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.


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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:28 pm

Sin é wrote:
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.

So is rugby the highest paid for sport by the Irish TV broadcasters ? For some reason I do not think so.

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

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:31 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
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.

A mixture I'd say. Heineken Cup would have been very popular, golf would be very popular, Racing would be very popular. Irish people watch a lot of sport.

BBC Wales can afford it. Rugby is meant to be Wales' national sport so the BBC have a certain responsibility to provide access to it. GAA is the national sport of ROI so the state broadcaster has to invest in it.

By the way, BBC FTA in Wales affects everyone else. Sky would pay more for exclusive rights to 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, 1:34 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Sin é wrote:
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.

So is rugby the highest paid for sport by the Irish TV broadcasters ? For some reason I do not think so.

I don't know what you are getting at here. My guess is that for someone like Sky to be successful in Ireland they would need to have a variety of sports available.

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:35 pm

Sin é wrote:A mixture I'd say. Heineken Cup would have been very popular, golf would be very popular, Racing would be very popular. Irish people watch a lot of sport.

That is why your Sky Sports argument does not hold a lot of ground, because you are paying for a package, not a single sport.

We need to be comparing FTA broadcasters, why can't any of you tell me what the Irish free to air broadcasters pay for other sports besides rugby ?

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:38 pm

Sin é wrote:I don't know what you are getting at here. My guess is that for someone like Sky to be successful in Ireland they would need to have a variety of sports available.

Ahhhhrrrgg, come on, it's not difficult. People will watch the rugby on Sky as they have bought it for the football. Free to air channels will pay for other sports to get people watching their channel.

Now, how much do the Irish free to air channels pay for the Pro12 compared to Irish football, GAA, Cricket 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, 1:42 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Sin é wrote:I don't know what you are getting at here. My guess is that for someone like Sky to be successful in Ireland they would need to have a variety of sports available.

Ahhhhrrrgg, come on, it's not difficult. People will watch the rugby on Sky as they have bought it for the football. Free to air channels will pay for other sports to get people watching their channel.

Now, how much do the Irish free to air channels pay for the Pro12 compared to Irish football, GAA, Cricket ect. ?


It's not difficult to go research it yourself. That's what anyone else has to do.

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:45 pm

Pot Hale wrote:It's not difficult to go research it yourself. That's what anyone else has to do.

Because I do not know what Irish channels air what sport. You live in Ireland, you know, I seriously have doubts over this BBC Wales has more money to spend than all the Irish channels bollox that we are getting told.

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

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:56 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:It's not difficult to go research it yourself. That's what anyone else has to do.

Because I do not know what Irish channels air what sport. You live in Ireland, you know, I seriously have doubts over this BBC Wales has more money to spend than all the Irish channels bollox that we are getting told.

You're just lazy is what you mean.

You asked "how much do the Irish free to air channels pay for the Pro12 compared to Irish football, GAA, Cricket ect. ?"

Go to the PRO12 website and look up the broadcasters. How many Irish ones can you see? Hint: One

Here's a list of the Irish FTA broadcasters: RTE, TV3, TG4. Hint: It's not RTE or TV3.

Now go on to google and search for TV rights [insert sport] Ireland and see what you come up with.


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

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:01 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Sin é wrote:A mixture I'd say. Heineken Cup would have been very popular, golf would be very popular, Racing would be very popular. Irish people watch a lot of sport.

That is why your Sky Sports argument does not hold a lot of ground, because you are paying for a package, not a single sport.

We need to be comparing FTA broadcasters, why can't any of you tell me what the Irish free to air broadcasters pay for other sports besides rugby ?

All sport, bar GAA & League of Ireland football and PRO12 are on pay tv.

As I've explained to you, GAA is national sport and it is considered important that it is on FTA.
League of Ireland football isn't that popular.
Then there is the PRO12 (which isn't that popular anyway). There is no English football / highlights programme anymore. We used to have Champions League, but I think thats gone now.

