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2 hours ago, JohnM said:

I think I understand why you might think that: winner at beating opponents to pulp, hugely popular it would seem, etc. But in my view in so many other ways he does not represent our - or certainly my - values.

On this particular point, it has to be a senior member of the royal family: Kate. 

The forum would have to suppress it's minority view of republicanism, of course, but the national column-inches her presence would generate would have a more general appeal, especially. if combined with a new award -The Rob Burrow Medal for player of the competition (for example).

She's RFL Patron. I'd hope she'd be there anyway.

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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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7 hours ago, Dave T said:

Unfortunately, as good as the coverage is, the strategy isn't working. Not having the highlights show as part of this package is utterly bizarre (whether that is C4 or SL at fault). Look at the RU equivalent here, it is all on ITV. They get to build up a following for their coverage, even when they don't have a live game on. 

These standalone events that C4 are showing are just not building up a following, despite the coverage being great and the games delivering. 

Indeed, the strategy isn't working. Dare I say that is also because there isn't a huge crossover between Ch4 and RL's regular audiences too? To be barely 50% up on what we'd expect for a Sky game on FTA is poor.

The coverage is objectively fantastic. Ch4 have dipped their toes in with sports, they pick up the odd RU club and international games for example, and I wonder if they are just learning on the job how best to make the most of it. They will know how good the figures are relatively.

1 game a month isn't working, and it's not helped by the games being on paper not marquee fixtures either. Wigan and Salford can be and was an excellent match, but if "nobody" is that interested in it in the first place then its struggling already. 

It will be interesting to see what happens when/if Leeds are shown on Ch4 again.

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8 hours ago, The Rocket said:

The one game a month is crazy, compounded by it being on in the middle of the day. The fact that die-hards on here can forget that it is on says it all, what hope the casual. 

I gather the ratings are roughly in line with what Sky would get any way, so it appears that they are not really adding any new League fans to the coverage which I would think was the point of the whole exercise, hoping that some would then buy a Sky subscription.

Hopefully Sky have learnt something from this and the next step is to be bold and go to a weekly FTA match, ideally at a better timeslot (?). 

Channel 4`s efforts give me heart and it does appear for them that this is not a flash in the pan, but they see they have something to work with here. Here`s hoping they put their heads together with Sky and reach an outcome that is beneficial for all.

There's the added problem that many of these fixtures just don't scream "must watch". As I said they seem to be trying to balance interest and exposure and it's just not working atm. 

Weekly FTA should be the aim going forwards if non marquee games are going to be picked. With just 10 games a season there is just not enough to go for random games. 

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2 hours ago, StandOffHalf said:

Promote Leigh and Fev.

I suppose the reduction to 12 was because of finance, but I just think a 14-team comp would be more attractive and interesting, for fans and broadcasters alike.

May as well promote Batley and Rochdale to address the problem in the post you set out.

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The only metric that matters is whether Channel 4 are happy with the return they're getting. They simply may not want the grind of having to show a match every weekend.

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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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3 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

The only metric that matters is whether Channel 4 are happy with the return they're getting. They simply may not want the grind of having to show a match every weekend.

That is obviously true - and ultimately the figures will be judged relative to what Ch4 would otherwise get at that timeslot.

That said to have an over half million viewer swing in 4/5 games must at least raise some eyebrows and thoughts at the channel.

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6 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

That is obviously true - and ultimately the figures will be judged relative to what Ch4 would otherwise get at that timeslot.

That said to have an over half million viewer swing in 4/5 games must at least raise some eyebrows and thoughts at the channel.

I'm sure it does and I wouldn't be complacent but we don't know what their cost/audience/income expectations are - or even if they have any. They could, for the time being at least, be considering 10 rugby league games as fulfilling a more public service objective.

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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6 hours ago, The Rocket said:

That`s exactly what you want and shows they are working as a team, hopefully for the ultimate benefit of both. At the end of the day this is an experiment and hopefully a work in progress. 

As far as 1 game per week on FTA  whether that would lead to a fall in Sky subscriptions if everyone had then got their League fix from that or alternatively a regular FTA TV appointment that could engage more people with the competition and drive more subscriptions remains to be seen. We would certainly be hoping for the latter.

The other elephant in the room, which we are very rapidly seeing over here, is streaming, which is proving a threat to both the FTA and subscription TV broadcast model. 

But as the NRL said after recent broadcast negotiations; regular FTA has to remain in the mix because that is  where you still receive your greatest exposure and best opportunity to reach the widest audience possible.

