Jump to content
Total Rugby League Fans Forum
Sign in to follow this  
scotchy1

The Challenge Cup, visibility, coverage etc.

Recommended Posts

We heard earlier this year that the challenge cup under-performs on the BBC, we also know that ticket sales for the CC, especially in the early rounds are pretty terrible but whilst the CC is our national competition that still holds some cache and a place in the public conscious. 

It currently too often shows the game in its worst light. Poor crowds in poor stadiums. It shows this to what is largely our biggest audience. The opportunity presented by this is so poorly seized that we are, at times, doing as much harm as good with the CC. 

Many people have presented ideas for a restructure of the CC, a lot of them interesting. Others, like most things in RL, want things to stay exactly the same. Im not really addressing the structure of the cup but more different ways that some of the specific problems that it faces can be addressed. 

One of the reasons I think the CC struggles to really fulfil its potential as TV product is that is largely irrelevant to most people. It is largely games between northern clubs, played in the north and then a CC final featuring at least one if not two of Leeds, Wigan, Saints, WIre and Hull. If you aren't from these places or didn't see your team play in a CC final 40 years ago it doesn't really hold much relevance to you. Its a game played far away and watched by other people. Why would a kid in Leicester or Nottingham, even somewhere like Newcastle or Coventry really care?

Another reason it struggles is that it sells itself largely through the same reasons as SL, but not as well. Games between SL clubs  in SL grounds but with lower crowds isn't really adding anything extra. 

We have people on here saying that C4 coverage will somehow see the championship with a bigger SC than SL yet we have BBC coverage and can't really do anything with it. 

I think the RFL need to take the Challenge Cup to the people. It has a cultural place in the countries conscious. It has terrestrial coverage. It needs to reach out. We need to build the brand Challenge Cup throughout the country and make it relevant to more people. 

I would look to do three things to achieve this. 

1. Take televised games on the road. Sell 4 games each round to cities/stadiums throughout the country. Attendances are pretty poor in the heartlands anyway. Lets go out and sell the game to new people in new areas. Build an affiliation with the competition and give people up and down the country a chance to watch a live RL match. Though we wont know the teams we can sell the rounds and give the cities/Stadiums a year (or more) to sell their games. 

2. Create a travelling roadshow to promote the sport in these areas in the build up. Work with local organisations and business group to create it as a showcase for local brands 

3. Create 9s, master, touch, tag, womens, schools, amateur, corporate, charity challenge ups, all ending in the festival of finals on CC final weekend. Get as many people playing in a challenge cup game and build their affiliation with it 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is Warrington v Hull the 1st semi final? Surely, Saints fans would have stayed behind to see who they were playing, and Halifax fans (no disrespect but you are probably going to lose) would have stayed to enjoy the rest of the day. 

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Scubby said:

Why is Warrington v Hull the 1st semi final? Surely, Saints fans would have stayed behind to see who they were playing, and Halifax fans (no disrespect but you are probably going to lose) would have stayed to enjoy the rest of the day. 

I guess the fact many don't stay, if they don't stay, says a lot about what even RL fans think of the brand/Challenge Cup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, redjonn said:

I guess the fact many don't stay, if they don't stay, says a lot about what even RL fans think of the brand/Challenge Cup.

I'm not sure that is fair. The RLWC in 2013 is a great example of this issue - I am as big a fan of international RL as you will get, but I didn't bother staying for the 2nd match at Wembley where the 'lesser' game was 2nd.

That doesn't say anything about the brand or the value I put on  the RLWC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Dave T said:

I'm not sure that is fair. The RLWC in 2013 is a great example of this issue - I am as big a fan of international RL as you will get, but I didn't bother staying for the 2nd match at Wembley where the 'lesser' game was 2nd.

That doesn't say anything about the brand or the value I put on  the RLWC.

I only stayed for a while - when the score got quite big, regards the RLWC.

If it doesn't say anything about the brand/CC then it says something about the game being played.   If it doesn't then it must say something about something (chuckle)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, redjonn said:

I only stayed for a while - when the score got quite big, regards the RLWC.

