6 nations moving to Pay per view, thoughts

Ciaran Trainor


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Seen a few articles relating to the six nations moving off terrestrial TV and moving to pay per view.
Is it amazon? sky, BT...something else?
Anyway my thoughts are this will be bad news for the grass roots of the game.
I don't have any of these packages so rarely see England games or any other first class rugby.

The six nations is a massive window into our sport and moving to pay per view will only reduce interest.

Even up here in RL land I regularly get comments like oh I hate RU but always watch the six nations.

It will be a disaster for many clubhouses once we reopen.
The six nations was always a big deal at my club, often former players and acquaintances would turn up just for the craic beer would flow and a good time had by all. There always seemed to be a token Welshman turning up who nobody really knew;-) but all part of the fun.
My club only has BT sport and after this shitshow of a year may not be able to afford that now.

I've always been interested in most sports since childhood. but rarely see any now as they've all moved to pay TV.
I know it's all about money these days but I'll miss the six nations.
 

Flish


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Rugby needs more followers, fans, interested parties - certainly in England where we are a minority sport - more viewers creates more interest, bolsters the numbers in the game, and potentially increases the revenue stream long term - I fear that a short term view will take us in the opposite direction. I will cough up regardless, as will many loyal rugby nuts, my mum however who only watches the big internationals and the Lions won’t, and her interest and many similar fans will drift away :-(
 

crossref


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covid has changed everything - they just need to make money
 

Jz558


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I think Crossref is correct, money will drive this and the counter arguements of greater exposure will largely be lost. To be honest club rugby has all but disappeared behind a pay wall (with the exception of the odd live game and the Channel 5 occasional highlights). I just look at the damage done to participation and visibility of cricket years ago by taking the same decision. Rugby needs to be very careful with decisions it makes now, we have a triangle of participation with a huge base of mini and youth players feeding into adult rugby but we know participation amongst adults is dropping. Reducing visibility and in time the base of the triangle will further damage the game at adult levels.
 

Flish


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covid has changed everything - they just need to make money

Who's they? The RFU, so the international team and the premiership in England, as the money that 'they' make has little benefit to anyone below L1 now - and most of the decisions affecting that are not Covid related. As has been demonstrated this weekend in the Championship there're next to no support (No Grants, only Loans with no income to repay it and an increase in costs of £80k per month for testing, again no support towards this)

The International and L1 teams have *some* mechanism to earn revenue *and* are getting government and RFU support , L2 and below do not, our future is a numbers game, people not being able to watch rugby doesn't help that
 

crossref


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it's a conundrum, isn't it ... and covid has made it much harder.

revenue comes from
- ticket sales
- hospitality
- TV
- sponsorship

Covid has removed the first two for all of 2020 and - quite possibly - for all of 2021 as well.
It's understandable if the 6N look to the other two

and then short term v long term ... take the money or maximise the participation ?
 

Flish


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Call me cynical, but I think if we go pay TV now, they’ll like the income and we won’t go back
 

didds

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... amnd if the NGBs and WR go bankrupt... there'll still be "jumpers for goalposts" somewhere I'll wager... ?
 

Jolly Roger


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I agree with Flish and ctrainor on this.
Cricket is but a novelty sport for most people these days.
There is no visibility of Pro14 now it has gone to Premier Sport.
I wonder if the sponsorship revenue will reduce when fewer people are watching the games.

As ever, the blazers at Twickenham driving the agenda through their own financial self-interest. Seems they have screwed up big time over the past two years on managing their funds and now they want to commit harakiri and bring everyone else down with them. Life just gets better and better................
 

Thisone

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I agree with Flish and ctrainor on this.
Cricket is but a novelty sport for most people these days.
There is no visibility of Pro14 now it has gone to Premier Sport.
I wonder if the sponsorship revenue will reduce when fewer people are watching the games.

As ever, the blazers at Twickenham driving the agenda through their own financial self-interest. Seems they have screwed up big time over the past two years on managing their funds and now they want to commit harakiri and bring everyone else down with them. Life just gets better and better................
Completely agree - but it ignores the reality that there's bill to be paid. Of course free to air would be great, but if that bankrupts the Union(s) that doesn't work.

