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Broadcast options for Australian Rugby

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

  1. Quick Hands David Wilson (68)

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    I get you don't like Foxtel/News Corp, but the head of Optus has said publicly at least twice that they were nowhere near making an offer to RA for any type of rights.

    I also notice that not one FTA network has yet expressed any interest in televising the upcoming 5 team Australian SR event.

    In relation to Fox, I'd simply make the point that they made an offer for the next broadcast agreement which was rejected by RA. Fox then came back with a second offer which was also rejected by RA. RA then announced that they would take the rights to the market and see what they could get.

    There's no law in this country, or principle or corporate practice which says that Fox has to offer more than they did last time. They offered what they offered and it was rejected. RA was perfectly within its rights to reject the offers and go to the market, but it's RA who accept the risk of doing that. The fact that they couldn't sell it to anyone else is hardly the fault of Fox or News.

    I agree that the whole thing is a mess, but with respect I think you're letting your fairly obvious antipathy towards Rupert Murdoch and News Corp cloud your normally fairly sensible judgement.
    RebelYell likes this.
  2. Slim 293 George Gregan (70)

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    You'll have to point me in the direction of that information, because I don't believe that's correct....

    SRU had to hand over $250,000 to Ch7 up front every year to guarantee the broadcast, and Rugby Australia had to step in one year when they couldn't come up with the cash.
  3. Quick Hands David Wilson (68)

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    The ABC made a decision in February 2015 to stop broadcasting the Shute Shield and obviously the clubs were very keen to maintain a free to air footprint, particularly as the Shute Shield is the only rugby competition broadcast on free to air in Australia. We managed to organise a free to air deal with an organisation called Club Rugby TV – the two shareholders are John Murray and Nick Fordham. That deal is between the Sydney Rugby Union and Club Rugby TV, they then have a contract with Channel 7, so the SRU doesn’t have a direct contract with Channel 7.
    Part of that deal is that as well as providing the content, the SRU has to provide either cash or additional advertising revenue to Channel 7 to ensure that all parties meet their contractual obligations to allow matches go live to air. In previous years, that has been in large parts indemnified by the ARU or the NSWRU but as we understand, that’s not likely to take place this year.
    Currently, we’re looking for corporate partners to assist us and gain brand visibility and in return, we’ll get cash or advertising revenue to meet our ongoing agreement with Channel 7, via our deal with Club Rugby TV.
  4. dru Andrew Slack (58)

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    I was not aware of that.
  5. Rebels3 Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    I’m almost certain that RA has had to come in and pay an amount to satisfy the agreement because money wasn’t able to be found. Plus the product wasn’t very successful on tv. Unfortunately as a tv product Rugby is sick everywhere in this country.

    This from a recent smh article in March

    “Shute Shield television ratings crashed 67 per cent over the five years Club Rugby TV and Seven held the broadcast rights to rugby's heartland club competition, the Herald can reveal.

    On the same day Rugby Australia's $3.7 million deal to buy back Sydney's club rugby rights was hailed as a "game changer" by club figures, it emerged how poorly the competition was rating on Seven's digital channel 7TWO, its home since the ABC dropped it in 2014.
    Last season attracted an average audience of 13,000 people on the free-to-air network's digital channel, down from 40,000 in the final year of the ABC's long-running broadcast.

    According to figures given to the Herald and sourced from OzTAM, the competition's television audience dropped year on year over its five years on Seven, apart from a small spike in 2016 - the year Northern Suburbs broke a 41-year hoodoo to claim the title.”

    We are stuck between a rock and a hard place with existing pro comp and any pro level coming from existing amateur teams.
  6. hoggy Jim Clark (26)

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    Rugby has to find out & remedy why at all levels it appears to lose viewers over a period of time, it often chargers like a bull out of the gates, but ends up limping over the finish line.

    IMO one of the reasons is the top down approach, any thoughts of a domestic competition here are hindered by the perception that the only possible way a competition can survive is if its the best competition in the world, there seems to be no other option, yet where does that leave you if you can't constantly provide that.

