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scotchy1

The Challenge Cup, visibility, coverage etc.

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1 hour ago, scotchy1 said:

Clearly it connects with something if all those people attended and people like us, hundreds of miles away and not fans of the sport are talking about it

Oh come on, that is a hell of a stretch. We are a niche discussion forum discussing it for a certain purpose.

People in pubs in Warrington or Hull or St Helens are not discussing those games due to interest. 

Those things are great events in terms of getting bums on seats, and we can learn from that, but they are certainly not public consciousness events.

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20 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Oh come on, that is a hell of a stretch. We are a niche discussion forum discussing it for a certain purpose.

People in pubs in Warrington or Hull or St Helens are not discussing those games due to interest. 

Those things are great events in terms of getting bums on seats, and we can learn from that, but they are certainly not public consciousness events.

Pity there isn't another rounders game on somewhere , it was nice and ' civil ' on here then 😉

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

Those things are great events in terms of getting bums on seats, and we can learn from that, but they are certainly not public consciousness events.

Yes, that's what I had in mind. What was just a normal game got turned into something of an occasion and they got four times the number of bums on seats than they would in both clubs on any other week. Another example of making something into an event was the staging of Catalans Dragons v Wigan at Barcelona, a SL record, and for what was a regular league match, not a final or anything else. It just goes to show that with the right Marketing the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley could be a much more massive event in the life of the nation. It's a Cup Final at Wembley, the Marketing team get a head start with that.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

Oh come on, that is a hell of a stretch. We are a niche discussion forum discussing it for a certain purpose.

People in pubs in Warrington or Hull or St Helens are not discussing those games due to interest. 

Those things are great events in terms of getting bums on seats, and we can learn from that, but they are certainly not public consciousness events.

Other than many people knowing what they are.

We cant complain that other sports get more coverage and have more visibility and a higher status in the public conscious then refuse to believe the things they do and the events they put on play no part in that

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32 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

Other than many people knowing what they are.

We cant complain that other sports get more coverage and have more visibility and a higher status in the public conscious then refuse to believe the things they do and the events they put on play no part in that

My point is simply that that event does not have national awareness and interest you suggest. It is a great initiative for what it is, and undoubtedly contributes to the success of their game, but it is a rather niche event with little profile.

Unfortunately, the London RU events are pretty unique that will struggle to be replicated by RL, as we have seen by RU in other places. Bug that doesn't mean we shouldn't at least try some new stuff. 

But none of that is the same as your suggestion of on the road cup games. I loved the On the Road games, but I'm not sure your proposed cup approach is right for it.

I'd rather see a commitment from each club to stage a home game as an event away from their ground. Clubs can join up and stage a double header if they can make that work, but games in Barvelkna, Paris, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Liverpool, Cardiff etc should be actively encouraged.

Edited by Dave T
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48 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

Other than many people knowing what they are.

We cant complain that other sports get more coverage and have more visibility and a higher status in the public conscious then refuse to believe the things they do and the events they put on play no part in that

Is the national general public consciousness being raised or just a small percentage of that same general public?


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If any competition needs a group stage, it’s not the Challenge Cup, it’s the 1895 Cup. 

Theres 25 non-Super League clubs eligible to compete in the 1895 Cup at present. Two of this year’s teams were non-UK based in Toronto and Toulouse so they wouldn’t take part, that leaves 23 behind, so an odd number. My proposal would be to invite the champions of the NCL Premier Division, in this instance it would have been Hunslet Parkside. That means there would have been 24 clubs in the tournament, so easy to do eight groups of three teams, with everyone playing each team in their group home and away, so each side is guaranteed four games and two of those being home games. The eight group winners through to the QF’s and we go to a knockout comp from there.  

It was really that simple. However, the 1895 Cup has been quite poorly executed, IMO. 

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56 minutes ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

If any competition needs a group stage, it’s not the Challenge Cup, it’s the 1895 Cup. 

Theres 25 non-Super League clubs eligible to compete in the 1895 Cup at present. Two of this year’s teams were non-UK based in Toronto and Toulouse so they wouldn’t take part, that leaves 23 behind, so an odd number. My proposal would be to invite the champions of the NCL Premier Division, in this instance it would have been Hunslet Parkside. That means there would have been 24 clubs in the tournament, so easy to do eight groups of three teams, with everyone playing each team in their group home and away, so each side is guaranteed four games and two of those being home games. The eight group winners through to the QF’s and we go to a knockout comp from there.  

