The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

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The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 16 Jul 2016, 1:18 am

First topic message reminder :

We've had the discussion on how does the PRO12 move forward for much of last season.

Towards the end of the season, PR012 CEO, Martin Anayi gave several media interviews on his own, and with PRO 12 chairman, Gerald Davies, on where the PRO12 needs to go to cope with changes in rugby within Six Nations and globally.

Anayi and Davies identified and acknowledged a number of the issues raised by PRO clubs CEOs and fans including increase in TV monies, match-day attendances, marketing, standard of refereeing, season structure and test window matches,  scheduling of season matches/kick-off times including Sunday games, European competitions, player welfare/concussion, growing "event" weekends, etc.

Anayi and Davies met with PRO12 CEOs over the last season to discuss issues and get feedback on a number of proposals that would mark out the future for the PRO 12 and its member unions.  

From various media interviews and reports - some unsubstantiated - a number of key decisions are being considered by PRO 12 and its 12 member clubs along with their representative organisations and unions.  In summary, these would appear to include:


  • Changes to season scheduling to make it more accessible, consistent, and appealing to fans across the four unions territories starting from next season 2016/17.
  • Further investment in a referee development programme to deal with issues/perceptions of bias and neutrality for league fixtures
  • Stronger and more localised marketing and promotion of league games by the PRO12 and by the individual clubs to attract fans to games and make it more appealing to broadcasters.
  • More promotion and stronger branding/marketing of games by TV partners
  • Changing the structure of the league from home & away 22 games to a conference/pool structure that can accommodate more teams in the future from other unions/territories e.g. North America and South Africa, with East Coast of America being the first target to develop a franchise with operational and coaching expertise being provided by the four unions.
  • Development of Big Event Weekends to drive crowd numbers, create a more appealing product for TV companies/sponsors, and generate more revenues for the PRO12
  • Reduce number of games played during season and re-strucure so that no "league" games are played during the test windows in November and Feb/March
  • Consequently, this would allow a greater proportion of league games to have test players involved and increase quality of product.
  • During test windows, the PRO CEOs want rugby to continue, and a revised development competition is being proposed for these periods for development of academy and young players within squads not involved in test rugby.  This may involve changes to the British & Irish Cup and the Anglo-Wlesh Cup.  One report indicates that Premier Rugby may be interested in discussing the creation of a British & Irish development cup to replace the current AW Cup that would attract increased sponsorship and TV money than currently.


It's clear that changes need to occur for the PRO12.   The current structure and set-up is neither sufficient nor sustainable.   The most recent comments on this from the CEO of the IRFU in publishing their annual report indicate this clearly, and what changes need to occur.  He also commented on the plans to develop a franchise in the US.

The potential for the development of a B&I league has been regularly discussed on 606v2, but for the purposes of this topic, it's not being included as the Premiership has commitments for the next 6-7 years on its TV deals that would not countenance such a move.  

Feel free to comment/dispute/argue on what is being proposed - any errors are entirely mine.


Last edited by Pot Hale on Sat 16 Jul 2016, 4:55 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Notch on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:25 am

I do.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:34 am

SecretFly wrote:
Like I keep reminding you, Petal, you don't like people who synopsise you and cut to the chase.  You and Sin and a few others can handle the detailed accounts and broadcasting contracts - I'll keep you true to your overview opinions - as published in these here threads.

You said you'd much prefer have Welsh sides compete in a second tier Anglo/Welsh League than the Pro12 alternative?  Yes - you have made such a statement.
You said that in such a set-up (a full League below the big boys of Saracens and Leicester etc) they Regions would still be making more money than in the Pro12?  Yes - you have made such a statement.
The inference is that you'd accept the largesse from the earning potential of the tier 1 PRL League as it would at least make the Regions viable; ie free money handed down from a League you're potentially not even in?  Yep, you made such assumptions.

Don't forget your opinions.  It keeps us all honest.

As I keep reminding you, Eric, your synopses are as accurate as your posts are funny.

I made the statements you claimed but I didn't make the assumption as that's YOUR assumption. That's where your little attempt to provide a 'synopsis' became dishonest.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:35 am

SecretFly wrote:Like I've asked Phil a few times, predict for me which teams would be in the top five of a B&I League in say five years from now if the B&I League was created today?  

Where have you asked that? If you've done it a 'few times', I'll be interested in you providing two links.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:35 am

Notch, it's no wonder the Irish TV companies do not pay as much for the rights to show the Pro12 as others do, not if it is seen as Sine has portrayed it on here.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:36 am

Sin é wrote:I think the IRFU are well on top of their finances - the problem is the Welsh Regions are finding the going difficult and want someone to bail them out.

Ahem, Munster.

Lovely selfish rhetoric, mind you.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:38 am

SecretFly wrote:
Dai Llewod wrote:
SecretFly wrote:

They'll be trying to compete with the 'next level up' next season in the Champions Cup.  Is that not competing?

Is joining up to a B&I League competing?  Like I've asked Phil a few times, predict for me which teams would be in the top five of a B&I League in say five years from now if the B&I League was created today?  The bottom of a top League isn't competing.  The top of a secondary league isn't competing - it's excusing mediocrity for the lure of 'more money'.

Too often people just feel mentioning  a B&I League and mentioning possible 'more money' is a definition of a better competition FOR ALL and one that will be more competitive FOR ALL.

'Competing with the best' means you have a guaranteed system where you will be allowed compete with the best.  There is no such detailed guarantee coming from any B&I League(s) supporter.  The logistics of it, in my mind, suggests the utopia could quickly evaporate within a few short years.  

If Welsh fans and Regions are happy to contemplate the lovely 2nd tier League competitiveness of a B&I model then so be it, I wouldn't share that view.  The top would still be the top and the wealth (and administrative power) of central English clubs would always preclude the 'Celtic' fringes of ever 'competing' on a equal footing.