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

Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:04 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Sin é wrote:I don't know what you are getting at here. My guess is that for someone like Sky to be successful in Ireland they would need to have a variety of sports available.

Ahhhhrrrgg, come on, it's not difficult. People will watch the rugby on Sky as they have bought it for the football. Free to air channels will pay for other sports to get people watching their channel.

Now, how much do the Irish free to air channels pay for the Pro12 compared to Irish football, GAA, Cricket ect. ?

Let's get one thing absolutely straight here, cricket doesn't get paid for by any Irish free to air channel. Cricket is cricket, a pest that needs eradicating coz it's noisy and can sometimes eat more than it pays for.

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:08 pm

Pot Hale wrote:You're just lazy is what you mean.

Hang on, is this the same Pot Hale that wrote a whole article on people getting HIM advice, rather than going to find it himself ? Or are there two Pot Hales on here now ?

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:10 pm

Sin é wrote:Then there is the PRO12 (which isn't that popular anyway).

So how come the Irish are such a big draw for Sky Sports then ?

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

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:10 pm

SecretFly wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Sin é wrote:I don't know what you are getting at here. My guess is that for someone like Sky to be successful in Ireland they would need to have a variety of sports available.

Ahhhhrrrgg, come on, it's not difficult. People will watch the rugby on Sky as they have bought it for the football. Free to air channels will pay for other sports to get people watching their channel.

Now, how much do the Irish free to air channels pay for the Pro12 compared to Irish football, GAA, Cricket ect. ?

Let's get one thing absolutely straight here, cricket doesn't get paid for by any Irish free to air channel.  Cricket is cricket, a pest that needs eradicating coz it's noisy and can sometimes eat more than it pays for.

Ah now I get it, I was wondering why he wanted to know how much RTE paid for disposable lighters....


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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:11 pm

And here comes the Irish sarcasm instead of debating properly. Rolling Eyes

You all know what I am getting at, but you would rather not answer, and live in the belief that the Welsh/WRU are all that is wrong with the Pro12. Rolling Eyes

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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, 2:14 pm

Why do the Welsh go to the BBC anyway, just a friendly agreement by the Union?

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:16 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Why do the Welsh go to the BBC anyway, just a friendly agreement by the Union?

Because that is our free to air channel, along with S4C. HTV/ITV is more of a national thing that we cannot control. I think.

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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, 2:19 pm

Course you can, don't believe it comes under any ruling on what has to be shown free to air. Union sells the rights don't they so just wanted to know if it's a deal wherevy they say to the rest you can't sell the rights to Welsh rugby we do that ourselves then ensure that it goes free to air (as I doubt the Welsh BBC could outbid others), or whether no one has ever tried to het permission to sell the combined rights?

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

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:22 pm

What used be the Heineken Cup is the big draw for the Irish. I'd imagine Sky are attracted because Guinness sponsor the league and they have deep pockets and they do need content as well.

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:22 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Course you can, don't believe it comes under any ruling on what has to be shown free to air. Union sells the rights don't they so just wanted to know if it's a deal wherevy they say to the rest you can't sell the rights to Welsh rugby we do that ourselves then ensure that it goes free to air (as I doubt the Welsh BBC could outbid others), or whether no one has ever tried to het permission to sell the combined rights?

On the other hand, who is to say the did not go to HTV/ITV as well ? They may have, but BBC Wales paid more.OK

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

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:24 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Why do the Welsh go to the BBC anyway, just a friendly agreement by the Union?

Because that is our free to air channel, along with S4C. HTV/ITV is more of a national thing that we cannot control. I think.


Ireland can get all those channel's as FTA - so your lucrative deal with the BBC affects everyone else in the UK & Ireland.

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:25 pm

Sin é wrote:What used be the Heineken Cup is the big draw for the Irish. I'd imagine Sky are attracted because Guinness sponsor the league and they have deep pockets and they do need content as well.

