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TV presentation of Rugby league - new ideas


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14 hours ago, JohnM said:

How about this as an idea? Promote the games in advance of them being played,  to get people to watch when the game is on. Plenty of people on here may not like Jiffy, Robbie, Brian, Steve,  Terry,  Eddie,  in fact anyone at all (strike out any that apply) but the objective surely is not to please the harsher critics on the forum, but to get more people to watch games. I think the critics on here will be surprised to find out that not everyone dislikes the current presenters.

Promoting the game is important I agree and I'd love to see more of it 

However, my thread was more aimed at the presentation side of games themselves 

I'll say mine again that we need to get away from presenting from a box in the stands all the time

When they did Hull KR straight after crowds back they did it so that there was no glass/window  between crowds and presenters....the noise atmosphere was great 

Sideline/corner presentation is much better 

Also how about some mingling with the crowd outside or inside the ground at start of the presentation...works well in cricket and union Especially on night games that would ramp up the anticipation and be more immersive/draw the viewer in

....okay cynics have a pop

Edited by Bedfordshire Bronco
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During a bout of insomnia the other night I turned radio 5 on in the small hours and there was a brief discussion about the new coverage on C4. Both the host and the guest were complimentary about the sport but both preferred union due to the tactical side (presumably the kick tennis?).

I don't think that rugby league has any issues with promoting itself as a hard physical game and it would be very easy to put together a highlight reel of the unbelievable skills we have but I'd like to see a bit of focus on the tactical or strategy side of things, though ideally avoiding clichés such as getting through sets and building pressure though these obviously are key. I generally enjoy Jon Wells and I would hope that giving newcomers an understanding of this would help present rugby league in a new light. 

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18 hours ago, CornwallRL said:

No they don't, it's dull and boring on the BBC, they have only had 3 main commentary team since coverage began in 1955, Eddie Waring (Saint), Mumbling Ray French, & Dave Wood. Oh, and Jon Davies because he's a union player.

On your last sentence (and don’t worry this isn’t an appeal to have John Inverdale presenting) JD is a double edged sword. On the negative side it can look a bit patronising to the already in the bag that there’s a cross code angle. On the positive, in the real world, a large number of people (my wife and some friends included) only give RL a try on TV originally *because* he’s a familiar face/voice they recognise from 6 Nations coverage - sort of ‘if you like that you might like this’

Now it’s completely coherent to want to argue for RL to break free of that and strike out for its own place, but I do think that in the England that many of us actually live in a credible dual code presenter isn’t a bad thing per se.

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23 hours ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

 It's always interesting and inciteful...

🤣

Sorry, but this creased me up.

Inciteful - or insightful?

They're not the same.

Homonyms, eh?😉

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"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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58 minutes ago, glossop saint said:

During a bout of insomnia the other night I turned radio 5 on in the small hours and there was a brief discussion about the new coverage on C4. Both the host and the guest were complimentary about the sport but both preferred union due to the tactical side (presumably the kick tennis?).

I don't think that rugby league has any issues with promoting itself as a hard physical game and it would be very easy to put together a highlight reel of the unbelievable skills we have but I'd like to see a bit of focus on the tactical or strategy side of things, though ideally avoiding clichés such as getting through sets and building pressure though these obviously are key. I generally enjoy Jon Wells and I would hope that giving newcomers an understanding of this would help present rugby league in a new light. 

The laws of RL compel a side to attack so tactical variation will always be less than other sports (like hoofing it into the stands, putting 11 men behind the ball etc). 

As Jon Wells shows, the ‘tactics’ are largely in individual plays. For C4 coverage, I would replicate his half-time/full-time frame-by-frame analysis of tries (and also good defence).

I enjoy the mechanics & fine detail about how the try was scored, eg what did the halfback see in the defensive line, who lost their hips or misread the play, late movement in the attacking line.

Having a former player/coach explain stuff that most viewers would’ve missed live truly enhances the coverage & understanding in my view.

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1 hour ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

Also how about some mingling with the crowd outside or inside the ground at start of the presentation...works well in cricket and union Especially on night games that would ramp up the anticipation and be more immersive/draw the viewer in

As long as we don't focus on people mugging for the camera and speak to those with something to say. No Wagga style rubbish.