It was really that simple. However, the 1895 Cup has been quite poorly executed, IMO. 

Hmmm... And getting the qualifiers down to 24 (no matter how or however seeded) would also work for the real CC, not just the 1895.

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10 minutes ago, Rupert Prince said:

Hmmm... And getting the qualifiers down to 24 (no matter how or however seeded) would also work for the real CC, not just the 1895.

It may be easy to hypothetically get a list of twenty-four “qualifiers” for a mythical Challenge Cup Group stage, it doesn’t however factor in demand for such a move or the current fixture schedule in the Super League. 

 

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1 hour ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

It was really that simple. However, the 1895 Cup has been quite poorly executed, IMO. 

A good example is Halifax & Bradford. Playing each other for their place in the Challenge Cup, whilst also being eligible for the 1895 Cup. They played out an epic encounter in the CC and were then faced with fielding a team three days later in the 1895. As John Kear said at the time, it would have been inhuman sending the 1st team so soon (and likewise for Fax) so they sent the youth team and we know what happened. You can't blame two Championship sides for prioritising the senior competition, getting a bigger gate, appearing on BBC nationally and promoting their brands to the widest possible audience. The tight scheduling between the two comps has abruptly halted their progress. On another, slightly ridiculous note, what if the Bulls or Fax had somehow made it through to the Finals of both competitions?? :kolobok_sarcastic:

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30 minutes ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

It may be easy to hypothetically get a list of twenty-four “qualifiers” for a mythical Challenge Cup Group stage, it doesn’t however factor in demand for such a move or the current fixture schedule in the Super League. 

It does if you remove loop fixtures.  

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1 hour ago, deluded pom? said:

Is the national general public consciousness being raised or just a small percentage of that same general public?

 

It gave the "impression", to the casual viewer, that Club level RU was massive enough to sell out two of the bigger stadiums in London and be on National TV. Not true on a regular and sustainable basis. But it created a good impression for the sport. 

Just tweaking public perception by a small percentage could mean a lot. 0.5% of thirty million adults might mean 150,000 extra people fighting for Challenge Cup Tickets. 

On a more down to earth level; the London Derby RU "events" got even non sporting people commenting at work. But then, I am more at that end of the country than most on here. So maybe it did have a wider resonance than usual but within the more limited region of the country. Likewise the Grand Final in Manchester will pass them by, especially if it isn't on what we call the "normal telly".

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24 minutes ago, Rupert Prince said:

It does if you remove loop fixtures.  

It’s still bloody loop fixtures though, isn’t it? You can dress up things how you like but it’s still loop fixtures just claimed to be some saviour of the Challenge Cup instead of playing for two league points in Super League. 

The appetite isn’t there amongst fans for Super League loop fixtures so Huddersfield v Salford in the Challenge Cup Group Stage isn’t going to be any better or any more desirable than Huddersfield v Salford in the Super League, let’s be honest. 

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4 minutes ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

It’s still bloody loop fixtures though, isn’t it? You can dress up things how you like but it’s still loop fixtures just claimed to be some saviour of the Challenge Cup instead of playing for two league points in Super League. 

The appetite isn’t there amongst fans for Super League loop fixtures so Huddersfield v Salford in the Challenge Cup Group Stage isn’t going to be any better or any more desirable than Huddersfield v Salford in the Super League, let’s be honest. 

It solves the problems of loop fixtures, guarantees home fixtures for clubs, creates space for internationals and means some of our best fixtures could be on FTA on a regular basis.

Loop fixtures are inherently unfair and imbalanced. These aren't. I don't know what point you're trying to make if in your mind it makes no difference to you?

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9 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

It solves the problems of loop fixtures, guarantees home fixtures for clubs, creates space for internationals and means some of our best fixtures could be on FTA on a regular basis.

Loop fixtures are inherently unfair and imbalanced. These aren't. I don't know what point you're trying to make if in your mind it makes no difference to you?