 

You're right about streaming. 

Speaking as someone who doesn't really stream sports (apart from the odd Ireland RL match, as they aren't televised up here in IE), the return of the NRL to Sky Sports up here has meant over the last few years that I only have access to three games a round, rather than the full coverage of each round that Premier Sports used to offer.

I can understand the move to streaming though, as it really seems to be the way that younger generations (I'm 33) consume their ''content''.

It's one thing I'm actually silently dreading about the World Cup. Sky in 2000 and 2008 and Premier/Setanta in 2013 and 2017 showed all or virtually all (NZ v Tonga wasn't shown live in '17, shamefully) of the games live. With online options and BBC iPlayer (not available in IE, btw) apparently being lined up to carry quite a few live games, I imagine that I'll only be able to watch the games they show on TV.

I preferred it when Premier had the rights, haha!

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9 hours ago, Padge said:

 

They must have a real northerner doing the tweets, as I see Jai "Fields" has had the northern random 's' added onto his name (Rob Burrows knows all about this).

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I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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5 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

I'm sure it does and I wouldn't be complacent but we don't know what their cost/audience/income expectations are - or even if they have any. They could, for the time being at least, be considering 10 rugby league games as fulfilling a more public service objective.

Yeah as I intimated to DaveT in my comment regarding the crossover between Ch4 and Rugby League audiences, and to further that with the public service aspect you state, perhaps this is part of Ch4 appealing to "Workington Man" box ticking. 

I still think commercial forces will come into play going forward.

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43 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

May as well promote Batley and Rochdale to address the problem in the post you set out.

Top 2 at the end, regardless.

I'm a neutral, who just want a better comp. I don't think those two clubs are in any way ready.

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5 minutes ago, StandOffHalf said:

Top 2 at the end, regardless.

I'm a neutral, who just want a better comp. I don't think those two clubs are in any way ready.

Does that address the problems highlighted here specifically though? I'm not so sure.

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Just now, Tommygilf said:

Does that address the problems highlighted here specifically though? I'm not so sure.

Well, I would prefer London to add a geographical spread. They don't seem to be in great shape though, sadly.

I'd favour a 14-team comp, with the two best Championship sides added. I think they would add to the appeal of SL.

What's your preference? A 12-team SL or a 14-team SL?

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2 minutes ago, StandOffHalf said:

Well, I would prefer London to add a geographical spread. They don't seem to be in great shape though, sadly.

I'd favour a 14-team comp, with the two best Championship sides added. I think they would add to the appeal of SL.

What's your preference? A 12-team SL or a 14-team SL?

It would be good to have a dedicated thread on this subject....

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48 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

That is obviously true - and ultimately the figures will be judged relative to what Ch4 would otherwise get at that timeslot.

That said to have an over half million viewer swing in 4/5 games must at least raise some eyebrows and thoughts at the channel.

And they`d be much, much more likely to get those 4/5 half million viewer games too if they have those weekly broadcasts, especially if they were based around specific events on the Rugby League calendar, this weeks ANZAC round over here being a case in point.

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4 minutes ago, Mr Frisky said:

It would be good to have a dedicated thread on this subject....

Yes, sorry. I'll try to reign myself in.

I just think a smaller comp doesn't really help the sport, in any of the important areas - C4 included.

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26 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Yeah as I intimated to DaveT in my comment regarding the crossover between Ch4 and Rugby League audiences, and to further that with the public service aspect you state, perhaps this is part of Ch4 appealing to "Workington Man" box ticking. 

I still think commercial forces will come into play going forward.

One of the things we don't know about viewing figures (or do we?) is the make up of the audience.

How many are die-hard RL followers and how many are newcomers?

The numbers may be similar to SKY's weekly output but if 50% of them were new to the sport, then that's great news. 

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11 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

One of the things we don't know about viewing figures (or do we?) is the make up of the audience.

How many are die-hard RL followers and how many are newcomers?

The numbers may be similar to SKY's weekly output but if 50% of them were new to the sport, then that's great news. 

Look Irish if they are doing around 200 000 on C4 and around 200 000 usually for the same game on Sky you`d have to think there hasn`t been a great deal of buy-in yet from the new-comers, but of course that is just speculation, but the figures do suggest that.

I know it`s a little apples and oranges, but worth making a comparison, our annual ANZAC day clash just gone pulled in about 1.10m - 1.2m viewers, about 30 % more than we get for a regular round match. Our game is simulcast FTA and Pay which obviously helps.