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2 hours ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

Promoting the game is important I agree and I'd love to see more of it 

However, my thread was more aimed at the presentation side of games themselves 

I'll say mine again that we need to get away from presenting from a box in the stands all the time

When they did Hull KR straight after crowds back they did it so that there was no glass/window  between crowds and presenters....the noise atmosphere was great 

Sideline/corner presentation is much better 

Also how about some mingling with the crowd outside or inside the ground at start of the presentation...works well in cricket and union Especially on night games that would ramp up the anticipation and be more immersive/draw the viewer in

....okay cynics have a pop

Understand. In addition to the various suggestions, I'd like to see some innovative (and some traditional) camera work. A traditional example: goal kicking. Both the union and NRL footage of goal kicks use camera angles that make place kicks look longer and more impressive. 

Innovative might be overhead shots of complete teams so commentators can explain attacking and defensive formations and play. 

The actual camera work looks pedestrian and dated.

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The problem with being punctual is that there is no one there to appreciate it.

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27 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

The laws of RL compel a side to attack so tactical variation will always be less than other sports 

I beg to differ. The relation between attacking and simply being in possession is far more complicated.

It should be integral to the role of contemporaneous analysis to identify and describe the ongoing trade-offs and balance between field position and tackle count. This is the backdrop for every play.

All too often RL on UK TV has been 80 minutes of disconnected elements. Due mainly to our commentators lacking the motive, intelligence and vocabulary to contextualize the moving parts. They`ve all been reared on the notion of "simple game for simple people". 

The coverage of the recent France v England women`s international began with Craig Richards saying "It`s a real simple game. You just have to get from here to there". We can blame the BBC for picking up and broadcasting something so inane. It definitely fits their RL stereotype. But they didn`t force the coach to say it. Ultimately, most of the banality comes from people within the game.

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19 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

I beg to differ. The relation between attacking and simply being in possession is far more complicated.

It should be integral to the role of contemporaneous analysis to identify and describe the ongoing trade-offs and balance between field position and tackle count. This is the backdrop for every play.

All too often RL on UK TV has been 80 minutes of disconnected elements. Due mainly to our commentators lacking the motive, intelligence and vocabulary to contextualize the moving parts. They`ve all been reared on the notion of "simple game for simple people". 

The coverage of the recent France v England women`s international began with Craig Richards saying "It`s a real simple game. You just have to get from here to there". We can blame the BBC for picking up and broadcasting something so inane. It definitely fits their RL stereotype. But they didn`t force the coach to say it. Ultimately, most of the banality comes from people within the game.

I think the laws do in reality limit tactical variation but the flip side is there can be a high degree of complexity in individual plays/sets. That’s the bit to elaborate on TV, in my view. 

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2 hours ago, glossop saint said:

I don't think that rugby league has any issues with promoting itself as a hard physical game and it would be very easy to put together a highlight reel of the unbelievable skills we have but I'd like to see a bit of focus on the tactical or strategy side of things, though ideally avoiding clichés such as getting through sets and building pressure though these obviously are key. 

The primary aim of good tactical play in all codes of Football is to create time and space for your own team and deny time and space to the opposition.

In RL, some of that contest happens at the tackle and ruck. Therefore, this is an area which viewers should be encouraged to focus their attention on, if they want to fully appreciate the game.

In the UK though, the rulebook and the rules applied on the field are completely different. I don`t know what the current guidelines are. Presumably, neither do the commentators. So, rather than be a basis for analysis, key aspects of the game are instead a potential source of embarrassment, better skirted over.

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Fox sports in Australia has really taken the broadcast to a new level in the last year or two. It always surprises me that Sky doesn’t learn from its partner channel? 

In short: 

1) Live stats on screen (tackle count, hit ups etc)

2) Additional cameras (corner post, aerial, super slow mo)

3) On pitch audio. So we can hear the hits.

4) Press conferences after the match

5) Pre-match history of the teams

6) Pre-match and half time “spot light” on the star players. The ones you want to develop into marketable assets. 

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5 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

The primary aim of good tactical play in all codes of Football is to create time and space for your own team and deny time and space to the opposition.