People in Ireland but Sky Sports for the football, not the Pro12. You have said yourself, the Pro12 is not popular in Ireland, so Sky did not buy it for the Irish audience.

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

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:26 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Course you can, don't believe it comes under any ruling on what has to be shown free to air. Union sells the rights don't they so just wanted to know if it's a deal wherevy they say to the rest you can't sell the rights to Welsh rugby we do that ourselves then ensure that it goes free to air (as I doubt the Welsh BBC could outbid others), or whether no one has ever tried to het permission to sell the combined rights?

The TV rights for the PRO12 are negotiated by Celtic Rugby Ltd.


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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:27 pm

Sin é wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Why do the Welsh go to the BBC anyway, just a friendly agreement by the Union?

Because that is our free to air channel, along with S4C. HTV/ITV is more of a national thing that we cannot control. I think.


Ireland can get all those channel's as FTA - so your lucrative deal with the BBC affects everyone else in the UK & Ireland.


What has that got to do with anything ?

The facts are that Irish broadcasters pay more for other sports than they pay for the Pro12. So it is not a money thing. The Irish/Scottish/Italian TV deals are holding the Pro12 back.

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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, 2:27 pm

Thanks Pot, so they've deliberately split the coverage?

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

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:30 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Sin é wrote:What used be the Heineken Cup is the big draw for the Irish. I'd imagine Sky are attracted because Guinness sponsor the league and they have deep pockets and they do need content as well.

People in Ireland but Sky Sports for the football, not the Pro12. You have said yourself, the Pro12 is not popular in Ireland, so Sky did not buy it for the Irish audience.

Tell you what, Lord Dowlais. Why don't you tell us why Sky and the other broadcasters paid what they did for the PRO12? And why?

It would be much simpler.

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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, 2:33 pm

Split tv deals to me are an obvious reason for lower tv rights being paid than those to the Aviva.

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

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:34 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Sin é wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Why do the Welsh go to the BBC anyway, just a friendly agreement by the Union?

Because that is our free to air channel, along with S4C. HTV/ITV is more of a national thing that we cannot control. I think.


Ireland can get all those channel's as FTA - so your lucrative deal with the BBC affects everyone else in the UK & Ireland.


What has that got to do with anything ?

The facts are that Irish broadcasters pay more for other sports than they pay for the Pro12. So it is not a money thing. The Irish/Scottish/Italian TV deals are holding the Pro12 back.

Yes it is a money thing. Let's say you're a TV station with an assigned budget and you have a million quid to spend on sports rights for the year. Your four most popular sports are Football, Hurling, Soccer and Rugby. How much are you going to spend on each?

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

Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:37 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Sin é wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Why do the Welsh go to the BBC anyway, just a friendly agreement by the Union?

Because that is our free to air channel, along with S4C. HTV/ITV is more of a national thing that we cannot control. I think.


Ireland can get all those channel's as FTA - so your lucrative deal with the BBC affects everyone else in the UK & Ireland.


What has that got to do with anything ?

The facts are that Irish broadcasters pay more for other sports than they pay for the Pro12. So it is not a money thing. The Irish/Scottish/Italian TV deals are holding the Pro12 back.

They pay for what they can afford - Phil might call it good business sense.  

Will BBC Wales cover the Olympics exclusively or will they allow the main Nationwide BBC Organisation, funded mostly from English licence fee payers to do it?  Did BBC Wales pay for the recent Euros - or did they just allow the Nationwide BBC and ITV to pay for it? Does BBC Wales annual budget get subsidised by licence fee payers outside of Wales? If so, to what extent in percentage terms? Is their paying ability for Welsh rugby strictly based on Welsh licence fee payers ability to fund it?

The Irish free to air broadcasters pay for what they can afford, and sorry to tell all people across the water - yet one more time - that rugby comes lower down on the list of sports the majority of Irish people want to watch.  Money goes to what the public want to watch.