It doesn’t solve anything at all when the proposed idea of groups of four teams will still see four games between Super League sides. Your idea is loop fixtures. Earning points in the Challenge Cup doesn’t make these fixtures anything different, you can dress them up how you like but they’re still exactly what they are, loop fixtures.

They’re still loop fixtures whether you can accept it or not. You’re still potentially seeing the same game FOUR times a season minimum. There’s not much of an appetite from fans for loop fixtures in its current guise so I cannot see why there’d be any more of an appetite to watch the same sides competing for two points in the Challenge Cup Group Stages over watching the two sides competing for points in the Super League. 

You’re also only allowing four of the current twenty-five lower league sides into the competition, alienating a vast number of them and community clubs in the process, something the current format of the competition does but not on the level of allowing 16% of the lower league teams compete. 

 

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We can set groups up with whatever combinations and seeding we want. 

Drawing teams in different comps are not loop games, although people are using that phrase more and more to make a point. Loop games are repeat games in the same comp that create an imbalance because we dont have enough teams in the league.

When I first started watching it was possible to meet a team in the league twice, Lancs Cup, JPS, Challenge Cup and Premiership. That's 6 times, but people didnt complain about loop games. This is an issue about repeat league fixtures.

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20 minutes ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

It doesn’t solve anything at all when the proposed idea of groups of four teams will still see four games between Super League sides. Your idea is loop fixtures. Earning points in the Challenge Cup doesn’t make these fixtures anything different, you can dress them up how you like but they’re still exactly what they are, loop fixtures.

They’re still loop fixtures whether you can accept it or not. You’re still potentially seeing the same game FOUR times a season minimum. There’s not much of an appetite from fans for loop fixtures in its current guise so I cannot see why there’d be any more of an appetite to watch the same sides competing for two points in the Challenge Cup Group Stages over watching the two sides competing for points in the Super League. 

You’re also only allowing four of the current twenty-five lower league sides into the competition, alienating a vast number of them and community clubs in the process, something the current format of the competition does but not on the level of allowing 16% of the lower league teams compete. 

 

Unless the league expands the number of teams then loop fixtures, in whatever variety, are necessary. Carter at Wakefield has said explicitly that they would not be profitable on less than 13 home games a season. Imo, playing in a different comp, but still guaranteeing those home fixtures, makes it much more palatable to both the average fan and the club boardrooms. In interest of fairness more than anything.

On the issue of your 16%, for most sides outside of SL nothing changes. They're still involved in Knockout games where the SL clubs enter at a much later date. For the past 2 years only 8 games a year have been played between a SL team and a non SL team (including Saints v Fax this year). Teams get to the latter stages on merit just as is now and SL clubs that make a Semi final will have had to really earn it, unlike what can often happen now. 

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11 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Unless the league expands the number of teams then loop fixtures, in whatever variety, are necessary. Carter at Wakefield has said explicitly that they would not be profitable on less than 13 home games a season. Imo, playing in a different comp, but still guaranteeing those home fixtures, makes it much more palatable to both the average fan and the club boardrooms. In interest of fairness more than anything.

On the issue of your 16%, for most sides outside of SL nothing changes. They're still involved in Knockout games where the SL clubs enter at a much later date. For the past 2 years only 8 games a year have been played between a SL team and a non SL team (including Saints v Fax this year). Teams get to the latter stages on merit just as is now and SL clubs that make a Semi final will have had to really earn it, unlike what can often happen now. 

It’s not palatable though is it? Fans don’t want loop fixtures but now want loop fixtures dressed up? It makes no sense. The league is more likely to expand to fourteen teams than a strange and totally unnecessary move to a group stage of the Challenge Cup. 

So you want the lower league teams to play a knockout competition to get down to four teams and for them to then play six group games too? Never, ever going to happen. 

Edited by Oliver Clothesoff

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7 minutes ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

It’s not palatable though is it? Fans don’t want loop fixtures but now want loop fixtures dressed up? It makes no sense. The league is more likely to expand to fourteen teams than a strange and totally unnecessary move to a group stage of the Challenge Cup. 

So you want the lower league teams to play a knockout competition to get down to four teams and for them to then play six group games too? Never, ever going to happen. 

I doubt the league will expand to 14 whilst the amount of money from the sky deal is under threat. 

I think you're calling them loop fixtures just to be obnoxious and facetious to be honest. Its clear to anyone that games in a different comp are different to league fixtures.