Ah sorry, I don't think I explained myself properly. By competitiveness I mean the ability to generate more revenue meaning that all pro teams have a better chance of being in the black. They'll then be able to spend more on facilities, quality of overseas players, their academy etc. Isn't that something any pro team would want?

But Dai, for every pound or euro extra that let's say Glasgow or Ospreys or Munster would get from a B&I competition, the English clubs, with their denser population areas and therefore more attractiveness to sponsors etc, they'd be able to generate an extra four or five pounds.  
More money for everyone from a B&I competition is relative to what everyone would be drawing from such a competition.  The English sides (heartland of the competition) would still be pulling in more bucks than the outlying teams in the other Nations.  More money would become a relative state that might not necessarily buy anything more than what these 'Celtic' sides already can afford now.  
If a top player is worth 500,000 now and can't be afforded by most Pro12 sides, then having 600,000 for a player in B&I whilst a side like Saracens can afford 800,000 is still an inability to buy or hold onto best players.
The best players, from all Nations, would still be attracted into the heartland, where all the money is.  The best overseas players would still be attracted to the highest salary areas - France+England.  The facilities would only be potentially improved in relation to how they were in Pro12 not in relation to how they would be judged against the mega-wealthy sides in England.
So, you say being in the black is what any pro team should want.  Well all that is relative.  Being successful is what makes fans want to follow these pro sides in the first place.  How would the system be constructed that fringe Nations and sides are allowed compete when the truth is their very isolation or low density populations make the effort always a struggle.  Sinking down in such a league is still more a logical prediction than rising in one.

Wow, that's honest.

So, basically, whilst Leinster and probably Ulster could compete, you don't want a B&I League because the English will always do better.

I'm guessing that you'll campaign for the end of the European Cup, too, on that basis.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:40 am

Sin é wrote:
How much did Ulster have to borrow? You do know that their stadium redevelopment was compliments of the Stormont Executive? For all you know it was a bridging loan. Munster had to raise 40m to redevelop Thomond Park. It would be interesting to see how Leinster & Ulster's finances would look like if they had to do that.

I actually think the IRFU are doing the poor mouth on it. Not too long ago we were hearing that the IRFU couldn't afford to run a 7s team. I also think it suits them to depower the Provinces as it was getting to a stage when people had more loyalty to their Province than to Team Ireland. The IRFU has reserves of 70m, which is amazing considering most other Unions are up to their neck in debt.


What does the Ulster Annual Report say?
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:42 am

Sin é wrote:
Exactly. Matt O'Connor wins the league but still got the sack. None of the fans places much store on the Pro12.

This one is a keeper after all the bull you've written about how seriously the Welsh view the PrO'12.

No wonder Ireland can't generate a decent TV contract.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:43 am

Pot Hale wrote:

Sin - I do know the circumstances of the loan which is why I referenced it.   It's in the Ulster Rugby Annual Report and in IRFU's Annual Reports.  The loan was £2.5m for the Corporate Stand - separate from the grants provided by Stormont.    All of the loan and interest costs were repaid by Ulster from their own resources.   They repaid the final amount early this year due to better cash flow management and seeking obviously to reduce interest due.

You stated previously that Ulster Rugby got Stormont Executive money towards its redevelopment.   And, in contrast, you said that Munster had to raise the €40m all on its own, and that the IRFU has done nothing to help raise money for its 50% in the TP company.   I presume you're aware that Munster Rugby with its 50% stake in the Thomond Park Stadium Company received monies from a number of different sources to meet the €39m development cost.   Even before that cost arose, the IRFU bought out the house owners around the ground who would be affected by the development to the tune of €4.5m.   The Government provided €9m through Lottery grants to the IRFU; and the initial loan from IRFU to Munster was about €11.5m with the potential to increase to €19m for a short period.  Debenture tickets sales for 2008-2018 raised much of the remaining monies.  The IRFU hold 50% of TP Stadium Company Ld against the loan monies it is due.  

In short, upbraiding the IRFU and the Irish Government for not providing help or financial resources doesn't stand up to the facts.

The problem on repaying the remaining debt is that Thomond Park Company is not making money, it's making losses.  That's down to Munster's management, not the IRFU.  And yes I'm sure there's some finger pointing to be done about how the IRFU didn't sanction some match to be played there, but ultimately the buck stops with the club as a business that made this investment, not the Union.  

Problem is that if Munster default on the payment schedule - a big chunk due to be paid next year - how does that affect overall funding for the other provinces?  It'll be interesting to see how much Browne wants to play hardball. He's certainly set his stall out very publicly with his latest statements around the provinces and their various finances.

Maybe that's why he's so exercised in getting people in Irish rugby to focus on developing and improving the PRO 12 - hence why he talked about the potential for a franchise in the US.

And we're back on topic..... Smile

What a superb post and a complete, total, absolute annihilation of Sin e.

Embarrassing.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:45 am

LordDowlais wrote:Notch, it's no wonder the Irish TV companies do not pay as much for the rights to show the Pro12 as others do, not if it is seen as Sine has portrayed it on here.

Quite right, sir.

After all the drivel he/she has written about how the Welsh view the PrO'12, that post reeks of a lack of self awareness. I remember his/her post about how Sky paid for the PrO'12 not to show the 'morgues' of Welsh rugby grounds, only to be shown that Sky showed as many Welsh home games as Irish.

Of course, we didn't get a 'I was wrong' after that, either.

And now, in this thread, he/she has taken another monumental smashing of the drivel he/she produces.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Kingshu on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:47 am

I think that USA Expansion is the best way we can keep up with the spending of the other European Leagues.

