Rugby Union players in France, assuming we can trust the latter's calculation methods. Tennis' official number of licenced players makes it the second biggest nationally, behind Football (unless you count shrugging).

Basketball is a very "major minor" sport, if you get the meaning, as is Motorsport, although the latter's a very broad umbrella of different types of activities - a bit like collating the figures of all oval-ball codes of Football.

Handball, Tennis and Judo have big numbers in licenses but little exposure, that's because there are a lot of children in those sports. Everybody has done Judo and most have done Tennis and Handball at some point. 

Handball, Badminton and Volleyball are the main sports used in classes, they probably "bump" the national score. 

Their numbers drop in the >18yo category. 

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If you take away the local occitanie paper lindependant, and If you take the equipe sports newspaper or midi libre as a benchmark of sports reported before league, (away from drug revelations or embarrassing news) 

it goes football, rugby,tennis cycling,horse racing, basketball, handball, Motorsport, winter sports, swimming ,badminton, French boules, athletics, water sports, archery, bungee jumping, polote basque(throwing a ball at a wall with a long sling type of thing) , tambourine (hitting a ball against a wall with a tambourine, a real sport) squash, table tennis, two kids playing catch on the beach ,  etc etc then rugby league! A little exaggerated but not far off, 

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12 minutes ago, barnyia said:

If you take away the local occitanie paper lindependant, and If you take the equipe sports newspaper or midi libre as a benchmark of sports reported before league, (away from drug revelations or embarrassing news) 

it goes football, rugby,tennis cycling,horse racing, basketball, handball, Motorsport, winter sports, swimming ,badminton, French boules, athletics, water sports, archery, bungee jumping, polote basque(throwing a ball at a wall with a long sling type of thing) , tambourine (hitting a ball against a wall with a tambourine, a real sport) squash, table tennis, two kids playing catch on the beach ,  etc etc then rugby league! A little exaggerated but not far off, 

How English of them. ;)

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34 minutes ago, barnyia said:

If you take away the local occitanie paper lindependant,

You just hurt my feelings really bad...

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1 hour ago, Hvy wg said:

A breton team (Vannes) entered Pro D2 (second level in Union) and everybody went crazy for "The northern team!". 

I thought Lille were the great hope for Union in the north?

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1 hour ago, barnyia said:

tambourine (hitting a ball against a wall with a tambourine, a real sport)

The wonder of YouTube....

 

I managed to find France v Italy in the European Championship. If that's the "crowd" for what I assume is the top level of this sport then being the sports correspondent for this must be the worst job on the newspaper!

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57 minutes ago, damp squib said:

I thought Lille were the great hope for Union in the north?

They don't even exist anymore. They mismanaged the money and threw it all away, now the club is dead.

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On 2/16/2017 at 6:18 AM, Clem said:

If you drew a line from Metz to La Rochelle union is probably bigger than football south of that line. Not in total participation numbers as football always comes top in every country but in commercial terms and spectator numbers. 

The French also watch a lot of cycling.

I just drew that line...

Marseille, Lyon, Nice, even Bordeaux. Please enlighten us as to how much bigger rugby is in these cities than football. 

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I suppose that TV rights is one way to mesure it:

 

- Football 800 €M

- Rugby Union: 95 €M

- Basketball : 10 €M

- Handball : 4 €M

- Volleyball: 1.5 €M

- RL/Ice Hockey/Women's leagues: nothing ?

 

Ice hockey, volleyball or any women's pro sport (Basketball, football, handball) don't have any club as big than the Catalans, but have pro clubs spread all over the country.

I'd personally ranked the sport as number 7 (after ice hockey). Then you have to factor the individual sports. As it is allready been said, Tennis and road cycling are some of the more popular sports here, then you could add stuff like alpine skiing, nordic skiing (biathlon mostly), athletics, boxing, judo, golf even, etc.

 

When it comes to participation numbers, sports like Gridiron, Baseball or roller hockey are bigger than RL.

 

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1 hour ago, MikeFletchersBarmyArmy said:

I would have thought cycling would be right up there considering they host the largest attended sporting event in the world 

I think it's difficult to compare regular league based sports to event sports.

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16 minutes ago, damp squib said:

I think it's difficult to compare regular league based sports to event sports.

It is pretty popular though, TV revenues are low for various reasons but there's over 150 race days per year on French freeview.

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10 minutes ago, wackojacko said:

It is pretty popular though, TV revenues are low for various reasons but there's over 150 race days per year on French freeview.

Popularity would have to be based on TV figures, as spectating is free for road racing. Hard to make meaningful comparisons for the latter figure v ticketed events.

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On 2/15/2017 at 7:35 PM, Hvy wg said:

Handball and volleyball aren't highly popular. The national team gets live TV and lots of watchers only because they win everything, nobody watches the local comp and most of those who watch don't even know the players. 

Football rules over the north and big cities, Union rules over the south and "not so big cities". League rules over Perpignan!

Handball is a strange one, the national team's sustained success has been built on an abundance of world class players, Karabatic, Omeyer, Narcisse, Abalo. They all play for the Qatari funded PSG super club whose other galaticos include Hansen (Denmark) and Gensheimer (Germany). No other club has the resources to compete with PSG and the quality of player declines rapidly, the further down the Lidl Starleague that you look. Games are reasonably attended but rarely sell out. The main positive is that the first division has a truly national geographical spread from Dunkerque in the North to Saint Raphael on the Med. This is something that the Top 14 Rugby competition can only dream of, where effectively, the Northern half of France outside Paris does not have any top level local side to support.

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Handball is certainly growing in popularity in France, and the French league is second best in the world, behind only the German league. Never understood why handball hasn't taken the world by storm, such a great game.

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Most rl coaches in France keep saying we should learn alot more from handball than we do, the game is quite close to rl, the need to find gaps,overlaps and the defence system, the players are very strong and have excellent agility! 

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