Sky then creeps in and gets the Irish rugby market - and pays for it.

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:40 pm

SecretFly wrote:The Irish free to air broadcasters pay for what they can afford, and sorry to tell all people across the water - yet one more time - that rugby comes lower down on the list of sports the majority of Irish people want to watch. Money goes to what the public want to watch.

So I will ask the question again. How come our Irish members on here are constantly telling us that Sky bought the rights for the Pro12 because of the Irish ?

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

Post by Recwatcher16 on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:43 pm

I haven't read all this thread as it appears to be going around in circles but certainly Browne's public comments were refreshingly honest.  The reality has always been that the central top down control with elite franchises business model had a finite  limit in terms of finance and interest. The financial dead end is getting ever closer. NZ survive with the same model because they don't have a French and increasingly so English league on their doorstep.

Going after new US franchises is merely adding deck chairs to the sinking Pro12 ship. I honestly take no satisfaction in that.

The famous welsh clubs being dumped have a lot of sympathy in my part of the world for their predicament but the WRU throwing their lot in with a succesful irish province elite model has not worked in the long term in Wales with restricted access for fans in terms of loyalty to previous clubs.

In the early days the RFU would in all likelihood have considered a British league  sympathetically but having invested twenty years in an imperfect club approach there is no turning back now.
The RFU are clearly targeting NZ/SA in terms of international ambitions - if other NH Unions suffer a period of financial difficulty then as a sporting body the RFU can ignore any long term implications unlike in the real world of political and economic interdependence.

I simply cannot see what the positive long term future holds for Union owned and controlled, elite franchise systems, when competing with a privately owned club system which provides greater access to fans and finance - which professional sport is all about. Perhaps Govt funding is the future - one Pro12 team seems to have done well out of it.

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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, 2:43 pm

Sky bought the rights (at a reduced rate than they would have paid for full rights) as they needed rugby after the loss of the Aviva. They now have bits and bats of Pro 12 and French.

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

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:51 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Thanks Pot, so they've deliberately split the coverage?

Yes, 7.5.   For the current deal which is the first time that Sky have been involved.  Prior to that it was only terrestrial broadcasters.

And the local TV companies have a role to play in viewership.     Recent figures given out by PRO12 on the PRO12 final were interesting:

It was Leinster v Connacht in Glasgow, so obviously a strong Irish flavour to it.

Average viewers time on Sky UK was 18,000.   However, peak viewership is the more commonly used metric by the various parties when willy-waving/negotiating:

Peak viewers on Sky UK 43,000
Peak viewers on Sky Ireland 63,000
Peak viewers on TG4 - 292,000

Total: 106,000 Sky and 292,000 TG4 - 398,000 peak total for PRO 12 final.

As a comparison, the Premiership Final 2015 got peak viewership of 297,000 on BT - the highest since 2010.  Which might explain in part why BT/PRL are moving some of the games to FTA for next season to drive up figures.  (I don't have figures for 2016 final)


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

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:54 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
SecretFly wrote:The Irish free to air broadcasters pay for what they can afford, and sorry to tell all people across the water - yet one more time - that rugby comes lower down on the list of sports the majority of Irish people want to watch.  Money goes to what the public want to watch.

So I will ask the question again. How come our Irish members on here are constantly telling us that Sky bought the rights for the Pro12 because of the Irish ?

How many people have said that specifically, and who are they?


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

Post by Dai Llewod on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 2:56 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:I haven't read all this thread as it appears to be going around in circles but certainly Browne's public comments were refreshingly honest.  The reality has always been that the central top down control with elite franchises business model had a finite  limit in terms of finance and interest. The financial dead end is getting ever closer. NZ survive with the same model because they don't have a French and increasingly so English league on their doorstep.

Going after new US franchises is merely adding deck chairs to the sinking Pro12 ship. I honestly take no satisfaction in that.