Pro rugby has 5 teams and plans to add some Canadian teams as well (there are 4 teams in the Canadian Rugby Championship), with the help off the other unions, you could easily create 12 teams (3 more on East coast), and with the Pro 12 have 4 conferences of 6 (2 each side of the Atlantic) or 6 conferences of 4 etc.

To make it work I wouldn't even mind if we left the RCC, even rearrange it to be a once every 4 years event.


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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:52 am

Kingshu wrote:I think that USA Expansion is the best way we can keep up with the spending of the other European Leagues.

Pro rugby has 5 teams and plans to add some Canadian teams as well (there are 4 teams in the Canadian Rugby Championship), with the help off the other unions, you could easily create 12 teams (3 more on East coast), and with the Pro 12 have 4 conferences of 6 (2 each side of the Atlantic) or 6 conferences of 4 etc.

To make it work I wouldn't even mind if we left the RCC, even rearrange it to be a once every 4 years event.


Why is a USA expansion a better way than having a B&I league?
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:55 am

Because the English don't want or need it.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:57 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Because the English don't want or need it.

Then it is the job of the PrO'12 to change that.

As yet, there is no information to suggest the East Coast of America 'wants or needs it', either.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 9:03 am

Why do you keep writing it as PrO'12?

Surely the job of the Pro 12 is to create the best league they can without pinning their hopes on something that won't happen?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 9:09 am

And your proposed preferred B&I League,as you have just quoted, consists of 16 English and 4 Welsh teams in 2 leagues? Fail to see why this would benefit anyone bar the Welsh in the Pro 12; why would they be trying for this?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Kingshu on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 9:24 am

PhilBB wrote:
Kingshu wrote:I think that USA Expansion is the best way we can keep up with the spending of the other European Leagues.

Pro rugby has 5 teams and plans to add some Canadian teams as well (there are 4 teams in the Canadian Rugby Championship), with the help off the other unions, you could easily create 12 teams (3 more on East coast), and with the Pro 12 have 4 conferences of 6 (2 each side of the Atlantic) or 6 conferences of 4 etc.

To make it work I wouldn't even mind if we left the RCC, even rearrange it to be a once every 4 years event.


Why is a USA expansion a better way than having a B&I league?

I think that someone did post a quote from a Pro 12 spokesperson, that ideally they would like to create a BandI League, but the English teams (and/or Union) are unreceptive to the idea, so the Pro 12 has to look at ways of securing its future.

So USA expansion is a possibility, whereas pursuing a BandI League is flogging a dead horse.

I'm sure that the Pro 12 will keep monitoring the possibility of a BandI league, but can't force one.

It'd be like if Pepsi wanted to a merge with Coca-Cola, and Coca-Cola said "No we're going fine on our own and don't want to merge", Pepsi can't force the merger and aren't going to get anywhere saying, oh please, please, pretty please. Pepsi have to go look after there own sales and maybe something will come up again later down the road.

You seam to want to go down the please, please, pretty please, route which will lead to no where.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 9:41 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Why do you keep writing it as PrO'12?

Surely the job of the Pro 12 is to create the best league they can without pinning their hopes on something that won't happen?

PrO'12 because it favours the Irish.

To answer your question, yes. And that's why they should be making proposals to PRL.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 9:42 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:And your proposed preferred B&I League,as you have just quoted, consists of 16 English and 4 Welsh teams in 2 leagues? Fail to see why this would benefit anyone bar the Welsh in the Pro 12; why would they be trying for this?

You seem to have a reading issue.

My preference, as stated, is for an AW League. That was the question I was asked.

It's not like you to badly conflate issues....oh, hang on.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Notch on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 9:43 am

LordDowlais wrote:Notch, it's no wonder the Irish TV companies do not pay as much for the rights to show the Pro12 as others do, not if it is seen as Sine has portrayed it on here.

Not by me, nor by other season ticket holders at Ulster that I know. It IS our bread and butter. There was even an argument on here last season as to whether we should rest players in Europe to concentrate on the Pro12. Why would we have some of the biggest and most consistently large crowds in the league if there wasn't interest in the league? And thats why you can see that BBC NI have gotten behind the Pro12 in a big, big way. Some fans don't bother with the bread and butter of course, more casual fans who only turn up for the big games. I'm sure if Welsh regions get successful again you'll see people who never go to games trying to get tickets and jumping on the bandwagon. Sure I saw the Millennium Stadium half-empty for Wales international friendlies in the football and now? Bandwagon fans exist everywhere mate.

In Munster the situation may very well be different and I think that is at the heart of their current financial plight- without European success the interest isn't there. But Munster is different from the other Irish provinces in this. Their attendances are falling as fans maybe don't see it as their bread and butter, but Ulster and Connacht have crowds that are rising for Pro12 games. Just saying the Irish this and the Irish that makes it out as if we are some homogenous blob. We're a nation of natural contrarians who often hold radically different, strong opinions. I think the collective noun for a group of Irishmen is a disagreement so don't be taking one persons view and making generalisations from that.

As for Irish TV companies, they just have less money than the BBC. Thats just a function of Ireland having a weaker economy than the UK and their state-funded broadcaster having less support. In years to come, as the Tories squeeze the BBC, we'll come to realise how lucky we were that the BBC was generously funded for so long. Those days are maybe going to come to an end. You have to ask though, would Sky Sports have been interested in the Pro12 if it wasn't for Munster and Leinster attracting a mass audience for them when they had the rights to the old Heineken Cup? Its swings and roundabouts as far as I can tell.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 9:44 am

Kingshu wrote:

I think that someone did post a quote from a Pro 12 spokesperson, that ideally they would like to create a BandI League, but the English teams (and/or Union) are unreceptive to the idea, so the Pro 12 has to look at ways of securing its future.

So USA expansion is a possibility, whereas pursuing a BandI League is flogging a dead horse.

I'm sure that the Pro 12 will keep monitoring the possibility of a BandI league, but can't force one.