No easy answer.
 

crossref


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I agree with Flish and ctrainor on this.
Cricket is but a novelty sport for most people these days.
There is no visibility of Pro14 now it has gone to Premier Sport.
I wonder if the sponsorship revenue will reduce when fewer people are watching the games.

As ever, the blazers at Twickenham driving the agenda through their own financial self-interest. Seems they have screwed up big time over the past two years on managing their funds and now they want to commit harakiri and bring everyone else down with them. Life just gets better and better................

you don't even mention the impact of covid... what differnce does that make?
 

smeagol


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My (selfish) concern is that this will result in top-level rugby being shoved behind an even bigger paywall elsewhere.

NBC Sports is going away at the end of this year, and was *the* channel for me to watch any professional rugby during the shutdown and indoctrinate the little one (whenever there is NFL on, she keeps saying "rugby"). MLR was on a different channel, but we're still a ways off from that coming back in any meaningful form.
 

thepercy


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My (selfish) concern is that this will result in top-level rugby being shoved behind an even bigger paywall elsewhere.

NBC Sports is going away at the end of this year, and was *the* channel for me to watch any professional rugby during the shutdown and indoctrinate the little one (whenever there is NFL on, she keeps saying "rugby"). MLR was on a different channel, but we're still a ways off from that coming back in any meaningful form.

In the US there is lots of rugby (Pro 14, Super Rugby, Rugby Championship) on ESPN+ ($5/month), for me it's "the" channel for rugby and I also enjoy the MMA fighting content as well.
MLR season is set to start March 20th, some matches were on ESPN+ in the past.
NBC Sports is transferring their licensing agreements to USA Network, they have the 6 Nations (delayed replays), and 1 or 2 Premiership matches per week. The NBC Sports Gold, which gave live 6 Nations and all access to live and replay Premiership is ceasing to exist, and that content will be available on NBC's new Peacock App Premium ($5/month).

Rugby has mostly been behind a paywall in the US, which I always thought was a determent to growth.
 

smeagol


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In the US there is lots of rugby (Pro 14, Super Rugby, Rugby Championship) on ESPN+ ($5/month), for me it's "the" channel for rugby and I also enjoy the MMA fighting content as well.
MLR season is set to start March 20th, some matches were on ESPN+ in the past.
NBC Sports is transferring their licensing agreements to USA Network, they have the 6 Nations (delayed replays), and 1 or 2 Premiership matches per week. The NBC Sports Gold, which gave live 6 Nations and all access to live and replay Premiership is ceasing to exist, and that content will be available on NBC's new Peacock App Premium ($5/month).

Rugby has mostly been behind a paywall in the US, which I always thought was a determent to growth.

Agree wholeheartedly about the paywalls (**** Flo in particular) being a huge barrier to the growth of the game in the US.

For me, most of the MLR games came through via CBS Sports. Being able to DVR a wide swath of games (even if they were delayed replays) was a major boon.

I'm not going to shell out for a separate streaming package (I have Amazon, but the streaming service is an ancillary boon), I just hope that USA Network doesn't bungle it.
 

timmad

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Covid + Head injury / concussion / dementia links + Paywall .
Even if, like me, you are a lifelong devotee of Rugby Union, would you want your (grand)son / daughter to play the game?
Would they even be interested.
 

didds

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Id let it be there choice and if they chose to do so id worry and be proud etc.

Same if they got on a horse. Or a mortor cycle. Or downhill cycling. Or free basing. Or extreme ironing.

they copuld of course sit on their bottom all day and do video games and watch endless tiktok videos. Then i'd worry about diabetes and heart disease.

didds
 

timmad

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Id let it be there choice and if they chose to do so id worry and be proud etc.

Same if they got on a horse. Or a mortor cycle. Or downhill cycling. Or free basing. Or extreme ironing.

they copuld of course sit on their bottom all day and do video games and watch endless tiktok videos. Then i'd worry about diabetes and heart disease.

didds
I'm certainly not advocating doing nothing. But, in my school and senior playing days, compared with modern-day players at most levels, we weren't as fit, we weren't as big or ripped and, admit it, we weren't as good. The game is so much faster and more physical. The risks are so much greater.
 
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