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Have we made a crazy decision with the TV deals?

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1. Are you saying that Lenegans statement wasn't credible? It was in several newspapers with plenty of opportunity for a response from the RFL or any Clubs and was damning. A response could have proved things were done in a fit and proper manner and the deal was the best they could get. But no response.

2. Both Lenegan and Koukash spoke out about it and you rightly say why no McManus sentiment. I can only assume he was happy, but can also assume that he might not have been, whilst banking the cheque for the club. What did McManus say?

3. Finding out the 'attraction' is what the commercial departments of RFL and Clubs need to find out. IMO they need to think bigger.

1. No I didnt say credible. Although it made him look very weak, almost incompetent tbh. Brian Barwick from the RFL did respond. Fit and proper isnt what the fans decide. Fit and proper could easily have gotten us sod all uplift as it did for the previous 20 years!

2. McManus was vocal, i was asking why people are only quoting Lenegan and not McManus who thought it was a great deal.

3. You wont get me disagreeing with that.

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McManus comments - http://www.skysports.com/rugby-league/news/12206/9142074/super-league-st-helens-chairman-eamonn-mcmanus-delighted-by-sky-sports-deal

Interestingly it quotes £127m for the last deal, not sure if that includes all add ons like cup and internationals. As ever the detail is hard to come by (for all sports not just rl).

Barwick's comments.

http://m.sthelensstar.co.uk/sport/10989551.Brian_Barwick_defends_new_Super_League_TV_deal_and_tells_critics___I_will_not_stand_by_and_allow_the_sport_to_be_blown_off_course_/

Suggests it was actually the clubs who voted to vote on the deal.

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Interesting Dave thanks.

Barwicks,

“They have a lot to look forward to as long as clubs take a disciplined and realistic approach to their cost bases.”

Might come back to haunt some of them!

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I'm keen that we level that challenge to the likes of Ian Lenegan and Marwan Koukash as much as we do the RFL.

 

The financial performance of the RFL has been far better than the vast majority of RL clubs.

 

Worth noting that the two people who complained have singularly failed in attempts to make their own clubs viable. Although the increased TV funding should just about cover Wigan's last reported annual loss.

 

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Interestingly it quotes £127m for the last deal, not sure if that includes all add ons like cup and internationals. As ever the detail is hard to come by.

I remember reading about the previous deal in the Watkins Report. I am pretty certain the £127m included internationals, Challenge Cup and WCC. I'll see if I can find it.

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Maybe, RL just isn't as attractive as we like to believe.

 

Attractive or not, it delivers access to an audience that advertisers want access to. If it didn't, we'd be on Premier TV permanently!

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Interestingly it quotes £127m for the last deal, not sure if that includes all add ons like cup and internationals.

  

I remember reading about the previous deal in the Watkins Report. I am pretty certain the £127m included internationals, Challenge Cup and WCC. I'll see if I can find it.

Page 26 of the Watkins Report: http://rflmedia.therfl.co.uk/docs/THE%20WATKINS%20REVIEW%20OF%20GOVERNANCE.pdf

£135m from 2012 to 2016 (£27m a year). It includes Challenge Cup, Championships and the Origin concept (Exiles game?). The latter brought in about £1.6m a year looking at the graph hence the £127m figure.

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Attractive or not, it delivers access to an audience that advertisers want access to. If it didn't, we'd be on Premier TV permanently!

Mild drinkers,whippet walkers & pigeon fanciers. 

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Attractive or not, it delivers access to an audience that advertisers want access to. If it didn't, we'd be on Premier TV permanently!

so i assume img would have no trouble selling rights at increased value time after time? No?

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so i assume img would have no trouble selling rights at increased value time after time? No?

Never assume anything where IMG are concerned. 

Bottom line here is we got an increased deal and regardless of how it was achieved and the manner in which Sky manipulated it, the RFL/IMG need to be courting every available channel between now and 2019, when SKY will no doubt try the same trick to head off BT or any other player at the pass!

