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Challenge Cup Final Viewing Figures

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All very well saying more internationals but they need to be "top grade" that will attract casual viewers or attendee's that may become  long term fans of the game.  Unfortunately we only have limited countries that are recognisable to casual viewers, i.e. Australia and NZ.  Australia not wishing to participate being an additional problem.   Of course that recognisable aspect is what they pick up from Union, like it or not.

Yes I know we have the likes of Tonga, Somoa, Fiji, etc etc etc but even in Union they are not as marketable and hence unlikely to bring in the big viewing figures.   I guess a start for building on anyway.

We need France and hence we should be setting that country and French clubs as the priority in any expansion thoughts or any investments in time and monies resource if we have any.

As to SL clubs not buying in, then the RFL could agree to share all proceeds with a reasonable amount going as compensation towards losing revenue during a season.... or better still clubs have to continue to play over the international break just like Union.... Get them as part of the whole marketing effort as they have an incentive both money wise as well as visibility.

Edited by redjonn

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Just now, redjonn said:

All very well saying more internationals but they need to be "top grade" that will attract casual viewers or attendee's that may become  long term fans of the game.  Unfortunately we only have limited countries that are recognisable to casual viewers, i.e. Australia and NZ.  Australia not wishing to participate being an additional problem.   Of course that recognisable aspect is what they pick up from Union, like it or not.

Yes I know we have the likes of Tonga, Somoa, Fiji, etc etc etc but even in Union they are not as marketable and hence unlikely to bring in the big viewing figures.   I guess a start for building on anyway.

We need France and hence we should be setting that country and France clubs as the priority in any expansion thoughts or any investments in time and monies resource if we have any.

As to SL clubs not buying in, then the RFL could agree to share all proceeds with a reasonable amount going as compensation towards losing revenue during a season.... or better still clubs have to continue to play over the international break just like Union.... Get them as part of the whole marketing effort as they have an incentive both money wise as well as visibility.

They don't need to be top grade. They need to be played. Perfect is the enemy of good.

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4 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

They don't need to be top grade. They need to be played. Perfect is the enemy of good.

As I say in my comment, its a start to build on. Never-the-less to get maximum exposure to the casual sports viewer we need the better grade. Plus still need Australia buy-in from NRL clubs, which adds a complexity for player availability even in off season and hence my comment on importance of France as a better stepping stone to build from.

 

Edited by redjonn
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2 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

They don't need to be top grade. They need to be played. Perfect is the enemy of good.

not only that but England v Wales, England v France and France v Wales are the exact type of matches that would get the imagination of non league fans... they just sound right for this type of sport. 

Play the games without the "NRL stars" and the games are closer.. but dont worry about England winning by 50 it really doesnt matter that much.. you want England fans engaged winning is a very good way of doing it! 

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2 minutes ago, redjonn said:

As I say in my comment, its a start to build on. Never-the-less to get maximum exposure to the casual sports viewer we need the better grade. Plus still need Australia buy-in from NRL clubs, which adds a complexity for player availability even in off season and hence my comment on importance of France as a better stepping stone to build from.

 

but its not an either or... Australia/New Zealand can still come and play in the autumn.. get the other games going in the season.. 

For the casual sports viewer you need entertainment.. that can come at all levels... If i tuned into top level international sport and it was a poor game then its a poor game, but i could tune into amateur level sport and find it entertaining because its an entertaining match. Casual sports fans are just that, casual, but you need something to make them tune in.. "domestic" internationals are interesting to people.

Edited by RP London
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1 minute ago, RP London said:

but its not an either or... Australia/New Zealand can still come and play in the autumn.. get the other games going in the season.. 

Yep, didn't say it was either or... just laying expectations. Plus the comment on getting SL clubs buy-in for in season and also the complication of getting players released from NRL clubs.

The importance of France being a competitive and attractive to the chosen marketing audience  being a key point.

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Just now, redjonn said:

Yep, didn't say it was either or... just laying expectations. Plus the comment on getting SL clubs buy-in for in season and also the complication of getting players released from NRL clubs.

The importance of France being a competitive and attractive to the chosen marketing audience  being a key point.

As i said in my other post.. you dont actually want the NRL clubs releasing players.. play without them and the game is closer.. SL will work with you on it.. limit the numbers, show them how this will increase the money going forward due to the exposure of the game etc. 

Other sports manage this all the time, its not tough it just needs the governing body to be willing.

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Just now, RP London said:

As i said in my other post.. you dont actually want the NRL clubs releasing players.. play without them and the game is closer.. SL will work with you on it.. limit the numbers, show them how this will increase the money going forward due to the exposure of the game etc. 

Other sports manage this all the time, its not tough it just needs the governing body to be willing.

Maybe but lets not forget how difficult it is to get RL fans to attend and hence interest in internationals let alone the casual viewer.

That's not saying we don't need to build from something but lets not run away with expectations. That is be realistic and its a hard slog.

I envy how Union have their x2 international periods. 

