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Broadcast options for Australian Rugby

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by WorkingClassRugger, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. WorkingClassRugger Peter Sullivan (51)

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    A lot has been made of the AFL and NRL's current broadcasting agreements. While we could dwell on these and what they may mean for our games ability to retain talent, I'd prefer to look at the potential opportunities it present.

    Nine, Seven and Fox have committed a fortune to secure respective 5 years agreements with both Leagues and we really have to consider particularly with the likes of Fox, how much of that pie will be left for Rugby come our turn and where should we be looking to establish a better deal for our game.

    Taking inspiration from an article from another sports site, may I suggest that the commercial TV station that doesn't feature above and its desire to compete in the market could finally provide Rugby its avenue to FTA via Ten. Ten had been rumoured to have offered the NRL $800 million over 5 years for its product. Now, I'm not suggesting Rugby would get as much, but, with the appropriate amount preparation, could we get somewhere close and what would said package need to look like?

    With SR expanding to 18 rounds with more Australian involvement and the expanded Rugby Championship, could Rugby in this country develop a competitive broadcast option for the likes of Ten to invest in. Or will it need some lateral thinking? Would splitting from SA to form a 10-12 team Trans-Tasman Championship provide better value for both Unions to draw revenues and interest? Could a bundle be developed that included the option of a National Club/Provincial Championship to create added broadcasting opportunities. All questions I believe a worthwhile of discussion.
  2. TOCC David Wilson (68)

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    For Super Rugby in Australia to shift from Foxtel as the exclusive broadcaster, it would take a seismic shift in the commercial broadcast networks attitude towards rugby union, it would be a massive gamble for both the network at hand and the ARU and have implications on how the Super Rugby draw is scheduled.

    Commercially, Super Rugby isn't a very attractive package for FTA broadcasters because of the inability to gurantee games(involving aussie teams) at specific times, Foxtel are significantly more flexible in this department.

    The funding FTA would provide would be less then that of Foxtel, it could be argued that the additional viewers accessible on FTA would increase the sponsorship funding, but once against Super Rugby on FTA is a unknown quantity and it could potentially be a hard sell.
  3. WorkingClassRugger Peter Sullivan (51)

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    That's why I suggested looking at the Trans-Tasman option. It would provide a greater level of certainty in that regard as well as the option of establishing a further provincial set-up to deliver extra content friendly to the broadcasters needs.

    Does anyone remember what Fox paid for their current deal?
  4. p.Tah Jim Lenehan (48)

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    The First SANZAR deal was US$555 million for 10 years 1996-2005
    the second deal US$323 million for 5 years 2006-2010
    The third deal US$437 million for 5 years 2011- 2015

    I guess you split it into 3rds to calculate the Australian component.
  5. WorkingClassRugger Peter Sullivan (51)

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    So say at best $150 million. Bloody hell. In comparison to both the AFL and NRL even if they doubled that figure it would be a relative steal.
  6. happyjack Sydney Middleton (9)

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    $435 M for 5 years shared across 3 (maybe 4 with Argentina) nations.
    This is less than half, almost a third, of what the League got.
    Have no doubt that the gap between Rugby League and Union, not at a top level, but at an elite state league/club level, will get wider and wider as a consequence of this.
    The ARU and the State Unions have failed to "grow" our game. Not in participation numbers (which are fudged figures in every sport), but in growing more vibrant competition structures.
    An NYC player or NRL linked state league player will probably see their guaranteed salary quadruple over the next 5 years.
    Clubs (3rd Tier) across Australia need to look at collectively owning their content and publishing it through new media which will become more accessible through the NBN (that government investment has to return something apart from distance learning/medicine and buffer free porn).
  7. TOCC David Wilson (68)

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    the broadcast agreement isnt split equally, south africa get a larger share
  8. TOCC David Wilson (68)

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    Major League Baseball just sold their broadcast rights for $700million/year
  9. TOCC David Wilson (68)

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    actually i stand corrected, in previous SANZAR agreements(2005-2010) South Africa have taken a larger share of the broadcast agreement(38%), however this time each country took home 33%.. So that leaves the ARU with $150million over 5 years..