As for IMG. If it's their job to get us the best deal then I suggest that they made their money for nothing with this deal. IMG wouldn't take kindly to SKY delivering an ultimatum unless they were clipping the ticket and personally, I don't think we need them any more. 

 

Internet access is now pretty much blanket across the UK and the RFL could look into launching their own on-line Channel at minimal cost. Doing this would send a clear message to SKY that they are not the powerhouse they used to be and I think it would make them offer significantly more in the way of cash AND EXPOSURE.

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Never assume anything where IMG are concerned.

Bottom line here is we got an increased deal and regardless of how it was achieved and the manner in which Sky manipulated it, the RFL/IMG need to be courting every available channel between now and 2019, when SKY will no doubt try the same trick to head off BT or any other player at the pass!

As for IMG. If it's their job to get us the best deal then I suggest that they made their money for nothing with this deal. IMG wouldn't take kindly to SKY delivering an ultimatum unless they were clipping the ticket and personally, I don't think we need them any more.

Internet access is now pretty much blanket across the UK and the RFL could look into launching their own on-line Channel at minimal cost. Doing this would send a clear message to SKY that they are not the powerhouse they used to be and I think it would make them offer significantly more in the way of cash AND EXPOSURE.

actually i was slightly off quoting img as that was more in reference to previous deals where the value had minimal invreases if any.

My understanding (possibly incorrectly) is that the tv rights are now negotiated by the rfl rather than IMG.

I wouldnt use any company that sold our rights to two world cups to Premier Sports ffs!

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I wouldnt use any company that sold our rights to two world cups to Premier Sports ffs!

Indeedy...but as with other rights issues, was anyone else interested?

I'd like the BBC to be engaged now with a view to the 2021 RLWC rights.....getting every game on FTA TV would be a massive boost to the game. I'd go so far as to say we "give them" the rights in return for blanket coverage and look to generate the lost revenue through sponsorship

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All i can say is im glad it was on prem sport cos i thought the coverage and cometary was fantastic AND it ended up on virgin media which ive got

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All i can say is im glad it was on prem sport cos i thought the coverage and cometary was fantastic AND it ended up on virgin media which ive got

Lost to all but those in the know and that's why we struggle for national recognition. If we can push on in 2021and get close to 1,000,000 fans through the gates and every game on FTA then we would be impossible to ignore/dismiss as a northern hobby.

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All i can say is im glad it was on prem sport cos i thought the coverage and cometary was fantastic AND it ended up on virgin media which ive got

im glad we were able to watch it but some of the production values were terrible and as the pinnacle it really should be on a bigger channel than that.

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All i can say is im glad it was on prem sport cos i thought the coverage and cometary was fantastic AND it ended up on virgin media which ive got

I watched it on PS and yeah, the commentary was great especially Vossy. But there's not a lot of benefit in me, you and a bunch of other RL fans only seeing it. A WC should be a chance to showcase the sport to as many people as is possible - and that ain't it.

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I suggest that what people want is to be sure that the RFL negotiated with all interested or potentially interested parties, and that the deal on offer was the best possible outcome for the sport. Reports that it was railroaded through without giving the clubs (bar one) time to consider it, and that other parties hadn't been given sufficient opportunity to express an interest don't give me confidence that this is the case. Accepting a contract because "it seems decent" is the kind of forelock tugging gratitude that is, unfortunately, the hallmark of Rugby League.

 

But what do the RFL have to offer other "interested parties".

 

Take away SKY and what is the product? 

 

It is semi-professional Rugby League that's all it is.

 

Because SKY don't really buy the rights to Superleague, they fund it and always have done.

Edited by The Parksider

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1. If SKY did indeed approach the RFL with a take it or leave it type offer, what does that say about the relationship between the RFL and SKY? or indeed how they view us as a partner?

2. This also happened previously when the RFL tried to play hardball and ended up accepting a lower offer than originally offered (if memory serves me correct).

