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Catalans fail to land new TV deal

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The lights will go out on TV coverage of Super League in Perpignan next year unless an unlikely last-minute deal can be struck with French...

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Catastrophic ! Without the Catalan Dragons on TV, rugby league will be totally off the french sports scene.

Only a local, folk game.

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Is the solution to get Toulouse in to SL in order to guarantee a French home game every week and therefore regular content? And also do we need to consider ring-fencing the competition again?

It strikes me that this is the sort of thing that we can't moan about if we aren't providing broadcasters with a suitably attractive proposition to fill their schedules. Not least because the nature of P&R means that we can't guarantee that there will be any French team in SL in 2021. If we want better commercial deals then we have to start thinking far more strategically.

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1 hour ago, Chamey said:

So there's the first tangible 'achievement' for the new SuperLeague board.

It depends on if you purposely ignore things like them signing the most lucrative sponsorship deal ever and doubling previous one.

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1 hour ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Is the solution to get Toulouse in to SL in order to guarantee a French home game every week and therefore regular content? And also do we need to consider ring-fencing the competition again?

It strikes me that this is the sort of thing that we can't moan about if we aren't providing broadcasters with a suitably attractive proposition to fill their schedules. Not least because the nature of P&R means that we can't guarantee that there will be any French team in SL in 2021. If we want better commercial deals then we have to start thinking far more strategically.

The only reason Toulouse or any other team should get into SL is by winning promotion from the Championship. 

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Disappointing, without a doubt, but lots of positive things happening with the Catalan Dragons in the rest of the article. Hopefully will just be a blip and a 14 team SL with Toulouse will be attractive to broadcasters from 2021

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18 minutes ago, Eddie said:

The only reason Toulouse or any other team should get into SL is by winning promotion from the Championship. 

And that's fine if that's the way the game wants to go. But in the same breath we can't then expect broadcasters to be beating down the door to pay for competition rights if we aren't providing a competition format that is going to work for them.

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7 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

And that's fine if that's the way the game wants to go. But in the same breath we can't then expect broadcasters to be beating down the door to pay for competition rights if we aren't providing a competition format that is going to work for them.

I’m not expecting them to be beating down the door, they only do that for football and international cricket and union. But the RFL and SL should be out there selling the game to broadcasters, not turning broadcast contacts down and failing to replace them. 

Edited by Eddie
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2 minutes ago, Eddie said:

I’m not expecting them to be beating down the door, they only do that for football and international cricket and union. But the RFL and SL should be out there selling the game to broadcasters, not turning broadcast contacts down and failing to replace them. 

As I understand it, no money was being offered, hence why the offer was rejected (although I may be wrong, so happy to be corrected).

From my perspective, if we want a full-time professional flagship competition, then we need to devise a structure that is going to be appealing to both potential broadcasters and sponsors. At present, I'm not sure why any French broadcaster would bother making any long-term commitment to cover Catalans in SL if they're only going to be at home every other week and consequently leaving a gap in the TV schedules, and also if there's a chance of them not being in the competition at all next year.

You say that SL should be "selling the game to broadcasters", but in reality, we don't have that much to offer at present. Toulouse and Catalans both being guaranteed to be in SL for the foreseeable future would instantly change that. However, this will likely upset those in favour of P&R.

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1 minute ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

As I understand it, no money was being offered, hence why the offer was rejected (although I may be wrong, so happy to be corrected).

From my perspective, if we want a full-time professional flagship competition, then we need to devise a structure that is going to be appealing to both potential broadcasters and sponsors. At present, I'm not sure why any French broadcaster would bother making any long-term commitment to cover Catalans in SL if they're only going to be at home every other week and consequently leaving a gap in the TV schedules, and also if there's a chance of them not being in the competition at all next year.

You say that SL should be "selling the game to broadcasters", but in reality, we don't have that much to offer at present. Toulouse and Catalans both being guaranteed to be in SL for the foreseeable future would instantly change that. However, this will likely upset those in favour of P&R.

