Upfront: The League Express opinion – Mon 22nd Feb 2021
One of Rugby League’s remarkable success stories in recent years has been the OurLeague App, which allows fans to watch games on a live stream by registering and taking out a membership that gives a right to watch matches on the App.
It showed its value at Super League level last year when it allowed Super League clubs to provide coverage of their behind closed doors fixtures to season ticket holders.
The RFL was one of the first national governing bodies in British sport to invest in such a platform and OurLeague launched in autumn 2017.
An impressive total of 160,000 people have now apparently registered for the App, according to the RFL.
And this year the App is giving clubs across the Championship and League 1 to improve their cash flow in accordance with the App.
“Clubs will be able to offer greater value to their season ticket holders with free coverage of home Betfred Championship games and Challenge Cup ties – and also have the opportunity to generate revenue by offering the games to other supporters on a pay per view basis,” says the RFL’s Mark Foster.
“It’s taken a huge amount of work to get to this point – especially to ensure there are no fixture clashes between Challenge Cup, Championship and Super League fixtures in the opening rounds, which we hope will allow fans of teams at all levels to watch more Rugby League than ever, especially over the Easter weekend.
“That’s why we have also introduced day and weekend passes. Championship and League 1 clubs have gone so long without any action, so there should be plenty of pent-up demand – especially considering the quality of teams and players spread through the two leagues.
“We have invested over the last 18 months in improving the quality and reliability of streaming through Our League – with the ability to cast from a phone screen to a television one example of that, as well the possibility of concurrent streaming of more than one match if required, and also improved look and usability in the app.
“That is why we have also set minimum standards for broadcast arrangements of these early season games.
“It’s important we recognise the support of our broadcast partners Sky Sports in allowing us to stream fixtures from the Betfred Super League and Championship.”
It’s an impressive achievement, which the RFL deserves great credit for, and we hope our readers will take the chance to watch their teams this season, while paying for the privilege but supporting their favourite club.