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Sky UK Expectations


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4 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

Population & interest in RL in those areas. 

We have the data from a couple of decades and more of Super League on Sky that says there really doesn't seem to be any link between television viewing figures and whether Bradford, London, Sheffield or Halifax are in Super League.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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54 minutes ago, Bostik Bailey said:

Central Park and Knowsley Road knocked Weldon Road into a cocked hat for being a great place to watch rugby league in the last century. 

As to going to an actual rugby league ground I suppose I've gone all soft in that I would like basic hygiene facilities when I pay over £25 for access to a venue. 

They did, but now, Wheldon Road knocks Langtree Park and the DW into a cocked hat for being a great place to watch rugby league this century. And I have been to all three even though I'm a soft southerner.

It's a shame that it has been achieved by standing still/falling down some more and leapfrogging the soulless new-builds (though, FWIW for my money LP/TW is one of the better efforts) but there we are.

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6 hours ago, Dave T said:

SL has a viewership of 150-200k on average, more for bigger events. 

That's pretty much been the case for the last three decades. Some may see that as failure, but another very similar sport to us has been exactly the same, slightly behind us, and they are far richer, bigger and better organised. 

The 200k that watch RL is bigger than our footprint, so even if we get an extra 10k fans in Newcastle it won't change the top line. These numbers have been consistent whether we have had expansion teams in or out - it is a mistake imo to think adding a new team or two will make any material changes. 

Becoming more vibrant as a comp with bigger crowds and better games, and a focus on content (more or different) is where we will change things - lack of competition is what has ultimately led to this drop, Sky are not bothered whether Warrington were a bit boring under Steve Price. Sky knew they could pay £25m instead of £40m. 

The filler point is relevant, but we were filler when we got £40m, so we shouldn't overstate that. Sky need filler. 

We need to stop talking ourselves into crisis, talking down our sport, and we need to reinvent our broadcasting offering. 

In reality, the other similar sport has only driven club growth through a new comp (European Cup). I genuinely believe our big chance was an expanded WCC which feels further away than ever. 

Focus on more content, women's RL, and putting on the best show we can above everything else, and go all out to stimulate demand outside of Sky. 

Spot on. Far too often RL talks itself into a crisis.

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1 hour ago, Man of Kent said:

Population & interest in RL in those areas. 

How much latent demand is there for Sky dishes in Bradford, London, Halifax, Featherstone and anywhere else you care to mention that is just waiting for those clubs to earn promotion to Super League?

I'm guessing that anyone in Bradford with an interest in RL that is willing and able to subscribe to Sky is more than likely already doing so. 

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As a London Broncos supporter I have to be honest in that I think the Broncos brand is so tainted now with so many folks alienated over the last 10-12 years that I don't see them pulling in larger number of subscribers in RL than say if Fev or Bately made into SL.  I think if you really wanted to make a go of Rugby League in London, you probably would need to have a complete rebrand of the club with new ownership and structure.

However I do see Newcastle as a good potential assuming they can get the funding and players. There is a lot of untapped potential there and if you keeep magic there then you could potentially see a boost in numbers

But more and more people don't bother paying for a cable subscription any more with so many streaming options.  Streaming is the way forward for none football sports.  Just look at BT sports going to DAZN who are a streaming service and not cable in anyway

Edited by crashmon
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2 hours ago, whatmichaelsays said:

How much latent demand is there for Sky dishes in Bradford, London, Halifax, Featherstone and anywhere else you care to mention that is just waiting for those clubs to earn promotion to Super League?

Good question! I hear what people say about Super League being Sky filler but if you follow that logic through then why show rugby league at all? Why not more football, or repeats of NFL games, or anything? 

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When Toulouse and Featherstone made the final I wondered if it mattered to Sky which team won. The general consensus seems to be no.

The other thing I pondered when the new TV deal was offered by Sky at a reduced rate was the reason(s) given. 

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My blog: https://rugbyl.blogspot.co.nz/

It takes wisdom to know when a discussion has run its course.

It takes reasonableness to end that discussion. 

 

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7 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

There´s a solution to all this of course, we could just expand to 14 so teams like Fev and Toulouse who actually both do alot of stuff right commercial and off the field wise can both go up.. *ducks* 

A popular option but one that reduces the individual payout to clubs already feeling the pinch. Of course, if Sky felt that was adding value....🤔

Edited by RayCee

My blog: https://rugbyl.blogspot.co.nz/

It takes wisdom to know when a discussion has run its course.

It takes reasonableness to end that discussion. 

 

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1 minute ago, RayCee said:

A popular option but one that reduces the individual payout to clubs already feeling the pinch. 

Yep, but then I don´t see why Fev should be bottlenecked because they invested in off field commercial income whilst some others did not. 

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Not sure why Bradford keep getting dragged into these discussions, usually by non Bradford fans but they seem to do.

But anyway……the wider interest in the Bulls and RL in Bradford has declined in line with the decline of Bradford as a top club and the number of pubs that have closed and are not there to show games. This element is a big one, possibly as much as the people who used to physically attend games. There were many people who watched the games but would never really attend matches. Theses type of casual viewer will now rarely come across RL and it will disappear from their radar. 
 

So it’s not just a matter of ‘any existing RL fan in Bradford will already have a subscription’.