It'd be like if Pepsi wanted to a merge with Coca-Cola, and Coca-Cola said "No we're going fine on our own and don't want to merge", Pepsi can't force the merger and aren't going to get anywhere saying, oh please, please, pretty please. Pepsi have to go look after there own sales and maybe something will come up again later down the road.

You seam to want to go down the please, please, pretty please, route which will lead to no where.

No, no. It's not 'flogging a dead horse' at all. Let's be honest about it.

This alleged wanted expansion is about control. Look at how the nature of the team was described - with the blazers choosing the players, coaches etc.

It's not about commercial sense or about what is achievable - it's about what the Irish Blazers won't give up.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 9:44 am

PhilBB wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:And your proposed preferred B&I League,as you have just quoted, consists of 16 English and 4 Welsh teams in 2 leagues? Fail to see why this would benefit anyone bar the Welsh in the Pro 12; why would they be trying for this?

You seem to have a reading issue.

My preference, as stated, is for an AW League. That was the question I was asked.

It's not like you to badly conflate issues....oh, hang on.

You were talking B&I league and how to avoid relegation, easy to mistake to make.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 9:45 am

PhilBB wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Why do you keep writing it as PrO'12?

Surely the job of the Pro 12 is to create the best league they can without pinning their hopes on something that won't happen?

PrO'12 because it favours the Irish.

To answer your question, yes. And that's why they should be making proposals to PRL.

So you would prefer to give in adn try to get the English to give you money then. Why on earth do you think the English wouldn't use this desperation to get all the power?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 10:00 am

And also the obvious point I've missed there is that doing the best for the league includes all members of that; you forgot the Italians.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 10:01 am

Unless of course the I is for Italians and your dislike of the Irish has grown that much?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by St John The Enforcer on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 10:46 am

Sin é wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
St John The Enforcer wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Its a fact about the GAA - the League is used as a warmup for the All Ireland Championship.
Leinster tried hard to win the league one year,


That's complete horse, dog and pony schidt.

Leinster tried hard to win the League EVERY year since Gary Ella in 03/04. They have only finished outside the top 3 ONCE in the intervening 12 seasons (And that was last year) The 2 defeats to the Ospreys were hard to take especially the 2nd one (the week after the All Ireland Final in Twickenham) where we were pipped at the death.

Just coz Munster couldn't be arsed a lot of the time don't make up some tenuous bullschidt from Gaa that covers the whole Island of Ireland.
Leinster have tried to win the league every year but it has always played second fiddle to Europe, I think that's what Sine was alluding to. Leinster's coaches have always been judged by how they did in Europe.

Exactly. Matt O'Connor wins the league but still got the sack. None of the fans places much store on the Pro12.

More Horseschidt. MOC got the sack weeks after he lost a Euro semi in extra time to the eventual winners but came 5th in the league. (as I said the only time that we have been outside the top 3 in 12 seasons) We were a few inches away from a Euro final with a Gopperth dropper.

Only the most casual of Leinster fans "don't place much store" on the league. I would guess Ulster too. Take a trip over to Galway and take the temperature of a few Connacht fans on how they feel about the league right now......

Trying to project stuff onto this situation from Gaa doesn't make it true. Only in your head.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Irish Londoner on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 11:00 am

PhilBB wrote:
Kingshu wrote:

I think that someone did post a quote from a Pro 12 spokesperson, that ideally they would like to create a BandI League, but the English teams (and/or Union) are unreceptive to the idea, so the Pro 12 has to look at ways of securing its future.

So USA expansion is a possibility, whereas pursuing a BandI League is flogging a dead horse.

I'm sure that the Pro 12 will keep monitoring the possibility of a BandI league, but can't force one.

It'd be like if Pepsi wanted to a merge with Coca-Cola, and Coca-Cola said "No we're going fine on our own and don't want to merge", Pepsi can't force the merger and aren't going to get anywhere saying, oh please, please, pretty please. Pepsi have to go look after there own sales and maybe something will come up again later down the road.

You seam to want to go down the please, please, pretty please, route which will lead to no where.

No, no. It's not 'flogging a dead horse' at all. Let's be honest about it.

This alleged wanted expansion is about control. Look at how the nature of the team was described - with the blazers choosing the players, coaches etc.

It's not about commercial sense or about what is achievable - it's about what the Irish Blazers won't give up.

So once again Phil, we're at the point where everything is the fault of the Irish and the poor Welsh have no responsibility for the state of their game ? Why does the governance of Irish rugby vex you so much, how Irish rugby is run has zero effect on how Welsh teams play or how they are funded, in fact as they bring the most TV money to the table why aren't the WRU dominating the way the PRO12 is being run, if I was running the EU I'd be getting the IRFU reps on the Brexit negotiating team as they'd be able to run rings around BoJo and Letwin and get the EU a deal that even Merkel couldn't !

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Dai Llewod on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 11:39 am

Irish Londoner wrote:

So once again Phil, we're at the point where everything is the fault of the Irish and the poor Welsh have no responsibility for the state of their game ? Why does the governance of Irish rugby vex you so much, how Irish rugby is run has zero effect on how Welsh teams play or how they are funded, in fact as they bring the most TV money to the table why aren't the WRU dominating the way the PRO12 is being run, if I was running the EU I'd be getting the IRFU reps on the Brexit negotiating team as they'd be able to run rings around BoJo and Letwin and get the EU a deal that even Merkel couldn't !

I believe this underlined section is one of the most misunderstood in modern rugby. How Irish rugby is run has a massive effect on any player, spectator and club that is involved in the Pro12 league. I'm a big believer in the idea that in order to watch your idols play on the pitch, you should really understand the mechanisms that get them there in the first place. I.e. - The governance and underlying structures that enable the teams and competitions to be played in the first place.

