“Six or seven broadcasters” potentially in the mix for Super League and rugby league broadcasting deals

RUGBY LEAGUE is currently at one of its greatest conjunctions since the summer era began back in 1996.

Back then, radical new plans were drawn up which saw the game transform into the rugby league as we know it.

Following IMG’s proposal to all 36 professional clubs yesterday, there is a chance to expand and grow rugby league beyond its current reality.

Managing Director of RL Commercial, Rhodri Jones, has explained what plans the sport has been making in terms of trying to attract broadcasters ahead of crunch talks with Sky in the next couple of weeks.

“We are in discussion with Sky at the moment, we are also talking to the market,” Jones said.

“There is a big property in the market with the English Football League which has consumed everybody’s minds so we are at the moment at a waiting game.

“But we are trying to be proactive in the market and making sure Sky knows what a good job we have done and making sure that other broadcasters are taking note of what we are doing off the field.

“IMG have been able to have conversations with broadcasters and talk them through the criteria and what we are doing around digital transformation.

“In terms of making broadcasters aware of who we are, what we are doing, how we see the future going and how they could be a part of the future has been good.

“In terms of being able to give a definite answer on the future, it will be a couple of weeks.”

When asked if there was the potential for more broadcasters, who may not have been involved in rugby league before, to come into the sport, Jones was clear.

“100%, that is why we have spoken to six or seven broadcasters. Of course, Sky is one whilst the other four or five aren’t with us at the moment.

“The free-to-air ones are different conversations, they hinge on the outcome of what the paid broadcasting deal looks like.

“ViaPlay, DAZN, Apple and Amazon etc, we’ve spoken to them all.”

What impression is rugby league currently making on those other broadcasters?

“Other than they see the sport has a plan and a strategy as well as a 12-year relationship with the world’s biggest sport management company, I’d like to think the impression the sport is giving is a positive and organised one,” Jones expressed.