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3 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

Good question! I hear what people say about Super League being Sky filler but if you follow that logic through then why show rugby league at all? Why not more football, or repeats of NFL games, or anything? 

Because more people watch live sport at a higher level?

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8 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

Maybe. Or maybe some people buy a Sky Sports subscription for the rugby league? 

For the majority of people its part of the package of sports. The numbers just for RL will be unnoticeable in terms of the churn Sky usually gets.

I don't think its any great revelation that live sporting contests are more popular with viewers than reruns however.

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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

For the majority of people its part of the package of sports. The numbers just for RL will be unnoticeable in terms of the churn Sky usually gets.

Unnoticeable? Do we actually know this or is it a guess?
 

 

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4 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

Unnoticeable? Do we actually know this or is it a guess?
 

 

We average 200k'ish viewers. Even that isn't massive in terms of Sky numbers. Its solid for what Super League is but not spectacular. We go up when we have good scheduling, and down when against top drawer competition.

From a brief google, 200k is what Sky can add or lose in a quarter over the past year or so.

Given the above, its far from a guess to suggest that RL is part of a wider package for most of its TV viewers. The extent to which it is the main aspect will vary from customer to customer naturally but even then the numbers we are talking are being whittled down further.

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

We average 200k'ish viewers. Even that isn't massive in terms of Sky numbers. Its solid for what Super League is but not spectacular. We go up when we have good scheduling, and down when against top drawer competition.

From a brief google, 200k is what Sky can add or lose in a quarter over the past year or so.

Given the above, its far from a guess to suggest that RL is part of a wider package for most of its TV viewers. The extent to which it is the main aspect will vary from customer to customer naturally but even then the numbers we are talking are being whittled down further.

Right, but who are these 200k? They are surely not a random audience. 

I imagine they will partly be people like me who get Sky Sports purely for rugby league.

They will also be people in, say, Leeds who follow United & Rhinos but may not subscribe if Super League wasn’t on Sky as it wouldn’t be VFM for them. 

For all we know, there may be a not unnoticeable football-RL crossover market that together makes Sky Sports a worthwhile investment for people in the M62 corridor (and Super League a worthwhile investment for Sky Sports). 

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1 hour ago, Man of Kent said:

Right, but who are these 200k? They are surely not a random audience. 

I imagine they will partly be people like me who get Sky Sports purely for rugby league.

They will also be people in, say, Leeds who follow United & Rhinos but may not subscribe if Super League wasn’t on Sky as it wouldn’t be VFM for them. 

For all we know, there may be a not unnoticeable football-RL crossover market that together makes Sky Sports a worthwhile investment for people in the M62 corridor (and Super League a worthwhile investment for Sky Sports). 

Thank you for proving what I was saying.

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10 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

Maybe. Or maybe some people buy a Sky Sports subscription for the rugby league? 

Well I certainly do, there is clearly a population that does. I suspect that population is modest. 

But they have two key metrics at play, subscribers and viewing numbers. We know directly the numbers we give on the latter, the former is probably more subjective, particularly as they have never got rid of RL. 

The one thing that worries me about Sky is that they are more ruthless than they perhaps used to be. Things like WWE which were institutions on Sky are no longer there. 

On the positive, Sky Sports Arena is basically Sky Sports Rugby League for large parts of the year - on a monthly basis we provide pretty much all the figures. 

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19 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Thank you for proving what I was saying.

Right, so having established that Sky shows rugby league to help sell subscriptions to people who like rugby league, it follows - going back to the OP’s question - that who competes in Super League will have some bearing on the number of Sky Sports subs sold. 

How much, I don’t know. But I can have a damn good guess that Wigan & Leeds will shift more than Wakefield & Leigh. And Bradford more than, say, Featherstone. 

Edited by Man of Kent
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1 hour ago, Man of Kent said:

Right, but who are these 200k? They are surely not a random audience. 

I imagine they will partly be people like me who get Sky Sports purely for rugby league.

They will also be people in, say, Leeds who follow United & Rhinos but may not subscribe if Super League wasn’t on Sky as it wouldn’t be VFM for them. 

For all we know, there may be a not unnoticeable football-RL crossover market that together makes Sky Sports a worthwhile investment for people in the M62 corridor (and Super League a worthwhile investment for Sky Sports). 

Yes, while we may be a secondary sport for many, there will be a tipping point where their content doesn't match your needs and you unsubscribe. But in any case, we know this is modest and Sky can handle it. 

I think we do ok on the providing viewers metric versus the subscribers one. 

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1 minute ago, Man of Kent said:

Right, so having established that Sky shows rugby league to help sell subscriptions to people who like rugby league, it follows - going back to the OP’s question - that who competes in Super League will have some bearing on the number of Sky Sports subs sold. 

How much, I don’t now. But I can have a damn good guess that Wigan & Leeds will shift more than Wakefield & Leigh. And Bradford more than, say, Featherstone. 

The problem is that this would come through in viewing numbers, and they haven't materially changed even when we had London in or Bradford with 20k fans, or Catalans with zero UK presence. 

I think I made this point earlier, the dedicated RL fans are probably a modest part of the 200k - we get swamped a little bit. 

I know it was always PR, but it was always quoted that 40% of viewers of SL were outside of the North. 

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