Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn tears into rugby league, claiming it is “bang in trouble” with “horrendous” viewing figures

THE surname ‘Hearn’ is synonymous with promotion and getting a brand/sportsperson’s name out there.

Unfortunately, boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who held talks with the Rugby Football League in 2018 in a bid to help out the sport, has used his platform to tear into rugby league.

Eddie Hearn, along with his father Barry, had taken the likes of darts and boxing into the 21st century, transforming the sports into huge celebrations and entertainment.

Despite holding talks with former Super League honcho Robert Elstone and previous RFL CEO Ralph Rimmer, they came to nought primarily because Hearn wanted more than what the sport was offering.

Whilst rugby league wanted the Hearns to concentrate on a few areas of the sport, Eddie and Barry wanted to make sweeping changes.

“Rugby league is absolutely bang in trouble,” Hearn told The Good, The Bad and The Rugby podcast.

“They wanted us to come in and look at the Challenge Cup and a few different elements of the game and I said ‘no, we need to control the game’.

“It has to be built and the problem is that both codes (of rugby) aren’t delivering numbers.

“Away from the big international stuff, the reality is that viewing figures are horrendous and the reason is because you don’t have any stars.

“I’m a promoter of individuals really but to promote a sport essentially, you have to highlight those people and make them stars.”

The need to market the stars of the show has become increasingly prevalent in recent years with marketing giants IMG having already launched their proposals to ‘re-imagine’ rugby league in a meeting with all 36 professional rugby league clubs last month.