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7 minutes ago, redjonn said:

Maybe but lets not forget how difficult it is to get RL fans to attend and hence interest in internationals let alone the casual viewer.

That's not saying we don't need to build from something but lets not run away with expectations. That is be realistic and its a hard slog.

I envy how Union have their x2 international periods. 

The casual viewer will have far more interest in internationals involving England, Wales and France than extra cup games featuring Castleford, Wakefield, Salford et al to whom they have zero affinity.

Edited by Damien
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1 minute ago, Damien said:

The casual viewer will have far more interest in internationals involving England, Wales and France than extra cup games featuring Castleford, Wakefield, Salford et al to whom they have zero affinity.

when you say extra cup games, do you mean Challenge Cup.  If so I would not be so sure as the competition leads to the final which gives relative good coverage.

What sort of attendance or viewing do we get for England v Wales, even from RL fans.

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9 minutes ago, redjonn said:

Maybe but lets not forget how difficult it is to get RL fans to attend and hence interest in internationals let alone the casual viewer.

That's not saying we don't need to build from something but lets not run away with expectations. That is be realistic and its a hard slog.

I envy how Union have their x2 international periods. 

totally agree it will be hard.. 

you have to work the product hard, get the internationals on at newer venues, RL fans will travel but non RL people will go because it is an international. Just last night a friend i play 5-a-side with told me he had bought tickets to england v greece at bramall lane... just becuase it is a world cup match, he expects greece to get stuffed but he wants to watch "the world cup".. from that i will work on getting him (and the 6 people i am already taking to that match, also coming just because its the world cup) to an eagles game.. however, that is much easier if the next eagles game is next week not in 4 months.. and this is why mid season games are so so important

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3 minutes ago, redjonn said:

when you say extra cup games, do you mean Challenge Cup.  If so I would not be so sure as the competition leads to the final which gives relative good coverage.

What sort of attendance or viewing do we get for England v Wales, even from RL fans.

Last crowd I can see is 4,000 in Wrexham in 2012. Not perfect but also not as low (or as empty) as some people's memories have it. You'd probably get a 10,000 crowd for France v Wales in France as well. England v France would come in around 5-6,000.

None of them are brilliant but also they're not reasons for not doing it.

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1 minute ago, RP London said:

totally agree it will be hard.. 

you have to work the product hard, get the internationals on at newer venues, RL fans will travel but non RL people will go because it is an international. Just last night a friend i play 5-a-side with told me he had bought tickets to england v greece at bramall lane... just becuase it is a world cup match, he expects greece to get stuffed but he wants to watch "the world cup".. from that i will work on getting him (and the 6 people i am already taking to that match, also coming just because its the world cup) to an eagles game.. however, that is much easier if the next eagles game is next week not in 4 months.. and this is why mid season games are so so important

I agree that it could be a vehicle to attract sports fans to a live event with their children. That should be a key marketing aim.

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1 minute ago, gingerjon said:

Last crowd I can see is 4,000 in Wrexham in 2012. Not perfect but also not as low (or as empty) as some people's memories have it. You'd probably get a 10,000 crowd for France v Wales in France as well. England v France would come in around 5-6,000.

None of them are brilliant but also they're not reasons for not doing it.

Yep but my general theme was about realistic expectations and it not suddenly a magic wand.

I think we agree on the need but some commentary would imply it was "simple."

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13 minutes ago, redjonn said:

when you say extra cup games, do you mean Challenge Cup.  If so I would not be so sure as the competition leads to the final which gives relative good coverage.

What sort of attendance or viewing do we get for England v Wales, even from RL fans.

Its been proven time and again that internationals have more appeal to the average TV viewer. In 2018 just 4.5 million watched the seven Challenge Cup ties on BBC. The same year more than 4 million watched the three England v New Zealand Tests that autumn. The Challenge Cup may get decent ratings, albeit well down from its heyday hence it moving in the calendar, but in general domestic Rugby League on the BBC does not.

Edited by Damien

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14 minutes ago, Damien said:

Its been proven time and again that internationals have more appeal to the average TV viewer. In 2018 just 4.5 million watched the seven Challenge Cup ties on BBC. The same year more than 4 million watched the three England v New Zealand Tests that autumn. The Challenge Cup may get decent ratings, albeit well down from its heyday hence it moving in the calendar, but in general domestic Rugby League on the BBC does not.

For some context, it’s “heyday” was a period where there was much less live sport on offer than there is now, so it’s a harsh comparison. 

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Some more info on the Challenge Cup ratings: (https://www.sthelensreporter.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/rfl-delighted-challenge-cup-final-viewing-figures-3008921)

  • Highest Final Viewing Figures since 2012
  • Aggregate audience was 6 million for all Challenge Cup fixtures
  • Highest Aggregate for 5 years, despite 2 less matches being covered

As for the comments on TV audiences for RL Internationals, just some random fun facts:

  • TV Ratings on BBC for England v Scotland was higher than England v Australia in 2016 Four Nations
  • TV Ratings on BBC for NZ v Scotland replay (shown 24 hours after the match) was the second highest watched match of the tournament
  • TV Ratings on BBC for England v Fiji, England v Ireland and England v France in the 2013 World Cup were both over 2 million.  