Therefore, how the Unions that run the league fund their rugby has a massive bearing on all other teams in the league. Massive. From the way the fixtures pan out, to the employment of officials / players, to the criteria involved in hosting the final to the comparison of where teams end up in the league table comparatively to other richer / poorer teams.

If you don't have an interest in how your team and the team you are playing against exist in pro rugby, then how can you possibly begin to come to a conclusion of how well your team has done at the end of the match?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 11:49 am

Pot Hale wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Munchkin wrote:What was a bridging loan?

Just pointing out that Pot Hale doesn't know the circumstances of the Ulster loan. It could have been the loan David Humphreys got 6 or 7 years ago or it could have been a loan to do some work on Ravenhill and the loan was a bridging loan until the funds came in from Stormont.

Ah, fair enough. I know Ulster were given an IRFU loan for the first stand (2009?), although much of the £4.5m costs were raised by Ulster Rugby.

Sin - I do know the circumstances of the loan which is why I referenced it.   It's in the Ulster Rugby Annual Report and in IRFU's Annual Reports.  The loan was £2.5m for the Corporate Stand - separate from the grants provided by Stormont.    All of the loan and interest costs were repaid by Ulster from their own resources.   They repaid the final amount early this year due to better cash flow management and seeking obviously to reduce interest due.

You stated previously that Ulster Rugby got Stormont Executive money towards its redevelopment.   And, in contrast, you said that Munster had to raise the €40m all on its own, and that the IRFU has done nothing to help raise money for its 50% in the TP company.   I presume you're aware that Munster Rugby with its 50% stake in the Thomond Park Stadium Company received monies from a number of different sources to meet the €39m development cost.   Even before that cost arose, the IRFU bought out the house owners around the ground who would be affected by the development to the tune of €4.5m.   The Government provided €9m through Lottery grants to the IRFU; and the initial loan from IRFU to Munster was about €11.5m with the potential to increase to €19m for a short period.  Debenture tickets sales for 2008-2018 raised much of the remaining monies.  The IRFU hold 50% of TP Stadium Company Ld against the loan monies it is due.  

The Stormont Gov. had the money which they had to split up between the 3 major sports in NI. The difference is that Munster had to apply for grants, use sale of 10/5 year seats. Thomond Park was a much bigger project than Ravenhill and required more resources. The redevelopment of Musgrave would have been similar in scale to Ravenhill which Munster accomplished with no debt incurred.

The initial loan from IRFU to Munster was €15m which Munster has repaid €6m todate. I don't think there were any freebies from the IRFU. The sale of 5/10 year tickets are up next year, so Munster should be able to pay off some of it. Since the IRFU blocked Munster from hosting touring teams and selling off the naming rights of Lansdowne Road to Aviva which stipulated that no internationals could be played outside of the Aviva (by the way, Ulster have taken a hit on this one. Lucky Ulster that you didn't have a large loan hanging around your neck to service.

In short, upbraiding the IRFU and the Irish Government for not providing help or financial resources doesn't stand up to the facts.

I'm not and never have upbraided the Irish Gov/Shannon Dev. or Limerick City Council for lack of support of Munster Rugby whom Munster did apply for and received grants towards the redevelopment of Thomond Park. They also applied and received grants from National Lottery for the refurbishment of Musgrave Park.

Just the IRFU for pulling the rug from underneath Munster's feet. In contrast to the IRFU, GAA Croke Park are investing €20m into Pairc Ui Chaomh (which will be a major part of Ireland's Rugby World Cup bid for 2023). The GAA granted €1m for a stand in a ground in New York and I think 18m is earmarked for the redevelopment of Casement Park.

The problem on repaying the remaining debt is that Thomond Park Company is not making money, it's making losses.  That's down to Munster's management, not the IRFU.  And yes I'm sure there's some finger pointing to be done about how the IRFU didn't sanction some match to be played there, but ultimately the buck stops with the club as a business that made this investment, not the Union.  

If the IRFU refuse to allow Munster to host touring teams and international fixtures which they agreed to do before Thomond Park was redeveloped to benefit the annual 2-3m loss making Aviva which they own a 50% share with FAI and which their share of the losses are burried while Munster, an IRFU Province gets to take care of the IRFU losses as well as their own.

Problem is that if Munster default on the payment schedule - a big chunk due to be paid next year - how does that affect overall funding for the other provinces?  It'll be interesting to see how much Browne wants to play hardball. He's certainly set his stall out very publicly with his latest statements around the provinces and their various finances.

Despite the IRFU having reserves of 70m, no doubt Munster will be blamed for any more cuts. Browne is just covering up the IRFU mismanagement of the Aviva. Browne is playing the poor mouth - unfortunately the Provinces have to go along with it. Basically, they are just trying to get more money out of the supporters.

Maybe that's why he's so exercised in getting people in Irish rugby to focus on developing and improving the PRO 12 - hence why he talked about the potential for a franchise in the US.

From what I can see the IRFU are doing their best to screw the fans.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Irish Londoner on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:03 pm

Dai Llewod wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

So once again Phil, we're at the point where everything is the fault of the Irish and the poor Welsh have no responsibility for the state of their game ? Why does the governance of Irish rugby vex you so much, how Irish rugby is run has zero effect on how Welsh teams play or how they are funded, in fact as they bring the most TV money to the table why aren't the WRU dominating the way the PRO12 is being run, if I was running the EU I'd be getting the IRFU reps on the Brexit negotiating team as they'd be able to run rings around BoJo and Letwin and get the EU a deal that even Merkel couldn't !

I believe this underlined section is one of the most misunderstood in modern rugby. How Irish rugby is run has a massive effect on any player, spectator and club that is involved in the Pro12 league. I'm a big believer in the idea that in order to watch your idols play on the pitch, you should really understand the mechanisms that get them there in the first place. I.e. - The governance and underlying structures that enable the teams and competitions to be played in the first place.