But many times on tv it can be worse than watching paint dry!

 

3 minutes ago, dealwithit said:

3) On pitch audio. So we can hear the hits.

And probably considerable vernacular!

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11 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

I think the laws do in reality limit tactical variation but the flip side is there can be a high degree of complexity in individual plays/sets. That’s the bit to elaborate on TV, in my view. 

There are off-field superficial reasons why American Football has gained popularity outside it`s domestic market.

But many have acquired a fascination with this game on the field. My guess is that this derives from analysis of individual plays combined with strong recognition of the context in which each play occurs. 

If field position and first down, second down, etc, were disregarded, AF would be far less engaging to audiences.

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1 hour ago, JohnM said:

Innovative might be overhead shots of complete teams so commentators can explain attacking and defensive formations and play. 

This is a really good idea.

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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Hopefully C4 employ tactical aware co commentary, someone who can see plays in advance and can breakdown in layman's terms how tries have been scored etc. 

Listening to Andrew John's, Peter Sterling , Gus Gould is at times a coaching masterclass. 

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1 minute ago, snoopdog said:

Ironic people talking about how much more tactical RU is etc, when they have stripped RL of coaches for years to gain that tactical simplicity 🤦

It's one thing recognising a problem , but another solving it , terrible term " thinking outside of the box " , but that is probably why RL coaches have been as successful as they have been , when you are conditioned to how the game is played you can't see the woods for the trees 

I am amazed at the lack of innovation within the Sport of RL in the UK , to much following , not enough leading 

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1 hour ago, GUBRATS said:

I am amazed at the lack of innovation within the Sport of RL in the UK , to much following , not enough leading 

Do something the orthodox way. If it goes badly, would have been the same with anyone else. Personal blame minimized. 

Do something an unorthodox way. If it goes badly, everyone else would have followed the orthodox path. Personal blame maximized.

Plus, in RL there`s a deep-rooted tribal respect for simplicity. Which can sink into rigidity of thought. Many League fans love to say how baffling RU is. There are probably more people in League than Union anxious to believe the RU ruck is on a par with quantum physics.

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2 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

The primary aim of good tactical play in all codes of Football is to create time and space for your own team and deny time and space to the opposition.

In RL, some of that contest happens at the tackle and ruck. Therefore, this is an area which viewers should be encouraged to focus their attention on, if they want to fully appreciate the game.

In the UK though, the rulebook and the rules applied on the field are completely different. I don`t know what the current guidelines are. Presumably, neither do the commentators. So, rather than be a basis for analysis, key aspects of the game are instead a potential source of embarrassment, better skirted over.

I suppose my point was how do we use this fantastic opportunity to convert the people who appreciate rugby league for the physicality but don't understand the technical aspect of how to build a set and attacking move. From the conversation on the radio it felt like they wanted to like rugby league but didn't understand enough about how the game was played. I suspect this is the case with many people and think that if you want to gain them as supporters need to you need to explain more about the players than their weight and how many hit ups they've had. 

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In-depth tactical analysis at HT and FT of a couple of the more significant passages of play would be great. A bit more detail and time on it than John Wells gets.

Just a gentle suggestion to new viewers that Rugby League isn't the stupid game that many Rugby Union hacks and the code's worst kind of fans repeatedly claim it is.

Definitely, as has also been suggested before, some background on the club - history, ups and downs, notable players produced etc.

For the big games, interviews from stars of other sports. They do that for the London NFL games and, as long as they are enthusiastic and bring their own perspective, nobody (apart from the usual suspects) minds if they don't understand the game all that well.  

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2 hours ago, snoopdog said:

Ironic people talking about how much more tactical RU is etc, when they have stripped RL of coaches for years to gain that tactical simplicity 🤦

I don't think the issue is RL being less tactical but that the perception is that RL is less tactical. And this is an opportunity to change that on a national FTA platform.

Speaking as someone who came to the sport a bit later in life it was the explanation of plays and tactics by my friend who properly introduced me to it which made me love the sport. The more you understand what is going on the more you appreciate the skills and intelligence of the players. But watch some coverage and all you hear is how hard the players are. You might get told that a half back is a clever player but very rarely explained why that is or given an example.

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