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Everything posted by LongbridgeH

  1. I read a really good article the other day which suggested that a lot of sports / league should simply stop trying to chase a huge TV deal and try to be more innovative. One of the ideas was free to air coverage. NFL and Serie A have picked up fans for life from the Channel 4’s well observed coverage of the sports/competition in the early 90s. The 100 in the summer shows that a terrestrial partner can open a few previously closed doors. Helps a lot with sponsors too. Another idea pointed out F1’s popularity has boomed in the last few years. This has largely been put down to the Netflix series where it’s added a human, ‘drama’ dynamic rather than just solely about the competition. It’s peaked interest into the middle pack of drivers rather than it being about the Championship winners. Could something like this work for RL? An All or Nothing type series but really warts and all
  2. A bus will go approx ten minutes away from the stadium post Commonwealth Games. There’s far worse linked stadiums about - particularly given it’s the A34 out of town. Good shout. Bit of a pain to reach by car mind
  3. No sport would ever go against the Tour de France in the French sport sphere on Bastille Day
  4. The alternative was of course no end of season international at all. Which will have had very obvious complications for next year if that happened
  5. Can be plenty of how’s and why’s with the fixture but ultimately it should be a two test series in non competition years and a single test in competition years. Has to be a long term five year minimum commitment as well
  6. Btw I personally believe that the way RL can grow is via the international game. I may be apart here but I firmly believe a stronger World Cup is far more stronger attraction to ‘outsiders’ than the height of the domestic game. Toulouse’s ascent grows a level of coverage previously not forthcoming. It’s a completely different kettle of fish from a Toronto type set up where this has been a build of multiple years efforts with an existing youth system in place for years. They’ve earned it the hard way. Logistically it’s relatively easy trip for the clubs and the same challenges exist for say a bus ride in heavy traffic or a trip down south to London
  7. Certainly not the case in both Pro 14 (could make an argument about Italian teams there I suppose) and the welsh teams in the EFL. All about it being the best league which can logistically provide the most suitable opposition. In the process strengthening the national team of those respective countries.
  8. The same reasoning the full time Welsh teams playing in the English Football League and why multiple sports across Europe have joint leagues
  9. Not really a fair comparison isn’t? The England v Andorra game would have been akin to Australia playing Malta at RL. RL (and it’s fans) let themselves down with needless comparisons to other sports. Celebrate the spectacle of the Grand Final as it’s very own event - it’s superb enough!
  10. Very Grand Final wasn’t it? More experienced team coming good in the pressure cooker. The ref’s performance was inconsistent but we are talking debatable decisions rather than absolute errors - that’s sport.
  11. Make the demands of the contract stronger then. Ironically Sky have been pushed into action this year as the quality of the division has improved. Sticking your sport on obscure channels works in the same way as freebie tickets - you lessen the sport by not giving it enough respect. I’ve seen plenty of other sports in the UK go this way afterwards losing good TV deals and it generally doesn’t work well. For a long time I have advocated RFL to start using the large streaming services in the same way NFL do.
  12. Personally think it’s a bad move. The sport needs more exposure. I’d be more inclined to have Sky showing but with free access via Mix or YouTube
  13. Was indeed - picking hairs here, both the Spanish and Italian top flights cut themselves to 18 and then re-expanded to 20
  14. I’m off the belief that at a similar age children signed by union academics have to play for their community weeks three weekends out of the four. The academics take advantage of the school holidays etc to really develop them
  15. Well a number of counties/grounds are due to face no cricket for the remaining three weeks of the summer holidays if they fail to qualify in the one day trophy tomorrow. The kind of incompetent and lack of legacy planning we associate with RL
  16. Agreed, possibly look at strategically playing fixtures towards some of the venues for WC2022 (well if they remain venues that is)
  17. Sky walked away from speedway because the riders were choosing not to ride in the UK. Partly the money from the more professional Polish league and partly due to the non fixed race nights. Some of the world’s best riders constantly chose to miss out on the British League even during Sky’s peak period with the sport. Sky’s financial backing of sports is dictated by the product it serves. If it gets numbers, they will keep showing it. I’ve seen it with numerous ‘minor sports’. British Basketball had a boom period in the 90s but was built on sand as the clubs mostly rented arenas. I wouldn’t put RL in that bracket of minor sports, simply because of its match going fans are in such greater numbers meaning it can pull in good sponsors with decent marketing by authorities
  18. Took the words out of my mouth. It’s just as much about awareness and that comes from the occasions of internationals
  19. The player pool is an argument against it. You’d like to think though that 10 teams at the top tier would be required to be top academies. It would take a couple of years to rebalance I think player availability and welfare is forgotten here, the intense of the game has racked up (not necessarily for the better) and injuries are increasing. COVID has proven when teams are short of 5 or more players, the quality drops off considerably. Less fixtures can increase the available recovery time. Also talking of the women’s game, if there’s a reduction in the number of home fixtures due to a SL reformatting. All clubs should be looking hosting their women’s team at their home ground with the same presentation of their male team.
  20. Personally I’m all for a top flight of 10, second tier of 10 and a bottom of 16. That allows a fixture list of 19 league fixtures including a magic event, Challenge Cup possibly 5 fixtures, mid season internationals possibly two, two weeks of playoffs including a relegation playoff and then at least three internationals for the end of the season. Refocus on being a summer sport rather than running the season for 10 months of the year. Less is more. Understand the issues that creates financially but player welfare is better and you’d have less chance of teams being decimated by injuries.
  21. Another comparison - some England cricketers considering pulling out of the Ashes. As the Aussies won’t allow their families to travel with them.
  22. Wholly heartily agree with comments about the Wheelchair/Women’s World Cup. In much the same way the Olympics works, some of those involved will have worked their lives around this event. It’s the one part of the sport which can have genuine claim to being better than many others. Also probably the most likely form of actual development beyond the commonwealth nations in introducing RL to people.
  23. Could make a case that it’s ‘1-1’ on that score with the likes of Toulouse in the Championship
  24. It’s at times like these, I think back to January this year and how the organisers of the Australian Open pleaded with tennis players to come over. Probably the weakest of the four major tournaments and they financially needed it. There was no qualms with putting hundreds of professional athletes in two week quarantine hotel rooms. Minimal practice but little support when it came to protecting injuries etc. That’s before I get into how it’s been perfectly acceptable for the Australian authorities to decamp Fijian and PNG players into bubbles with no concern over their ‘mental health’.
  25. The 100 is a red herring. The reality is regardless of the format if the cricket is good, it entertains. The same should apply to RL. Theres a similarity into the 100 and the early days of Super League. The ECB have made a huge gamble to throw their cash reserves at it partly funded by the broadcasting partners (who continually say everything is exciting / brilliant) and have created franchises which don’t respect local tribalism as one of the sports positives rather than negatives (sound familiar?). Suspect things will go the same way The only thing RL should be learning from Cricket is that despite all the domestic competition including a ‘jewel in the crown’ of IPL, they respect the international game and the development of the sport. Cricket Australia have just put their necks on the line arranging a tour of Bangladesh. The sport needs its T20 WC to happen as that’s the feed to get nations into the sport.
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