If it doesn't say anything about the brand/CC then it says something about the game being played.   If it doesn't then it must say something about something (chuckle)

I think the point about the actual match is the one. If Saints were playing Wigan you would get a bigger crowd staying i'm sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I think the point about the actual match is the one. If Saints were playing Wigan you would get a bigger crowd staying i'm sure.

maybe, but many would still not stay... going by similar

Edited by redjonn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, scotchy1 said:

We heard earlier this year that the challenge cup under-performs on the BBC, we also know that ticket sales for the CC, especially in the early rounds are pretty terrible but whilst the CC is our national competition that still holds some cache and a place in the public conscious. 

It currently too often shows the game in its worst light. Poor crowds in poor stadiums. It shows this to what is largely our biggest audience. The opportunity presented by this is so poorly seized that we are, at times, doing as much harm as good with the CC. 

Many people have presented ideas for a restructure of the CC, a lot of them interesting. Others, like most things in RL, want things to stay exactly the same. Im not really addressing the structure of the cup but more different ways that some of the specific problems that it faces can be addressed. 

One of the reasons I think the CC struggles to really fulfil its potential as TV product is that is largely irrelevant to most people. It is largely games between northern clubs, played in the north and then a CC final featuring at least one if not two of Leeds, Wigan, Saints, WIre and Hull. If you aren't from these places or didn't see your team play in a CC final 40 years ago it doesn't really hold much relevance to you. Its a game played far away and watched by other people. Why would a kid in Leicester or Nottingham, even somewhere like Newcastle or Coventry really care?

Another reason it struggles is that it sells itself largely through the same reasons as SL, but not as well. Games between SL clubs  in SL grounds but with lower crowds isn't really adding anything extra. 

We have people on here saying that C4 coverage will somehow see the championship with a bigger SC than SL yet we have BBC coverage and can't really do anything with it. 

I think the RFL need to take the Challenge Cup to the people. It has a cultural place in the countries conscious. It has terrestrial coverage. It needs to reach out. We need to build the brand Challenge Cup throughout the country and make it relevant to more people. 

I would look to do three things to achieve this. 

1. Take televised games on the road. Sell 4 games each round to cities/stadiums throughout the country. Attendances are pretty poor in the heartlands anyway. Lets go out and sell the game to new people in new areas. Build an affiliation with the competition and give people up and down the country a chance to watch a live RL match. Though we wont know the teams we can sell the rounds and give the cities/Stadiums a year (or more) to sell their games. 

2. Create a travelling roadshow to promote the sport in these areas in the build up. Work with local organisations and business group to create it as a showcase for local brands 

3. Create 9s, master, touch, tag, womens, schools, amateur, corporate, charity challenge ups, all ending in the festival of finals on CC final weekend. Get as many people playing in a challenge cup game and build their affiliation with it 

Thanks for that.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s not purely the Challenge Cup that is suffering. Super League is poorly attended, too. 

Half the competition cannot get an average of a five figure crowd and I reckon Catalans’ average is inflated due to the Barcelona game, so it’s likely to be seven sides out of twelve that don’t pull 10,000+ every home game. Only one sides’ lowest crowd thus far this year is over 10,000 (Leeds), so it’s not just a Challenge Cup problem. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I'm not sure that is fair. The RLWC in 2013 is a great example of this issue - I am as big a fan of international RL as you will get, but I didn't bother staying for the 2nd match at Wembley where the 'lesser' game was 2nd.

That doesn't say anything about the brand or the value I put on  the RLWC.

It shows the issues with double headers though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

It’s not purely the Challenge Cup that is suffering. Super League is poorly attended, too. 

Half the competition cannot get an average of a five figure crowd and I reckon Catalans’ average is inflated due to the Barcelona game, so it’s likely to be seven sides out of twelve that don’t pull 10,000+ every home game. Only one sides’ lowest crowd thus far this year is over 10,000 (Leeds), so it’s not just a Challenge Cup problem. 

Its a relative issue though. Super League sets a baseline that the CC can't reach. Of course we would all like higher crowds everywhere. But SL gets our highest crowds and it is largely at the higher end of what we can get historically so SL isn't really poorly attended. Its well attended in the context of what crowds RL can get.

(Which again in the context of comparable sports is relatively good)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

Its a relative issue though. Super League sets a baseline that the CC can't reach. Of course we would all like higher crowds everywhere. But SL gets our highest crowds and it is largely at the higher end of what we can get historically so SL isn't really poorly attended. Its well attended in the context of what crowds RL can get.

