Rugby League Commercial’s new Managing Director, Rhodri Jones, is hopeful that the recent steps taken in rugby league can influence an increased broadcast deal ahead of 2024.
The previous Sky Sports broadcast deal saw a reduction in £16 million dished out amongst the sport, but rugby league has certainly changed tack since then.
The realignment of Super League and the Rugby Football League was a major step in that direction whilst bringing in worldwide renowned IMG in a 12-year deal demonstrated the new outlook of the sport.
Jones also hopes that the recent changes will be enough to convince Sky Sports that rugby league deserves an improved contract deal to the one given in 2021.
“The hopes I have is we can demonstrate we have taken stock and recognised we need to do something different,” Jones said.
“Realignment was the first step, IMG was the second and delivering it is the third. That comes into focus in the first quarter of 2023 when we will speaking to broadcasters about what 2024 will look like.
“Those broadcast conversations are the foundation of what the game and clubs need to build upon.
“I’d like to think we have reacted to that news of a couple years ago. With the RL Commercial and IMG element, we’ve not left any stone untuned when we go into the room with broadcasters.”
However, Jones does believe that the recent times with Covid-19 as well as the increased cost of living is not exactly helping things as he pointed to the losses made by Super League side Wigan Warriors for the year 2021.
“I think globally and in this country we are all still suffering from Covid, highlighted by those recent Wigan accounts,” Jones continued.
“I’m sure, unfortunately, that other clubs will not look too dissimilar as we are still living that hangover.
“2023 will probably be very similar not least with the current economic climate and the increasing cost of living.”