They do at least 5 knockout rounds already before the SL teams come in, no change there. And in a group stage they get 3 guaranteed home games against SL teams like they did in the middle 8s. Absolutely I think they'd be up for that.

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24 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Unless the league expands the number of teams then loop fixtures, in whatever variety, are necessary. Carter at Wakefield has said explicitly that they would not be profitable on less than 13 home games a season. Imo, playing in a different comp, but still guaranteeing those home fixtures, makes it much more palatable to both the average fan and the club boardrooms. In interest of fairness more than anything.

On the issue of your 16%, for most sides outside of SL nothing changes. They're still involved in Knockout games where the SL clubs enter at a much later date. For the past 2 years only 8 games a year have been played between a SL team and a non SL team (including Saints v Fax this year). Teams get to the latter stages on merit just as is now and SL clubs that make a Semi final will have had to really earn it, unlike what can often happen now. 

I disagree with this pandering to the bottom mentality and I don't think that they are a necessity. We should not be basing our competitions and format purely on what a team that has the second lowest crowds in Super League thinks. If they increased their crowds and improved revenue streams they wouldn't need as many games. Similarly they could always pay people less.

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3 minutes ago, Damien said:

I disagree with this pandering to the bottom mentality and I don't think that they are a necessity. We should not be basing our competitions and format purely on what a team that has the second lowest crowds in Super League thinks. If they increased their crowds and improved revenue streams they wouldn't need as many games. Similarly they could always pay people less.

I agree with what you're saying, but its also a factual reality that these teams are currently in the league. Wakefield won't be the only one who'd struggle with less home games either.

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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I agree with what you're saying, but its also a factual reality that these teams are currently in the league. Wakefield won't be the only one who'd struggle with less home games either.

Maybe but as we've seen time and again team's always cry poverty no matter how much extra money they get. Certain clubs and the phrase Turkeys voting for Christmas springs to mind. Things like loop fixtures do nothing but artificially prop up clubs. I've said time and again that 14 teams, which still gives 13 home games anyway, is a much better structure.

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11 hours ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

It’s still bloody loop fixtures though, isn’t it? You can dress up things how you like but it’s still loop fixtures just claimed to be some saviour of the Challenge Cup instead of playing for two league points in Super League. 

The appetite isn’t there amongst fans for Super League loop fixtures so Huddersfield v Salford in the Challenge Cup Group Stage isn’t going to be any better or any more desirable than Huddersfield v Salford in the Super League, let’s be honest. 

It's a cup competition.  It's a completely separate competition and the teams in it would to a greater or lesser degree be drawn by chance. The details of the pools and how many of them and the number of games is of course a matter for debate.

Some years ago we had a league.  But on top of that we had a Lancashire/ Yorkshire cup, the Challenge cup, the Floodlight cup and the "John Player" cup.  Where these loop fixtures?

But frankly I am not terribly fussed if people don't like it or not.  Is an opinion and currently the Cup is increasingly past it's sell by date.  "Pools" would create a completely new and different competition, give more profile and terrestrial tv time ... and money.  And the TV money could mostly go to the 32 clubs.  It would be a boost to the Championship teams.

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6 minutes ago, Damien said:

Maybe but as we've seen time and again team's always cry poverty no matter how much extra money they get. Certain clubs and the phrase Turkeys voting for Christmas springs to mind. Things like loop fixtures do nothing but artificially prop up clubs. I've said time and again that 14 teams, which still gives 13 home games anyway, is a much better structure.

I totally agree 14 is a better number. However unless the 2 new clubs don't take from the overall pot/add tv money i don't see it happening with the current crop of SL chairmen.

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

I totally agree 14 is a better number. However unless the 2 new clubs don't take from the overall pot/add tv money i don't see it happening with the current crop of SL chairmen.

That's where the foreign clubs come into it. Have 10 English clubs and sell licenses for 4 foreign teams (2 French, 2 North American) and let them contribute to the overall TV pot that is then shared out. Until they can only let them into Super League on the proviso that they don't take away from the existing Sky TV contract. Increase the pot from other sources. Obviously until that stage comes simply adding Toronto and Toulouse is much the same, providing they can do so without taking anything out of the pot until they can add to it.

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