(Which again in the context of comparable sports is relatively good)

So relatively speaking, in the context of historical baselines, for comparable sports using their historical context of relatively speaking attendances, the baseline Super League attendances are relatively good in the context of historical baselines? Mmmm, interesting.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Private Baldrick said:

So relatively speaking, in the context of historical baselines, for comparable sports using their historical context of relatively speaking attendances, the baseline Super League attendances are relatively good in the context of historical baselines? Mmmm, interesting.

Well...no...

Good try though. Keep going. You'll get there eventually. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simply having the BBC streaming early rounds, then followed by terrestrial rounds to then be pushed out via SKY doesn't assit the competition. Possibly it may help if all games resided with one broadcaster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, scotchy1 said:

I would look to do three things to achieve this. 

1. Take televised games on the road. Sell 4 games each round to cities/stadiums throughout the country. Attendances are pretty poor in the heartlands anyway. Lets go out and sell the game to new people in new areas. Build an affiliation with the competition and give people up and down the country a chance to watch a live RL match. Though we wont know the teams we can sell the rounds and give the cities/Stadiums a year (or more) to sell their games. 

2. Create a travelling roadshow to promote the sport in these areas in the build up. Work with local organisations and business group to create it as a showcase for local brands 

3. Create 9s, master, touch, tag, womens, schools, amateur, corporate, charity challenge ups, all ending in the festival of finals on CC final weekend. Get as many people playing in a challenge cup game and build their affiliation with it 

A serious question is, what leads you think that the game's administration could do that effectively?  After all, with things like magic and World Cup matches on the road as it were, local promotion of the events is woeful by all accounts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The issue is that season tickets don’t cover cup games so not as many fans go as to league games, which by definition devalues the competition. It’s inevitable, same as has happened to the FA Cup and League Cup (albeit in the context of European competition money being more important to clubs than winning trophies but it probably would have happened anyway). 

I doubt taking games elsewhere would work either. Who in a non RL area would go to watch a game that even people in RL areas aren’t interested in. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Big Picture said:

A serious question is, what leads you think that the game's administration could do that effectively?  After all, with things like magic and World Cup matches on the road as it were, local promotion of the events is woeful by all accounts.

I think not doing anything at all because Rimmer is a boob is even less productive than trying even if we fail

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Private Baldrick said:

Thanks for that.

 

2 hours ago, Private Baldrick said:

So relatively speaking, in the context of historical baselines, for comparable sports using their historical context of relatively speaking attendances, the baseline Super League attendances are relatively good in the context of historical baselines? Mmmm, interesting.

It's all part of a very cunning plan.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Eddie said:

The issue is that season tickets don’t cover cup games so not as many fans go as to league games, which by definition devalues the competition. It’s inevitable, same as has happened to the FA Cup and League Cup (albeit in the context of European competition money being more important to clubs than winning trophies but it probably would have happened anyway). 

I doubt taking games elsewhere would work either. Who in a non RL area would go to watch a game that even people in RL areas aren’t interested in. 

Is it convenience or extra cost with regards to non-season tickets.  With modern ticketing systems it should be easy to receive a text as a season ticket holder and just have to click "confirm/OK" to have ticket added or sent, especially of a extra discount given or lottery ticket included or whatever.

So I assume it's more about the extra cost rather than convenience.

Edited by redjonn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, scotchy1 said:

Its a relative issue though. Super League sets a baseline that the CC can't reach. Of course we would all like higher crowds everywhere. But SL gets our highest crowds and it is largely at the higher end of what we can get historically so SL isn't really poorly attended. Its well attended in the context of what crowds RL can get.

(Which again in the context of comparable sports is relatively good)

Historically though the Challenge Cup  achieved crowds way in excess of anything Super league will ever attract and regularly gained much larger attendances than the league.

When the Challenge Cup used to attract several million viewers to all of its rounds it was purely without exception "games between northern clubs, played in the north"...finals contested by the likes of Leigh, Castleford, Featherstone, Widnes, Wakefield, Salford, Halifax etc etc attracted millions and millions  in excess of the viewership now.