It would be really interesting to see, and perhaps a compromise to make it happen, whether C4 would be interested in simulcast with Sky to get that one game per week on FTA.

 

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25 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

Look Irish if they are doing around 200 000 on C4 and around 200 000 usually for the same game on Sky you`d have to think there hasn`t been a great deal of buy-in yet from the new-comers, but of course that is just speculation, but the figures do suggest that.

I know it`s a little apples and oranges, but worth making a comparison, our annual ANZAC day clash just gone pulled in about 1.10m - 1.2m viewers, about 30 % more than we get for a regular round match. Our game is simulcast FTA and Pay which obviously helps.

It would be really interesting to see, and perhaps a compromise to make it happen, whether C4 would be interested in simulcast with Sky to get that one game per week on FTA.

 

I know whose coverage I'd opt for!

I highly, highly doubt that Sky would greenlight such an arrangement. From what I've seen on Sky's coverage, they have hardly acknowledged that C4 are now involved in televising the comp.

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1 minute ago, StandOffHalf said:

I know whose coverage I'd opt for!

I highly, highly doubt that Sky would greenlight such an arrangement. From what I've seen on Sky's coverage, they have hardly acknowledged that C4 are now involved in televising the comp.

###### hell, you just shake your head.

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1 hour ago, Just Browny said:

They must have a real northerner doing the tweets, as I see Jai "Fields" has had the northern random 's' added onto his name (Rob Burrows knows all about this).

Maybe Elon Musk will allow the editing of Tweets.

They do acknowledge the error later in the thread.

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2 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

Indeed, the strategy isn't working. Dare I say that is also because there isn't a huge crossover between Ch4 and RL's regular audiences too? To be barely 50% up on what we'd expect for a Sky game on FTA is poor.

The coverage is objectively fantastic. Ch4 have dipped their toes in with sports, they pick up the odd RU club and international games for example, and I wonder if they are just learning on the job how best to make the most of it. They will know how good the figures are relatively.

1 game a month isn't working, and it's not helped by the games being on paper not marquee fixtures either. Wigan and Salford can be and was an excellent match, but if "nobody" is that interested in it in the first place then its struggling already. 

It will be interesting to see what happens when/if Leeds are shown on Ch4 again.

I'm not sure some of the problems you highlight are as big as the scheduling. I do think there is substantial crossover with audiences. C4 and indeed RL are broad enough to have substantial audiences available. We saw that with the first couple of games, and we have seen us deliver great figs on other terrestrial channels. 

I also don't get too worried about the marquee games. In reality it needs to be the SL brand that sells these - the games so far have all been great, we just need to tell people this. If we look at the other code, some of their numbers hold up despite the likes of Sale playing in them. 

I don't think we can understate the scheduling thing. We saw at launch that if you make a fuss and promote it we will get good figures, but C4 are not going to give us headline billing every time, and a weekly magazine show would increase presence and become a promo tool in its own right. 

One final point I would make is that whilst the figs may seem low, its. It unusual for the odd game to drop to 120k on Sky, so we could argue that a random game played on a Sunday lunch getting more than double that is decent. 

The main think here is keeping C4 interested, they will know their return on investment here, and hopefully it is good enough for them to stay interested and hopefully invest further. 

But as things stand, the strategy of random monthly games with nothing else is proving to be a modest success only.

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4 hours ago, StandOffHalf said:

I know whose coverage I'd opt for!

I highly, highly doubt that Sky would greenlight such an arrangement. From what I've seen on Sky's coverage, they have hardly acknowledged that C4 are now involved in televising the comp.

They’re worried about C4 tempting Baz and Tez away with a six figure deal. 

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22 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

I said this when the reduced viewing figures from the other games came out, but we are in a chicken and egg scenario with which games and clubs are on Channel 4.

We want the sport to put its best foot forward, with its biggest games attracting the biggest crowds.

On the other hand we want Ch4 to grow the exposure and profile of the smaller clubs to raise them up.

Right now the balance seems to be set on putting a Big team with a smaller team. Eventually I think we will see a transition back to having the biggest and most commercially valuable teams playing eachother.

They get third pick of the games on the 10 weeks of their agreement so by definition it is likely that they end up with one of the “lesser” lights

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33 minutes ago, LeeF said:

They get third pick of the games on the 10 weeks of their agreement so by definition it is likely that they end up with one of the “lesser” lights

I don't think it is beyond Super League to do what they did for the opening two Ch4 rounds with 3 top line games for Sky to choose 2 of and leave Ch4 with a good game too.

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