Therefore, how the Unions that run the league fund their rugby has a massive bearing on all other teams in the league. Massive. From the way the fixtures pan out, to the employment of officials / players, to the criteria involved in hosting the final to the comparison of where teams end up in the league table comparatively to other richer / poorer teams.

If you don't have an interest in how your team and the team you are playing against exist in pro rugby, then how can you possibly begin to come to a conclusion of how well your team has done at the end of the match?

I agree Dai to a point - a discussion on the morals of sport funding might be more appropriate to Premier League football rather than rugby, however in both cases I doubt many fans are bothered who pays for it as long as their team is doing well - but my perspective is that some people think that changing the way Irish rugby is funded (which near as make no difference is pretty similar to how Scottish pro rugby is funded) will change things for Welsh rugby. Therefore my take on the issue is that Wales need to sort their house out rather than tell everyone else how they sort theirs.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:04 pm

St John The Enforcer wrote:
Sin é wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
St John The Enforcer wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Its a fact about the GAA - the League is used as a warmup for the All Ireland Championship.
Leinster tried hard to win the league one year,


That's complete horse, dog and pony schidt.

Leinster tried hard to win the League EVERY year since Gary Ella in 03/04. They have only finished outside the top 3 ONCE in the intervening 12 seasons (And that was last year) The 2 defeats to the Ospreys were hard to take especially the 2nd one (the week after the All Ireland Final in Twickenham) where we were pipped at the death.

Just coz Munster couldn't be arsed a lot of the time don't make up some tenuous bullschidt from Gaa that covers the whole Island of Ireland.
Leinster have tried to win the league every year but it has always played second fiddle to Europe, I think that's what Sine was alluding to. Leinster's coaches have always been judged by how they did in Europe.

Exactly. Matt O'Connor wins the league but still got the sack. None of the fans places much store on the Pro12.

More Horseschidt. MOC got the sack weeks after he lost a Euro semi in extra time to the eventual winners but came 5th in the league. (as I said the only time that we have been outside the top 3 in 12 seasons) We were a few inches away from a Euro final with a Gopperth dropper.

Only the most casual of Leinster fans "don't place much store" on the league. I would guess Ulster too. Take a trip over to Galway and take the temperature of a few Connacht fans on how they feel about the league right now......

Trying to project stuff onto this situation from Gaa doesn't make it true. Only in your head.

Maybe in south county Dublin where there is little or no interest in GAA. For feic sake, the only think they are interested in is the Schools Cup and Heineken Cup (in that order). The main interest in southside GAA comes from 1st/2nd generation culchies while the core Dublin GAA support is northside Dublin who are not that interested in rugby anyway - English soccer is their winter sport.

Connacht's average attendance is about 5K (when not playing Munster or Leinster/knockouts). Financially, they are probably not viable.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Dai Llewod on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:11 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Dai Llewod wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

So once again Phil, we're at the point where everything is the fault of the Irish and the poor Welsh have no responsibility for the state of their game ? Why does the governance of Irish rugby vex you so much, how Irish rugby is run has zero effect on how Welsh teams play or how they are funded, in fact as they bring the most TV money to the table why aren't the WRU dominating the way the PRO12 is being run, if I was running the EU I'd be getting the IRFU reps on the Brexit negotiating team as they'd be able to run rings around BoJo and Letwin and get the EU a deal that even Merkel couldn't !

I believe this underlined section is one of the most misunderstood in modern rugby. How Irish rugby is run has a massive effect on any player, spectator and club that is involved in the Pro12 league. I'm a big believer in the idea that in order to watch your idols play on the pitch, you should really understand the mechanisms that get them there in the first place. I.e. - The governance and underlying structures that enable the teams and competitions to be played in the first place.

Therefore, how the Unions that run the league fund their rugby has a massive bearing on all other teams in the league. Massive. From the way the fixtures pan out, to the employment of officials / players, to the criteria involved in hosting the final to the comparison of where teams end up in the league table comparatively to other richer / poorer teams.

If you don't have an interest in how your team and the team you are playing against exist in pro rugby, then how can you possibly begin to come to a conclusion of how well your team has done at the end of the match?

I agree Dai to a point - a discussion on the morals of sport funding might be more appropriate to Premier League football rather than rugby, however in both cases I doubt many fans are bothered who pays for it as long as their team is doing well - but my perspective is that some people think that changing the way Irish rugby is funded (which near as make no difference is pretty similar to how Scottish pro rugby is funded) will change things for Welsh rugby. Therefore my take on the issue is that Wales need to sort their house out rather than tell everyone else how they sort theirs.

You can't have it two ways. If you expect fans not to care about finances and governance of Irish, Scottish, Welsh rugby then I don't expect to hear a peep out of them when discussing French domestic rugby and the likes of competing against Toulon.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:14 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Notch, it's no wonder the Irish TV companies do not pay as much for the rights to show the Pro12 as others do, not if it is seen as Sine has portrayed it on here.

Competing on sports rights has been a losing game for Irish TV companies for some time now when competing against the likes of Sky Sports, BBC, ITV, etc.  

BBC Wales, BBC NI, BBC Alba have access to much greater funding than either RTE or TG4 (who also receive licence fee monies) do.   So it's no surprise to me that the regional broadcasters pay more for something that is dedicated to their region.    

The situation in ROI may change the next time around with changes that have occurred within TV ownership and through mobile/boradband ownership interests.   The private TV company, TV3, which bid successfully for RWC 2015 has been bought out from its previous owners, and is now under the same wing as UPc which was bought by Virgin Media.  