So whilst Australia and New Zealand may be perceived as the 'top drawers' in the International game, the reality is, when a game is on BBC in a reasonable timeslot, we seem to be able to get 1m+ regardless of the opponent. 

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7 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

For some context, it’s “heyday” was a period where there was much less live sport on offer than there is now, so it’s a harsh comparison. 

Obviously but I wasn't comparing it to its heyday. I was comparing it to internationals in the same year.

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10 minutes ago, Yakstorm said:

Some more info on the Challenge Cup ratings: (https://www.sthelensreporter.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/rfl-delighted-challenge-cup-final-viewing-figures-3008921)

  • Highest Final Viewing Figures since 2012
  • Aggregate audience was 6 million for all Challenge Cup fixtures
  • Highest Aggregate for 5 years, despite 2 less matches being covered

As for the comments on TV audiences for RL Internationals, just some random fun facts:

  • TV Ratings on BBC for England v Scotland was higher than England v Australia in 2016 Four Nations
  • TV Ratings on BBC for NZ v Scotland replay (shown 24 hours after the match) was the second highest watched match of the tournament
  • TV Ratings on BBC for England v Fiji, England v Ireland and England v France in the 2013 World Cup were both over 2 million.  

So whilst Australia and New Zealand may be perceived as the 'top drawers' in the International game, the reality is, when a game is on BBC in a reasonable timeslot, we seem to be able to get 1m+ regardless of the opponent. 

I think there are some good points here. 

For me the main point it makes is that the games need to have some credibility and context - a tournament game will generally do far better than a random friendly (who'd have thought?).

Decent scheduling, interesting venues, context of a comp etc. instead of just hiring Leigh and playing a random match will see better returns.

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And some more facts from 2018:

  • Just 4.5 million watched the seven ties on BBC TV in 2018, down from 7.9 million in 2011. “Domestic rugby league on the channel is declining with all audiences for live games below the timeslot average,” reported McIntyre (BBC Lead editor)
  • The Challenge Cup final drew just 1.3 million in 2018
  • Year on year, the BBC get almost as many viewers for the handful of international matches as they do the whole domestic season, double in World Cup years.
  • More than 4 million watched the three England v New Zealand Tests in 2018. “Internationals offer an opportunity to bring a much bigger audience to rugby league,” said McIntyre. “These games also cut through beyond the traditional heartlands of the game, with a bigger proportion of the audience coming from outside the North.”
  • McIntyre reported that 8% more people in the south watch internationals compared to domestic matches and 6% more ABC1s - the socio-economic population advertisers want to reach.
  • The only places where numbers drop for England matches are on BBC Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/no-helmets-required/2018/dec/11/rugby-league-power-free-to-air-tv-bbc-england-team

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34 minutes ago, Damien said:

Its been proven time and again that internationals have more appeal to the average TV viewer. In 2018 just 4.5 million watched the seven Challenge Cup ties on BBC. The same year more than 4 million watched the three England v New Zealand Tests that autumn. The Challenge Cup may get decent ratings, albeit well down from its heyday hence it moving in the calendar, but in general domestic Rugby League on the BBC does not.

but as I say to get the good relative coverage of the final you need the earlier rounds. Of course we need both internationals and CC...

A three game International series or tour is a good option as per the viewing figures.

Edited by redjonn

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I think there are some good points here. 

For me the main point it makes is that the games need to have some credibility and context - a tournament game will generally do far better than a random friendly (who'd have thought?).

Decent scheduling, interesting venues, context of a comp etc. instead of just hiring Leigh and playing a random match will see better returns.

A Tri Nations is an easy sell. Or you could even call it a European Championship.

AND RUN IT FOR A FEW YEARS BEFORE GIVING UP.

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1 minute ago, gingerjon said:

A Tri Nations is an easy sell. Or you could even call it a European Championship.

AND RUN IT FOR A FEW YEARS BEFORE GIVING UP.

Would agree we do tend to chop and change, never sure if its down to availability of teams or expectations too high and not met and giving up.

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15 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

A Tri Nations is an easy sell. Or you could even call it a European Championship.

AND RUN IT FOR A FEW YEARS BEFORE GIVING UP.

A European Championship is the obvious name for me and differentiates it from any Southern hemisphere competitions. Going off the 2018 Challenge Cup viewing figures the matches outside the final average around 500,000 TV viewers. I would be amazed if England matches didn't get more than this. As you say though we need to stick with it.

That is before you get to the obvious benefits in terms of actually giving something to sell to sponsors and advertisers rather than no games or just a test series at the end of a year, especially with the 6% more ABC1s and 8% more viewers in the South that McIntyre alludes to. Plus also the benefits regarding improving the standard of France and Wales and helping to grow the game in those countries with more funding, sponsors, advertisers, player pathways and something to sell to their population to attract fans and players too.

Edited by Damien

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