    What chance has the game got when the only option is to be number 1, what are you trying to sell to a broadcaster.
    Quick Hands likes this.
  7. Quick Hands David Wilson (68)

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    The bit about growing attendances is where the clubs directly benefit. A home game with a crowd of $7,000 plus is worth $60,000 or more every time it happens. Even if only half of your home games get that or close to it, the club has made $250,000 in the season. This money doesn't go through the SRU or NSWRU or RA it goes straight to the club. Clubs who have worked this out are the ones who are powering ahead. It's an indirect benefit for no outlay.
    CEO of Intrust Super, Brendon O’Farrell is delighted to continue supporting the grassroots competition. After striking a last-minute deal back in 2015, Intrust Super’s sponsorship ensured the broadcast deal with Channel 7 would go ahead.
    He said: “It’s been a fantastic 3 years of seeing the resurgence of club rugby in Sydney. There is nothing better than hearing people talk about it in the streets with true passion for their respective clubs.
    “Tribalism is back and we [Intrust Super] are extremely excited to be part of this tremendous energy and momentum of success that the Intrust Super Shute Shield is experiencing, and therefore we are looking forward to continuing our naming rights sponsorship of the Intrust Super Shute Shield for a further 3 years.”
    https://mumbrella.com.au/intrust-su... committed to,sponsorship of the Shute Shield.

    We went to the TV networks and had a very positive response from Seven,” Fordham recalls. “Then, right on the eleventh hour, we got a deal done with a naming rights sponsor – Intrust Super.
    “Brendan O'Farrell from Intrust Super is really the foundation saviour of Shute Shield because without him it wouldn't happen.”
    And the sponsorship money has followed. In 2016, the Shute Shield added Fujitsu, Canon, Man Shake and last year Charter Hall with contra deals also struck with Ooh!Media, Nova 96.9 and ESPN.
    What’s been even more impressive is how attendances have grown. Last year, games at Manly Oval were drawing 10,000 fans to games, while one of the finals at Rat Park, home of Warringah Rugby Club in Sydney’s north, drew 15,000.
  8. Rebels3 Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    Isn’t this a broadcasting thread? Therefore the figures don’t look promising for anyone wanting to pick up the rights. 13k if you put it behind a paywall (which is the most likely option at the moment) is single figures watching and not much uptake on subscriptions. QLD numbers would be even worse as the marketability of the clubs is considerably lower than some SS clubs, I say this as a guy that’s played for a QLD Prems Club infront of 200 people and 2 dogs at some places.
  9. KOB1987 Andrew Slack (58)

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    If I was RA I’d be working on an incentivized package. A base amount to recognize that there is some value in providing the product and franchises as they are, and incentives, based on viewership. This puts the onus on the broadcaster, RA, the franchises, and even the players, to work collaboratively to increase the number of viewers through performance and product appeal. If it works we keep our players, if it doesn’t the player exodus thread will crank right up.
    RebelYell and Rebels3 like this.
  10. The Honey Badger Peter Johnson (47)

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    Think you are reading too much into my post.

    I actually subscribe to Fox (via Telstra NBN) and pay $40/month every month of the year and haven't watched it in ages. Mrs Badge watches Wentworth / Westworld- but really doesn't get watched except when rugby is on. Netflix is getting 10X the viewing over fox.

    So I am in the demographic of subscribers (as is my 85 year old father) paying for Fox just for rugby - and we are too lazy to cancel and resubscribe for the season and dont even notice we are paying it - I expect there are 10's of thousands if not more people subscribing in a similar way, and Fox know it. - which is why they played so hard to derail the open market tender.

    I just believe that putting 100% of live SR games behind a paywall has been detrimental to the game. (in the end detrimental to Fox as well) And is a major contributing factor to the complete collapse in interest in the game at that level. (Bit like the collapse in interest in 50 over 1 day cricket when it went behind a paywall). - I acknowledge other factors , including lack of success on the scoreboard also contributing.