Another platform owner, Eir, has bought out Setanta and aims to deliver content through its ownership of mobile, landline and broadband.   Setanta has exclusive sports content in the Republic, including live English Premier League games, Uefa Champions League and Europa League matches, the English FA Cup, European Rugby Champions Cup games, all Formula One races, live Allianz League GAA games, Irish schools rugby, UFC and the Masters golf.  They also carry BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe and BT Sport ESPN up to 2019.   Eir Sports have just won the rights for the RWC 2019, and they're also the broadcaster for the Women's RWC being held in Ireland next year.

So Republic of Ireland doesn't have wealthy public state broadcasters who can compete - that includes both RTE and TG4.   Maybe the new entrants can create a more competitive environment.  However, Eir/Setanta is pay per view, whilst Virgin Media/TV3 is an FTA broadcaster.  Sky may have a different commercial view on it as the current primary broadcaster.


Last edited by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Kingshu on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:17 pm

Getting back to the point and away from PhillBB's frustration that the IRFU won't set up an Anglo-Welsh league and ditch the Provinces.

USA Rugby's income is about 1/3 for the SRU, I'm guessing that Canadian Rugby is about the same, so thinking on it, we really can't expect them to be able to host 12 teams between them.
I do think that a conference Pro 12 with USA and Canadian teams will generate the Unions more money over time, as interest grows and National teams improve it should create a knock on positive effect.

Maybe 6 teams, with the assistance of the Pro 12 Unions would be a start.

Players, coaches, know how etc, maybe each union sorta is associated with one team at the start, Like a Boston Irish, New York Welsh (they wouldn't use these names) and its treated as a bit of a 5th Province/Region in partnership with USA rugby?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:22 pm

Notch wrote:You have to ask though, would Sky Sports have been interested in the Pro12 if it wasn't for Munster and Leinster attracting a mass audience for them when they had the rights to the old Heineken Cup? Its swings and roundabouts as far as I can tell.

Notch whilst I do not disagree that Leinster and Munster were a big draw for Sky, I very much doubt they were the main reason for Sky taking on the Pro12. Firstly, Wales has a massive tele audience for rugby, perhaps that was taken into account, secondly they were losing the Aviva to BT Sport so they needed something else, and thirdly, and I could be miles off with this, but people just watched more of the Irish teams as they were always getting the furthest, I know I would have watched the later rounds of the HC no matter who was playing, just because it was an Irish team did not make any difference to me.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Dai Llewod on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:24 pm

Kingshu wrote:Getting back to the point and away from PhillBB's frustration that the IRFU won't set up an Anglo-Welsh league and ditch the Provinces.

USA Rugby's income is about 1/3 for the SRU, I'm guessing that Canadian Rugby is about the same, so thinking on it, we really can't expect them to be able to host 12 teams between them.
I do think that a conference Pro 12 with USA and Canadian teams will generate the Unions more money over time, as interest grows and National teams improve it should create a knock on positive effect.

Maybe 6 teams, with the assistance of the Pro 12 Unions would be a start.

Players, coaches, know how etc, maybe each union sorta is associated with one team at the start, Like a Boston Irish, New York Welsh (they wouldn't use these names) and its treated as a bit of a 5th Province/Region in partnership with USA rugby?

If any of that gets off the ground I'd be amazed. It's complete fantasy. A British and Irish League has more chance of happenning than that!

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:26 pm

Pot Hale wrote:So Republic of Ireland doesn't have wealthy public state broadcasters who can compete - that includes both RTE and TG4. Maybe the new entrants can create a more competitive environment. However, Eir/Setanta is pay per view, whilst Virgin Media/TV3 is an FTA broadcaster. Sky may have a different commercial view on it as the current primary broadcaster.

I remember Setanta paying a small fortune not so long ago for football and rugby until they decided to pull the plug. Also how much do the Irish TV companies pay for other sports compared to rugby ?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:28 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Dai Llewod wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

So once again Phil, we're at the point where everything is the fault of the Irish and the poor Welsh have no responsibility for the state of their game ? Why does the governance of Irish rugby vex you so much, how Irish rugby is run has zero effect on how Welsh teams play or how they are funded, in fact as they bring the most TV money to the table why aren't the WRU dominating the way the PRO12 is being run, if I was running the EU I'd be getting the IRFU reps on the Brexit negotiating team as they'd be able to run rings around BoJo and Letwin and get the EU a deal that even Merkel couldn't !

I believe this underlined section is one of the most misunderstood in modern rugby. How Irish rugby is run has a massive effect on any player, spectator and club that is involved in the Pro12 league. I'm a big believer in the idea that in order to watch your idols play on the pitch, you should really understand the mechanisms that get them there in the first place. I.e. - The governance and underlying structures that enable the teams and competitions to be played in the first place.

Therefore, how the Unions that run the league fund their rugby has a massive bearing on all other teams in the league. Massive. From the way the fixtures pan out, to the employment of officials / players, to the criteria involved in hosting the final to the comparison of where teams end up in the league table comparatively to other richer / poorer teams.

If you don't have an interest in how your team and the team you are playing against exist in pro rugby, then how can you possibly begin to come to a conclusion of how well your team has done at the end of the match?

I agree Dai to a point - a discussion on the morals of sport funding might be more appropriate to Premier League football rather than rugby, however in both cases I doubt many fans are bothered who pays for it as long as their team is doing well - but my perspective is that some people think that changing the way Irish rugby is funded (which near as make no difference is pretty similar to how Scottish pro rugby is funded) will change things for Welsh rugby. Therefore my take on the issue is that Wales need to sort their house out rather than tell everyone else how they sort theirs.

I don't agree. Phil here can't stop complaining about the IRFU funding the Provinces, Saracens & Bath get a fair bit of stick for how they are funded, while Leicester & Northampton are admired. Leinster has got some criticism about Denis O'Brien & Shubottom's gift to Leinster (both have question marks over their business dealings).

