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Man of Kent

‘Sky Sports Rugby’

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The latest Forty-20 says Sky Sports is looking at a dedicated single rugby channel, ie both codes on the same channel.

If it means more money and more publicity, I can live with it.

I’m always keen for people to compare rugby league with rugby union as a spectacle and Sky might actually give us some profile for a change, especially in the summer months.

But what are the potential downsides? Less coverage when SL matches clash, perhaps? What club RU content does Sky have these days?

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A dedicated Rugby channel can only be a good thing, IMO.

Rugby League now is only televised live between Thursday and Saturday and there’s a couple of other RL highlights programmes that get shown a week. I can’t speak for how much live RU is shown as I have no clue but there’s a hell of a lot of free space to fill. 

That could potentially mean extended highlights of each Super League game each week, the lower leagues may be brought in to fill airtime, other leagues not televised may well be shown and a magazine style programme may be required to fill the gaps in the listings. 

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It's going to be RL dominated, In terms of RU content Sky Sports have the World & European 7s, a couple of Top 14 games a week, England women's internationals, Women's Prem, Eng Championship RU, and that's it, I guess that they'd try and expand the quantity of coverage from those comps.

The really big news from this is that Super League will become indispensable for SS, for it is the only premium domestic rugby competition they have. Will be useful for negotiations.

I can't see how they're planning to fill Mon-Thurs, perhaps more Championship RL, and lower league RU as well? I can't really see it working, but would love it to.

 

Edited by Chamey
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We've got a rugby league only channel here in aus. They fill it with panel shows, replays and classic matches. A Sky Rugby channel would be brilliant for rugby league, even if they had to share it with the evil degenerates from the ruck and maul game. More content, more replays, more exposure - for the players, the game, and sponsors. With classic games to fill in empty time, it could be a great celebration of the sport and it's history. That's basically what fox league is here - it's a beautiful thing for avid fans, and I imagine a way to lure casual interest. Bored sports fans flicking around could settle on watching a 1990 ashes test, for example, and get hooked on the game.

Edited by ghost crayfish
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Like those above I have no issue if SKY do this the UK.  The dedicated NRL channel over here on Foxtel has some great RL shows and classic games.

In the UK there is no way RL will ever get a dedicated channel so combining with RU is a sensible option as long as both codes have similar content and an equal share of the allocated time.

Let the viewers be exposed to both codes and let them enjoy both sports.

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This can only be a good thing. A few of us on here mentioned this would be a good idea a while back, perhaps those at sky read the forums! If there are any clashes with matches then I would imagine it would be easy enough to put one on Sky Sports Main Event or Sky Sports Arena.

As someone mentioned, Sky Sport's rights to live rugby union are limited but I can see them having the lion's share of any talk show, highlights etc but there should still be plenty of hours in the day for more league coverage.

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Well a dedicated Rugby channel would mean that Sky need plenty of Rugby content to show and a significant percentage would need to be Rugby League as it would totally defeat the point otherwise. As such they would be desperate to retain Super League, the NRL and may even give more money to and show the Championship in a separate TV deal. I can only see it being good for Rugby League.

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Sounds great even though I would have zero interest in the Onion stuff.

One wuestion. Would there be an issue with big games of RL not making it to the Main Event channel thus limiting exposure to dedicated rugby fans only?

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5 minutes ago, marklaspalmas said:

Sounds great even though I would have zero interest in the Onion stuff.

One wuestion. Would there be an issue with big games of RL not making it to the Main Event channel thus limiting exposure to dedicated rugby fans only?

There's no reason why it can't still be both like happens now anyway when Rugby is on one of the other channels and main event at the same time.

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My main worry is the amount of Rugby League on file at Sky. It seems the only thing they can manage to stick on these days to fill some time is “Grand Final Gold”, with many of those having been played what seems like hundreds of times each. 

Ideally, we’d need a budget in place for new material to fill the gaps in the listings. Whether that’s showing extended highlights from Super League games, showing highlights of Championship games or other stuff, I don’t know, but we definitely need more Rugby League programmes if this happens. 

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When Sky rebranded their sports channels, some of us did wonder if a Rugby channel should have been among the new identities.

Unless they are intending to fill the rest of the week with highlights/replays/oldies, Sky would have to invest in some chat/magazine shows, though. Or maybe just buy in some of the Australian programmes that are used to pad the Fox League schedule.

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If this were to happen, it would be great for RL and would be a really visible change in how we are broadcast.

it would require content and give a space and opportunity for RL to be really innovative and ambitious in what we sell as content and how we sell it.

Sky love to have a hook for sporting events and it would be up to us to create them to bring people to the channel. It would also be the time for us to be ambitious with things like 9s and an expanded WCC (and none-england internationals) because even though Sky will fill air-time with ancillary programming and repeats they will also want flashy new competitions and the glitz and glamour to build that around.