 

3. We've got a number of years now till the next contract is up, so in that time every effort should be being made to make the game an attractive option for all those other TV networks.

 

1. It says that they just about own us. It's a marriage where SKY pay the bills and the RFL/SLE do the housework. 

 

2. Yes they were strutting around telling the media that they didn't need sky and had options. IIRC the only option was to sell semi-pro to the BBC for peanuts.

 

3. How??  With what money??

 

This is how SKY have us over a barrel. They pay just enough to allow us to professionalise the top division so it's decent enough to screen as filler for SKY sports. 

 

They aren't going to pay us £Millions more so we can make the game more attractive to other broadcasters.

 

SKY have owned and subsidised us for 20 years and yes BT showed an interest, but whatever the deal was I bet it wasn't a guarantee that any contract would be renewed next time. All SKY had to say was "you go to BT then and we'll forget RL,and replace it and don't come back to us if BT don't renew".

 

The BT thing fizzled out quickly with Wood and Solly bleating on about partnerships and being jolly old pals with SKY.

 

We're owned.

Edited by The Parksider

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The RFL has stated multiple times that rights to internationals has not yet been finalised and they still have this asset to sell.

As such there is still more revenue for the RFL to potentially collect as part of the next deal (actually has CC FTA rights been locked in yet either?). Considering RLIF events can'tbe sold by the RFL it is arguably only 2 of the next 4 year window up for sale.

Anyway as for the deal, it's no surprise it happened the way it did. RL is a profitable asset for Sky. It makes more out of it then it pays. Naturally when BT burst onto the scene, Sky like any company moved to lock up as many sports as possible and apply some threats to force those sports to sign on.

RL could have tried to call Sky's bluff and hope Sky and BT got into a bidding war, but considering BT has never been a supporter of the code before, was there any guarentee that they would come to the party this time? Maybe, maybe not.

It was a risky scenario and the clubs (and RFL) went with the safe approach which in many ways you couldn't blame them.

For me the dollar increase is a massive positive for the code with the more disappointing aspect being the amount of content Sky has again locked up that will not be shown anywhere.

For me, I'd love to see more games being televised, with our clubs and games being seen by more eyeballs and if Sky didn't want to do anything with it, allow the clubs to leverage the content.


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Agree with much of that Yakstorm, and I do agree with the bottom part. If there is anything to be disappointed by with the deal it is the lack of regular Championship games and another game or two would be very welcome!

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Depends how you want to spin it. 

 

The RFL and those involved in the negotiations will have an idea of the value they are looking for, but let's break it down:

 

Current Deal vs New Deal

SL Rights - £90m (5 yrs) vs £147m (5yrs) - 63% uplift

Championship Rights - £0m (0 years) vs £16.4m (5 yrs) - £16.4m uplift

Total league rights - £90m (5yrs) vs £163.4m (5 yrs) - 82% uplift

 

In itself, by any measure, that should be seen as a successful TV rights negotiation. In 20 years we have seen pretty much no growth in TV right value - suddenly we have seen an 82% uplift.

 

We should then also welcome the additional £17.8m that is to be invested in Club's charities and Foundations - that gets overlooked, but is an unprecedented investment by a commercial partner.

 

I cannot comment on the £20m for Cup and Internationals as I don't have any numbers to compare.

 

We also have an established long term partner, who regularly deliver higher figures than the competition.

 

Had the new deal been worth only a modest increase, I would absolutely agree with you, but sometimes a great deal comes along where you are offered way more than your market value - this would appear to be one of those times.

 

I'm not really spinning anything. While it's true that the new deal "seems decent", it only does so in comparison to the previous deal. We've no way of knowing whether it "seems decent" in comparison to any deal the sport could have had. Instead, it was railroaded through by the RFL and with insufficient time given to clubs to properly consider it. Being forced to sign up to an 8 year deal with only 24 hours notice seems massively unprofessional on the part of the RFL, and is why I think questions over whether the deal is a good one are legitimate.