I do agree that the Welsh have to sort their own house out though. The way the other 3 countries are funded in the PRO12 has nothing to do with them. Its only an excuse to cover up that there is little or no interest in the Regions.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:38 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So Republic of Ireland doesn't have wealthy public state broadcasters who can compete - that includes both RTE and TG4.   Maybe the new entrants can create a more competitive environment.  However, Eir/Setanta is pay per view, whilst Virgin Media/TV3 is an FTA broadcaster.  Sky may have a different commercial view on it as the current primary broadcaster.

I remember Setanta paying a small fortune not so long ago for football and rugby until they decided to pull the plug. Also how much do the Irish TV companies pay for other sports compared to rugby ?

RTE (the state broadcaster) has just announced losses €2.8m. At this stage they have lost most sport broadcasting. GAA is their main sporting gig now, but that is probably because the GAA want to keep it there as they do a very good job of it.

Eir (formerly the state owned telecoms organisation) have bought Setanta sport. They are following the BT model of free sport with their broadband. The problem with this though is that Virgin Media will not carry Eir's sports channels.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:42 pm

OK Sin é, but how much are TV companies in Ireland paying for other sport compared to rugby ? I bet there are massive differences.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:43 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Notch wrote:You have to ask though, would Sky Sports have been interested in the Pro12 if it wasn't for Munster and Leinster attracting a mass audience for them when they had the rights to the old Heineken Cup? Its swings and roundabouts as far as I can tell.

Notch whilst I do not disagree that Leinster and Munster were a big draw for Sky, I very much doubt they were the main reason for Sky taking on the Pro12. Firstly, Wales has a massive tele audience for rugby, perhaps that was taken into account, secondly they were losing the Aviva to BT Sport so they needed something else, and thirdly, and I could be miles off with this, but people just watched more of the Irish teams as they were always getting the furthest, I know I would have watched the later rounds of the HC no matter who was playing, just because it was an Irish team did not make any difference to me.

Without a doubt, Leinster and Munster's success in the H Cup made them a valuable component in assessing the PRO12 rights. As you rightly point out, Sky needed an alternative to the Premiership when they lost out to BT. The league has a British & Irish footprint. There's about 700k subscribers in the ROI, and I think about 1 million in Scotland. I don't know figures for Wales or NI.

It's likely that negotiation for the next deal will get underway this season as the current deal ends in 2017/18 season. It'll be interesting to see what Sky is willing to put forward at that point.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:46 pm

Pot Hale wrote:There's about 700k subscribers in the ROI, and I think about 1 million in Scotland

And most of them probably subscribe for the football.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:49 pm

LordDowlais wrote:OK Sin é, but how much are TV companies in Ireland paying for other sport compared to rugby ? I bet there are massive differences.

Which sports?
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:51 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Which sports?

All others, football, cricket, GAA, ect.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:12 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Which sports?

All others, football, cricket, GAA, ect.

Eh, why don't you research it as opposed to expecting someone else will do it for you?    

What's the conclusion that you're hoping to reach?

That some sports are more popular than others, and people are willing to pay more? E.g. GAA and Soccer.

You'd be right.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:15 pm

In Ireland in 2013:
CEO of Sky Ireland wrote:
“We see great potential here,” he said. “Ireland has been a great, great market for us and more than 2 million homes here tune into Sky channels each week.”
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:16 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Eh, why don't you research it as opposed to expecting someone else will do it for you?

I do not know the ins and outs of Irish tele. I do not know what channels show what sports.

Pot Hale wrote:That some sports are more popular than others, and people are willing to pay more?

So money for the Irish broadcasters is not an issue then, like most are claiming, they just chose not to pay as much for rugby ?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:18 pm

Sin é wrote:In Ireland in 2013:
CEO of Sky Ireland wrote:
“We see great potential here,” he said. “Ireland has been a great, great market for us and more than 2 million homes here tune into Sky channels each week.”

of those 2 million, how many people pay for the rugby compared to Premiership football ?

This is why Sky Sports are not a stable ground to base your arguments on. BBC Wales pay a lot for the Pro12.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:22 pm

LordDowlais wrote:OK Sin é, but how much are TV companies in Ireland paying for other sport compared to rugby ? I bet there are massive differences.

Not much. GAA would never leave FTA tv and RTE know that. They have put a few League Games exclusive to Sky, but the GAA's main aim with the provision of GAA on Sky was to service the Irish in the UK and elsewhere. Sky need programmes to broadcast as well and they have said that one of the business channel's they were pursuing is niche sports (rather than football, golf etc).

Golf would be very popular as well here.
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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Irish Londoner on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:24 pm

Dai Llewod wrote:You can't have it two ways. If you expect fans not to care about finances and governance of Irish, Scottish, Welsh rugby then I don't expect to hear a peep out of them when discussing French domestic rugby and the likes of competing against Toulon.
To be honest Dai, I think it's the fans of English clubs who are more concerned with what the French are spending, particularly in relation/comparison to the English salary cap. My only concern is the damage that will be done to French international rugby as the policy of spending big on big name imported stars rather than developing young players will have on the international side. E.G. like the English football premier league.
Regardless of anything else there is no possible business plan (other than a Wray "sugardaddy" type of owner) that is ever going to make a PRO12 side anything like the financial equal of the French, so we have to be smarter not richer to compete.
In real terms even if the salary cap was lifted in England, outside of Saracens, Bath and maybe Wasps there are no other teams with the financial backing to go toe to toe  in matching what the top French teams pay, it's only the "to play for England you stay in England" rule that stops a lot of players going there.
I expect fans to question funding and governance of their own clubs, union etc. but fail to see how that concern about their own conditions then extrapolates into "why are someone else doing things differently, that's not fair, they have to change to be like us!" - the point still stands, how does changing the Irish club structure make any difference to Welsh rugby ?


Last edited by Irish Londoner on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

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