Sawyer supports Super League streaming plan… but knows Championship is different

Dewsbury Rams Chairman and Bradford Bulls interim chief executive Mark Sawyer says he has “no problem” with plans to stream and charge for Super League matches behind closed doors.
But Sawyer says the mooted revenue generator is unlikely to be replicated at Championship level, where clubs are more reliant on income through the gate.
A host of leading Rugby League figures headed by Kevin Sinfield and Tony Smith have backed a proposal to show top-flight games on pay-per-view and offer clubs at all levels of the game the opportunity to raise money in this way.
Sawyer says that prospect is hard to oppose if it is given the backing of Sky Sports.
Sawyer told League Express: “There have been talks of possibly streaming games and I’ve no problem with that at all.
“If they get to a stage where they can charge a fee for the streaming and that money goes to the clubs whose supporters have bought it, I don’t think you can possibly be against such a thing.
“But it does need the approval of Sky, which is crucial.
“The main thing is also a player safety point of view and that hurdle needs to be overcome.
“But there’s no point in kidding ourselves – it would be virtually impossible to play matches in the Championship behind closed doors.
“Everybody at the moment appreciates that rugby clubs are hanging on by their fingertips.
“Our main priorities are surviving, and trying to make payments to our staff with the help of the furlough scheme.
“It’s difficult to see where any income is being brought in at all at the moment, and we are fortunate that the season-ticket holders at every club have been so good.
“What is also difficult to see is how much spare money people will have after this and that includes for streaming.
“We have to wait for the next decisions from the government and then see where we’re going next.”