 

Worth noting that the two people who complained have singularly failed in attempts to make their own clubs viable. Although the increased TV funding should just about cover Wigan's last reported annual loss.

 

 

Also worth noting that the two people who complained were prepared to forego the £300,000 upfront sweetener in order to try to ensure the sport got the best deal possible. The people who quickly accepted the Sky deal seemed to have clubs so viable that they really needed that money.

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1 - I'm not really spinning anything. While it's true that the new deal "seems decent", it only does so in comparison to the previous deal. We've no way of knowing whether it "seems decent" in comparison to any deal the sport could have had. Instead, it was railroaded through by the RFL and with insufficient time given to clubs to properly consider it. Being forced to sign up to an 8 year deal with only 24 hours notice seems massively unprofessional on the part of the RFL, and is why I think questions over whether the deal is a good one are legitimate.

 

 

2 - Also worth noting that the two people who complained were prepared to forego the £300,000 upfront sweetener in order to try to ensure the sport got the best deal possible. The people who quickly accepted the Sky deal seemed to have clubs so viable that they really needed that money.

1 - apologies, I wasn't accusing you of spin, it was a word I used clumsily for point of view. Whilst the 24hr ultimatum may seem unprofessional - if this is what Sky did (and maybe they did it because the RFL had screwed them for months - who knows) then the RFL simply HAD to put this to the clubs. There was literally no other option - it would have been incompetent and negligent not to do this. The onus is then all on the clubs (and the RFL who get a vote). Let's not forget that Lenegan's view was that they were under pressure - I don't recall hearing anybody else have an issue with that, and Barwick stated that it was a comprehensive presentation that the clubs were very happy with and then wanted to vote for it.

 

2 - minor point, but Lenegan only complained once he had signed up to the additional money. Leeds, Warrington and Saints, three of the more sensibly run clubs voted for the deal I believe and have not subsequently complained about it.

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1 - apologies, I wasn't accusing you of spin, it was a word I used clumsily for point of view. Whilst the 24hr ultimatum may seem unprofessional - if this is what Sky did (and maybe they did it because the RFL had screwed them for months - who knows) then the RFL simply HAD to put this to the clubs. There was literally no other option - it would have been incompetent and negligent not to do this. The onus is then all on the clubs (and the RFL who get a vote). Let's not forget that Lenegan's view was that they were under pressure - I don't recall hearing anybody else have an issue with that, and Barwick stated that it was a comprehensive presentation that the clubs were very happy with and then wanted to vote for it.

 

2 - minor point, but Lenegan only complained once he had signed up to the additional money. Leeds, Warrington and Saints, three of the more sensibly run clubs voted for the deal I believe and have not subsequently complained about it.

 

There's no doubt that it was Sky that imposed the 24 hour ultimatum. The problem for me is that the RFL, it seems, had no choice but to accept that ultimatum. It all feeds in to a sense I have that the RFL is now buffeted by events rather than in control of its own destiny, and why it's right to question how good this deal really is. I mean, would you buy a car with only 24 hours notice? Of course, we have no way of knowing how things would have panned out had circumstances been different, but my sense is that we wouldn't have reached the point of a 24 hour ultimatum had Richard Lewis still been at the helm. Nigel may well be an extremely competent manager, but surely you want your CEO to be someone who heads off problems like this.

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There's no doubt that it was Sky that imposed the 24 hour ultimatum. The problem for me is that the RFL, it seems, had no choice but to accept that ultimatum. It all feeds in to a sense I have that the RFL is now buffeted by events rather than in control of its own destiny, and why it's right to question how good this deal really is. I mean, would you buy a car with only 24 hours notice? Of course, we have no way of knowing how things would have panned out had circumstances been different, but my sense is that we wouldn't have reached the point of a 24 hour ultimatum had Richard Lewis still been at the helm. Nigel may well be an extremely competent manager, but surely you want your CEO to be someone who heads off problems like this.