Televising Toulouse playing in front of 2,000 people wouldn’t be that appealing to a broadcaster either. 

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Just now, Eddie said:

Televising Toulouse playing in front of 2,000 people wouldn’t be that appealing to a broadcaster either. 

That's a little disingenuous, as they would likely attract higher spectator numbers in the higher division.

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1 minute ago, Eddie said:

Televising Toulouse playing in front of 2,000 people wouldn’t be that appealing to a broadcaster either. 

In that case Toulouse needs a roster of opponents who'll be a draw card for Toulousains so they get much better crowds than that.

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1 minute ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

That's a little disingenuous, as they would likely attract higher spectator numbers in the higher division.

Like London did?

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1 minute ago, Big Picture said:

In that case Toulouse needs a roster of opponents who'll be a draw card for Toulousains so they get much better crowds than that.

Do you’re saying we need to completely change the make up of Super League so Toulouse (who will be placed in it without getting promoted) can improve their crowds from 2,000 to 5,000? 

Edited by Eddie
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5 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Do you’re saying we need to completely change the make up of Super League so Toulouse (who will be placed in it without getting promoted) can improve their crowds from 2,000 to 5,000? 

Sort of.  The likes of Toronto, Toulouse and New York should be in a separate league of their own where they could all draw much more than 5,000.

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Just now, Big Picture said:

Sort of.  The likes of Toronto, Toulouse and New York should be in a separate league of their own where they could all draw much more than 5,000.

Sounds great. When are you going to set this league up?

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1 minute ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

London's regular season crowds increased by approx 135% in 2019 compared to 2018, so yes.

It was mainly increased away fan numbers though, as bizarre as it is Saints and Leeds take more fans to away games than Toulouse or Swinton. 

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1 minute ago, Eddie said:

It was mainly increased away fan numbers though, as bizarre as it is Saints and Leeds take more fans to away games than Toulouse or Swinton. 

And they don't count then presumably?

And possibly more people in London have heard of Saints and Leeds and they may therefore be a bigger draw, so this may have attracted more supporters from the London area also?

Either way, this reinforces Big Picture's point that more attractive opposition will bring in bigger crowds.

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Epic, epic fail. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence and basic understanding of the french sporting landscape knew that not one broadcaster would pay for a foreign sports competition with only a single french club representing a town of only 123,000 people. A club that has been fighting relegation for most of the time relegation has been reintroduced. A club with barely any French players in the first team. This move by Robert Elstone and the SL clubs was utterly ridiculous, they had no place making demands like this to French broadcasters when they had no leverage whatsoever. What have they done to make the product more appealing to broadcasters? Nothing. They are an absolute disgrace and have no business running the sports flagship competition. Utter, utter clowns. 

Shouldve stuck to having the sport shown on Bein sports and using that medium to increase the visibility of RL gradually by introducing Toulouse and having a game every week in France.

Edited by The Daddy
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6 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

And they don't count then presumably?

And possibly more people in London have heard of Saints and Leeds and they may therefore be a bigger draw, so this may have attracted more supporters from the London area also?

Either way, this reinforces Big Picture's point that more attractive opposition will bring in bigger crowds.

It doesn’t really, London’s tiny crowds may have doubled but they are still tiny and the increase was primarily due to away fans. None of that supports the idea that Toulouse will get big crowds if they ever get into SL. 

Toulouse's union team averaged 18,000 last season. They are a long established club in the best supported domestic rugby competition in the world. Toulouse FC, a long established top flight football team (France’s most popular spectator sport) averaged 16,000. What makes anyone think the League team will ever average anything more than about 5,000 if they go up is beyond me. 

Edited by Eddie
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24 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Like London did?

I feel Les Dracs are the better example to compare to  as before they were in SL the clubs who merged to create them did not get the attendances they do now. 

TO I think had a game or two with 6000 people there last season so given SL status an average gate of 5000 is not unrealistic as a minimum. 

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