    I was fully supportive of the direction Raelene Castle was taking with the broadcast negotiations which had an FTA live match component. This is needed to attract new fans. As for who has the Pay TV rights, I really dont care.
  11. Rebels3 Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    There was an article that suggested this was the case recently. I think it could be a good way to go, come to a figure that provides opportunity for both to thrive whereas also one that doesn’t make the network suffer if it’s performing badly.
  12. Jimmy_Crouch Trevor Allan (34)

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    Gee I wish there was a benefactor who would front the money for RA to create their own production and platform.

    Apart from all the local content I imagine they could get some international leagues cheaply too. Japanese Top League and MLR would especially be of interest.
    RedsHappy and The Honey Badger like this.
  13. RebelYell Alex Ross (28)

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    I think, for the next (short) deal as the game resets, exploring the NBL or Super Netball model is where we are curerntly at.

    "The privately-owned NBL will pay for all production costs and receive a proportion of advertising from SBS and ESPN."

    "Netball's big revenue spike was primarily due to the first year of its broadcast deal, in which Nine and Netball Australia have a profit-share deal for advertising revenue. The sponsorship income netball received shot up from $3.9 million in 2016 to about $12.3 million last year."
  14. Rebels3 Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    For those playing at home, apparently Fox doesn’t have the rights to NZ super comp starting next week, but are in discussions with them to show it
    Jimmy_Crouch likes this.
  15. Quick Hands David Wilson (68)

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    I agree with just about everything you've said here.

    I think the only place we differ is that you blame Fox for rugby being behind a pay TV paywall for 25 years and I blame the ARU/RA. They are the ones who took the Foxtel money for exclusive rights. They could have accepted less for non-exclusive rights and insisted on one FTA game every week, but they didn't. It's not up to Foxtel to save rugby from itself. 15 years ago the then ARU would have been in a much stronger position to ask for this, whereas now we're almost at the point where we need to take what we're given and suck it up.
  16. Quick Hands David Wilson (68)

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    I thought I was talking about broadcasting of games and the associated benefits. Even when I read it again.
  17. RedsHappy Tony Shaw (54)

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    An excellent point and observation.

    As I've said elsewhere, IMO this is exactly what I think RA should do (but noting that it would require a core of courage for innovation and new diversity of strategy that is not a hallmark of RA culture).

    As you say, this type of new media modality would need a degree of upfront funding.

    I don't think it's at all inconceivable though that say Ch Ten (FTA elements for Tests) and Foxtel might say 'well no way will we be repeat anything like the fixed $s you have had in previous years but what we will do is give you (say) $5m upfront to fund an Aust Rugby production and streaming platform owned and executed by RA provided we get certain exclusive access rights and then we do a JV deal where you get XX% of all the advertising revenue we sell (and we'll guarantee you say $5m pa of advertising share) and we get YY% (say 5%) of your subscription revenue for the streaming platform's subscription revenue'.

    I believe that media production and rights business model - and it's win-win as to risk and reward - is entirely viable in principle.
    Jimmy_Crouch and Quick Hands like this.
  18. Jimmy_Crouch Trevor Allan (34)

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    RH have always agreed with your long term vision on this point just didn't believe it was a reality for the next broadcast period prior to COVID 19. I just couldn't see RA walking away from 50% of their revenue but now it has almost been forced upon them. If they can get something for the short term say this year and next maybe that will give them enough time. Show Twiggy a new vision ask him for the capital behind to launch the new media product. I'll deal with watching ads for FMG.
    WorkingClassRugger likes this.
  19. mst Ken Catchpole (46)

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    Hmm, no so sure about that.

    The television ratings add controversy to the 10-year Club Rugby TV deal, which has cost cash-strapped Sydney clubs $300,000 a year since 2015. It came with a $3.7 million price tag for RA to extinguish the final four years and return broadcast rights to the Sydney Rugby Union.

    There were no complaints in club land on Friday, with SRU president Phillip Parsons calling it a new era for club rugby and RA boss Raelene Castle saying it was a win for rugby fans across the country.

  20. ForceFan Colin Windon (37)

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