I think I provided a link to what happened when Lewis was at the helm and we tried to play hardball with Sky. 

 

The short answer is that we signed a paltry deal with only a couple of weeks to go to the new season.

 

People are obsessing about the 24hr point, yet IIRC literally only one person has complained about this (Lenegan) - although I may have missed Koukash using this as an issue - but people are not focusing on the massive increases that that deal attracted.

 

We had genuinely not seen an increase like it since 1995. In fact quite the opposite.

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There's no doubt that it was Sky that imposed the 24 hour ultimatum. The problem for me is that the RFL, it seems, had no choice but to accept that ultimatum. It all feeds in to a sense I have that the RFL is now buffeted by events rather than in control of its own destiny, and why it's right to question how good this deal really is. I mean, would you buy a car with only 24 hours notice? Of course, we have no way of knowing how things would have panned out had circumstances been different, but my sense is that we wouldn't have reached the point of a 24 hour ultimatum had Richard Lewis still been at the helm. Nigel may well be an extremely competent manager, but surely you want your CEO to be someone who heads off problems like this.

 

Lenegan said..........

 

'I believe it is a dreadful commercial decision to be agreeing in 2014, with three years still to go on Super League’s current deal, a new deal for Super League TV rights for the five future years at only a 30 per cent increase and without going out to tender,'  'Super League should have achieved considerably more than that from committing the next eight years or should have extended for two years only, leaving us then able to renegotiate for 2017-21 in what appears to be an increasingly competitive market in favour of sellers. 'We are now shut out from any increase in the value of broadcasting rights over an eight-year period. 'BT Sport are very serious competitors and they are in it for the long term.'

 

You say "The problem for me is that the RFL, it seems, had no choice but to accept that ultimatum." 

 

Lenegan confirmed a 24 hours ultimatum, but also confirmed a choice to reject the deal,

 

The rush to accept the deal came in particular from clubs who were desperate for money, not for long drawn out negotiations that could have gone on into the following season, and longer. Clubs named as being in a desperate situation for funds were in particular Bradford, London, Castleford and Wakefield. Widnes whose chairman would not finance funding gaps welcomed the extra funding.

 

Saints and Leeds were up for the deal and said it secured these clubs and therefore secured the competition.

 

The voting position was 7-6 for the deal so SKY probably knew they had the majority vote in the bag and pushed for the final vote to go through with the ultimatum. Good business that's all. In the end it was Lenegan who had no choice but to accept he was outsmarted.

 

I don't see there was any great increase in the deal for SL clubs at all, nor did Sadler, Koukash or Lenegan. £16 Million of the increase was taken away from Superleague to fund Solly's daft new system. Something the rebel clubs resent. 

 

What really helped the SL clubs to get more money was the drop to 12 clubs that was championed by Hudgell. That in itself funded increases to the SL clubs and removed the really skint clubs - which it did when London and Bradford were relegated.

 

Their votes as "SL clubs" swung the deal in favour of the RFL yet they are SL clubs no more. Their votes swung a deal that saw them relegated. 

 

Lenegan didn't really change his mind, as was said the six rebels had to concede the vote was lost when the deal and structure was discussed between the clubs. He and five other rebel clubs voted for only as a public show of solidarity but good journalism uncovered the deep rift that came to the surface once Solly resigned and Hudgell threatened civil war. This was waved away as nothing and solidarity claimed by some, but far from it.

 

You say "Nigel may well be an extremely competent manager, but surely you want your CEO to be someone who heads off problems like this"

 

Lenegan doesnt want Nigel or Solly to be Superleague's CEO at all because he thinks they and their daft system stinks and isn't any good for SL, he and the rebel clubs want their own CEO as they have said and it seems clear if they get him that they will be spending the rest of their time trapped in this long term SKY deal courting BT and looking at how to change the league system which mastermind Solly copied from Swiss soccer, back to proper P & R.

Edited by The Parksider

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