It makes Les Catalans, Toulouse and Toronto more valuable to SL as well and it gives something for us to sell elsewhere. A package that new countries can just pick up without the issues Toronto have seen.

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So they have one channel for two different sports? Why stop there, add NFL while they’re at it as well. For posters who want a seperate identity from union, it sure is mind boggling to see this as a good thing. It also says a lot when you think that the only way to exposure is combining with union 

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10 minutes ago, Yorkshire Knight said:

So they have one channel for two different sports? Why stop there, add NFL while they’re at it as well. For posters who want a seperate identity from union, it sure is mind boggling to see this as a good thing. It also says a lot when you think that the only way to exposure is combining with union 

What a very strange post. A dedicated Rugby channel by definition is a dedicated channel for both Rugby codes with 24 hours of airtime needed 7 days a week. This is bound to offer more opportunities to watch more Rugby League than at present. Currently both codes share channels with other sports so this eats into airtime. Rugby League could share a dedicated channel with the NFL instead for all I care, it's not Union that gives the exposure but the dedicated channel shared by 2 sports giving increased airtime.

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6 hours ago, RigbyLuger said:

They don't need to show more live coverage to fill a dedicated channel. The golf one is only busy Thursday to Sunday, F1 only on a race weekend.

This is a fair point,  and irrespective of that, just what will SKY pay for the privilege of ensuring people sit on their sofas rather than go to the game. So what added money can RL get for this service.

I no not have SKY so only see highlights on BBC,  so nothing whatsoever helps the image of RL when terrestrial TV dominates international RU.

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1 hour ago, marklaspalmas said:

Sounds great even though I would have zero interest in the Onion stuff.

One wuestion. Would there be an issue with big games of RL not making it to the Main Event channel thus limiting exposure to dedicated rugby fans only?

On the other side of the coin, if I subscribed to the Rugby Channel but not the other Sky Sorts Channels and they had a union v league clash and the league game was shunted off to one of the other Sky Sports Channels would I miss out on seeing said league game?

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2 hours ago, deluded pom? said:

On the other side of the coin, if I subscribed to the Rugby Channel but not the other Sky Sorts Channels and they had a union v league clash and the league game was shunted off to one of the other Sky Sports Channels would I miss out on seeing said league game?

That is one of the benefits of the current approach - Sky Sports Action, and Sky Sports Arena gives us two channels to avoid clashes. Things like Friday nights are premium slots for both sports. 

If they did this though and did use an overflow channel - like Sky Sports Action, then hopefully they would give that free.

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5 minutes ago, Dave T said:

That is one of the benefits of the current approach - Sky Sports Action, and Sky Sports Arena gives us two channels to avoid clashes. Things like Friday nights are premium slots for both sports. 

If they did this though and did use an overflow channel - like Sky Sports Action, then hopefully they would give that free.

They generally use Mix if there is a clash to avoid that but i think there is plenty of space, especially as Sky doesnt have a huge amount of RU.

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9 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

They generally use Mix if there is a clash to avoid that but i think there is plenty of space, especially as Sky doesnt have a huge amount of RU.

They do however show RU at the same time as much of the NRL, and they do often have Friday and Saturday clashes.

They have a lot more live Rugby content than some of their other stuff with dedicated channels, but I think the scheduling has made this difficult so far. Hence it being smarter to use the two 'misc' channels. 

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

They do however show RU at the same time as much of the NRL, and they do often have Friday and Saturday clashes.

They have a lot more live Rugby content than some of their other stuff with dedicated channels, but I think the scheduling has made this difficult so far. Hence it being smarter to use the two 'misc' channels. 

I think if they did go down this route, for those clashes you would see it go on the red button.

I think they didnt go down this route because there isnt really enough content. They have only got the NRL this year and figures arent amazing for it, figures for SL arent world beating and there isnt much RU outside of Super Rugby where figures are low similar to NRL.

I can only really imagine them doing this if they have a expectation that there will be a significant change in SL's offering or they are expecting to be bringing in a lot of European RU.

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16 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

I think if they did go down this route, for those clashes you would see it go on the red button.

I think they didnt go down this route because there isnt really enough content. They have only got the NRL this year and figures arent amazing for it, figures for SL arent world beating and there isnt much RU outside of Super Rugby where figures are low similar to NRL.

I can only really imagine them doing this if they have a expectation that there will be a significant change in SL's offering or they are expecting to be bringing in a lot of European RU.

If they keep the NRL and have a 24/7 TV channel to fill, then some evening (UK time) full-match replays or extended highlights on weekdays would be nice.

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I think that's great news for both codes of rugby. It gives rugby in general a presence, and then allows for exposure to both types of the game. Having a dedicated channel (albeit both codes combined) is a sign of the importance of the sport(s). All the more reason not to drop the "rugby" part of the name rugby league, which is suggested sometimes.

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