    Interestingly, the A-League is currently chasing a 5 year, $200million deal..
  10. WorkingClassRugger Peter Sullivan (51)

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    I think it's possible Rugby could chase similar if not more and establish a FTA presence at the same time.
  11. TOCC David Wilson (68)

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    Rugby can chase a better deal then they have currently with a Super Rugby FTA component?
  12. kiap Greg Davis (50)

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    Nah, I think the one-third split was not for the full headline figure of $437m. Based on JON's statements the ARU share went up 30% to approx. US$ 122m. About 120m AUD on current rates.
    • Asked to confirm the how the extra revenue will be divided up amongst the Sanzar partners, O'Neill explained: "Our cut goes up by about 30 percent, so overall for Sanzar it was 35, but the ARU's share goes up about 30 percent which is a good outcome." (linky)
    • While Tew said the slice of the pie going to New Zealand would remain under wraps, the deal was effectively 28 per cent better for New Zealand than the last one. (linky)
    Code:
        Old($m)  inc.  New($m)
    ----------------------------
    ARU     94    30%    122
    NZRU   107    28%    136
    SARU   123    46%    179
    ----------------------------
    Total  323    35%    437
  13. TOCC David Wilson (68)

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    Yeah you are right, it wasnt for the full $437million figure.
    That figure is including the value of the Currie Cup and NPC into the deal..

    The SANZAR competition(Super Rugby and Tri Nations) broadcast funding is split equally, but the SARU and NZRU are receiving more funding for their local competitions
  14. kiap Greg Davis (50)

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    Probably right, although I'm not sure about the NPC (ITM Cup) figure which was sold separately by the NZRU. The respective unions tend to keep their final numbers under wraps until annual reporting time.

    But assuming over 5 years the S15 + InboundTests + TRC is worth around US$ 366m (3 x 122m) then the CC is worth ~$57m and the ITM is worth maybe ~$14m. It's probably a bit higher - round it up to $20m.

    That's US$ 4m per year, ~NZ$ 5m per year. It's handy but not huge.
  15. liquor box Chilla Wilson (44)

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    Would it be possible to make this happen each week?

    I have not though of the logistics involved, but surely 2 games a weekend could be assured to be in Australia in the draw.

    I wonder what would be the best slot for Ch10? Saturday at 7pm and Sunday afternoon live? Double header Saturday night? I dont think they would be trying to compete with other FTA networks as they would not outrate League and AFL, but they could find other slots on the weekend that are not currently sport shows.
  16. Karl Bill McLean (32)

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    Until we get issues with the public appeal of the game sorted out the networks won't want to give FTA coverage of Super Rugby because it doesn't rate. If it doesn't rate it doesn't pay.

    The way the game is played just doesn't appeal to a public weaned on League and AFL at the grassroots while Union maintains its aloof and elite non-engagement and fails to effectively expand its junior level programs outside existing nurseries and the private school system.

    League is a simple, fast and flashy game even the uninitiated can get their heads around quickly. Union has more complex rules, more subtlety that is harder for Joe Public to easily understand and is dogged by issues like excessive reliance on penalties in scoring, scrum collapses and time wasting, turgid and negative play, a lack of consistent flair in attack (where is the "running Rugby"), pointless kicking in general play etc.

    How many new fans would the last Bledisloe Cup match have won over?

    Rugby is just never going to have the mass market appeal in Australia required to compete with the AFL or NRL on TV rights. It had better sort it's issues out though or it will struggle to improve at all.
  17. Scott Allen Trevor Allan (34)

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    SA and NZ get a bigger share of the pie because they have extra content to provide the broadcaster - specifically a third tier competition.

    If only we had such a competition to offer the broadcaster!

    When's the next broadcast deal due? If we are to have more product to offer next time, we'll have to start such a competition two years before that negotiation or we'd just be trying to sell a concept.

    Yes, that might require two years of funding the competition with little revenue but if we do it right then we might have that additional product that would allow the ARU to recoup it's original investment over the next broadcast deal and improve Australian rugby.

    With the $60m from the Lions broadcast deal next year the funds will be available to make the investment for the first two years.
    inkosi and Inside Shoulder like this.
  18. fatprop John Eales (66)

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    Rugby is a minor sport in aus and probably will always be so

    I actually like the Foxtel deal because I get to see all the games live with no ads, a FTA deal would inflict ads and delayed telecasts on me.

    I don't think a delayed telecast at 11.00pm would help rugby.
  19. TOCC David Wilson (68)

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    The inherit and obvious problem is that Foxtel market penetration sits around 33% and growth has slowed down in recent years..

    Rugby will remain a smaller sport in Australia whilst Super Rugby remains exclusively on Foxtel. Maybe that's it's destiny though, not everything is suited for FTA..
  20. RugbyReg George Gregan (70)

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    I think Fox is the way to go for Super Rugby games. We wouldn't get every game on tv if it was free to air. No doubt in the world.

    But why not invest in getting a decent free to air weekly analysis show? Decent highlights clips from the fox feed, but then some interviews etc. Basically the Rugby Club (or On the couch) on 9 or something. A more likely scenario.
    Linebacker_41 likes this.

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