The change of structure, the change to a "summer" season and the emphasis on the Grand Final all combined to ruin the Challenge Cup 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The solution to the challenge cup has to be a qualified group stage imo. 4 4 team groups guarantee fixtures allowing them to be added to the Season tickets. SL qualify automatically. Everything below in knockout qualification rounds pre/early season - invitational clubs like Red Star Belgrade, Elite 1 teams, Longhorns etc are able to qualify for the group stages. Advantages in terms of number of home games etc can be done on SL placing.

This does make the CC a 6 round comp for SL teams which is more than it is now but does give the cup some weight in terms of having a "cup run" and perhaps could be used to reduce league loop fixtures.

Personally I think that could be a good system for broadcasters. Early rounds red button BBC. Group stages devised so every cup weekend big games don't clash - 8 games availavle each weekend could be shared between both Sky and Beeb as happens currently. Still going to have at least 4 lower league clubs in the group stages so still opportunity for upsets. 2 QFs each. Semis and Final on the Beeb. 

1895 cup can still exist alongside. Those not in the CC groups get in there.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

The solution to the challenge cup has to be a qualified group stage imo. 4 4 team groups guarantee fixtures allowing them to be added to the Season tickets. SL qualify automatically. Everything below in knockout qualification rounds pre/early season - invitational clubs like Red Star Belgrade, Elite 1 teams, Longhorns etc are able to qualify for the group stages. Advantages in terms of number of home games etc can be done on SL placing.

This does make the CC a 6 round comp for SL teams which is more than it is now but does give the cup some weight in terms of having a "cup run" and perhaps could be used to reduce league loop fixtures.

Personally I think that could be a good system for broadcasters. Early rounds red button BBC. Group stages devised so every cup weekend big games don't clash - 8 games availavle each weekend could be shared between both Sky and Beeb as happens currently. Still going to have at least 4 lower league clubs in the group stages so still opportunity for upsets. 2 QFs each. Semis and Final on the Beeb. 

1895 cup can still exist alongside. Those not in the CC groups get in there.

If you made the group stage 6 games you could scrap the loopy fixtures completely and have a guaranteed 3 extra home games. That would also make the cup 9 rounds and really adds some weight to the prestige of winning it. I think this is one reason it has lost some of its prestige, it is too easy to win. Also guarantees some lower division sides playing home games against super league sides. Not a bad way to go. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Marty Funkhouser said:

Historically though the Challenge Cup  achieved crowds way in excess of anything Super league will ever attract and regularly gained much larger attendances than the league.

When the Challenge Cup used to attract several million viewers to all of its rounds it was purely without exception "games between northern clubs, played in the north"...finals contested by the likes of Leigh, Castleford, Featherstone, Widnes, Wakefield, Salford, Halifax etc etc attracted millions and millions  in excess of the viewership now.

The change of structure, the change to a "summer" season and the emphasis on the Grand Final all combined to ruin the Challenge Cup 

When there were 2 or 3 channels maybe. It doesnt now and hasnt for a while

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Marty Funkhouser said:

Historically though the Challenge Cup  achieved crowds way in excess of anything Super league will ever attract and regularly gained much larger attendances than the league.

When the Challenge Cup used to attract several million viewers to all of its rounds it was purely without exception "games between northern clubs, played in the north"...finals contested by the likes of Leigh, Castleford, Featherstone, Widnes, Wakefield, Salford, Halifax etc etc attracted millions and millions  in excess of the viewership now.

The change of structure, the change to a "summer" season and the emphasis on the Grand Final all combined to ruin the Challenge Cup 

I think thats false though mate. A clear comparison is the FA cup. Clubs, fans and investors since the 90s have valued the league far more than the cup generally in all sports.

People have more to do than in the past too - the cup in its current format doesn't quite cut it anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

If you made the group stage 6 games you could scrap the loopy fixtures completely and have a guaranteed 3 extra home games. That would also make the cup 9 rounds and really adds some weight to the prestige of winning it. I think this is one reason it has lost some of its prestige, it is too easy to win. Also guarantees some lower division sides playing home games against super league sides. Not a bad way to go. 

Agreed. Still 2 against SL teams and 1 against presumably a good qualifier too means they're not much different to our stupid loop system now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...