The famous welsh clubs being dumped have a lot of sympathy in my part of the world for their predicament but the WRU throwing their lot in with a succesful irish province elite model has not worked in the long term in Wales with restricted access for fans in terms of loyalty to previous clubs.

In the early days the RFU would in all likelihood have considered a British league  sympathetically but having invested twenty years in an imperfect club approach there is no turning back now.
The RFU are clearly targeting NZ/SA in terms of international ambitions - if other NH Unions suffer a period of financial difficulty then as a sporting body the RFU can ignore any long term implications unlike in the real world of political and economic interdependence.

I simply cannot see what the positive long term future holds for Union owned and controlled, elite franchise systems, when competing with a privately owned club system which provides greater access to fans and finance - which professional sport is all about. Perhaps Govt funding is the future - one Pro12 team seems to have done well out of it.

I agree with much of this. If people outside of Celtic rugby nations can see it, then it's even more strange why those Celtic nations can't.

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:01 pm

Pot Hale wrote:How many people have said that specifically, and who are they?

It's been said on this very thread. Sky bought the rights for the Pro12 because of Munster and Leinster.

Which Pot Hale am I talking to here ? The one that does not ask for other people help, and calls others who do lazy, or the one that does ask for peoples help ?

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

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:04 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Sin é wrote:What used be the Heineken Cup is the big draw for the Irish. I'd imagine Sky are attracted because Guinness sponsor the league and they have deep pockets and they do need content as well.

People in Ireland but Sky Sports for the football, not the Pro12. You have said yourself, the Pro12 is not popular in Ireland, so Sky did not buy it for the Irish audience.

I didn't say that. I said that Irish people are more into Cup than into League (and cited the GAA Championship v. League). The top teams are not arsed with the League and just use it as a warmup for the championship where they blood young players.

I'd imagine Sky see how popular the Heineken Cup and want to do something similar with the PRO12.

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

Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:08 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
SecretFly wrote:The Irish free to air broadcasters pay for what they can afford, and sorry to tell all people across the water - yet one more time - that rugby comes lower down on the list of sports the majority of Irish people want to watch.  Money goes to what the public want to watch.

So I will ask the question again. How come our Irish members on here are constantly telling us that Sky bought the rights for the Pro12 because of the Irish ?

You seem to not get the idea that Irish households and pubs pay for the privilege of watching Pro12 on Sky. Thus Irish people add to the SKY broadcasting pot offered to Pro12 regardless of them watching on RTE, TV3 or Sky.

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

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:21 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:

I simply cannot see what the positive long term future holds for Union owned and controlled, elite franchise systems, when competing with a privately owned club system which provides greater access to fans and finance - which professional sport is all about. Perhaps Govt funding is the future - one Pro12 team seems to have done well out of it.

More than one way to skin a cat though. For instance, Leinster has Denis O'Brien part funding some of Sexton wages. O'Brien also covers the cost of Martin O'Neill & Roy Keane's wages for Republic of Ireland. He doesn't interfere. Leinster's new training centre was built by another wealthy individual.

Munster is going down a Patron Route. Wealthy individuals agree to contribute up to 30K per annum over a 3 year period (90K in total). So far Munster has 30 of these individuals signed up and are looking to secure about 100. Munster is also about to open its new €9.5m training centre which is being built by the University of Limerick for them. They have also got the European Franchise for some US corporate training programme which will make use of Munster's backroom staff. Another initiative is that they have a Dinner in London every year (Grosvenor Hotel). This and the patron scheme raised 2m last year.

Doing it this way means the IRFU maintain control and are not left to deal with just one controlling investor's ego.

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

Post by Irish Londoner on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:28 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:I simply cannot see what the positive long term future holds for Union owned and controlled, elite franchise systems, when competing with a privately owned club system which provides greater access to fans and finance - which professional sport is all about. Perhaps Govt funding is the future - one Pro12 team seems to have done well out of it.

I still don't get how the issue of ownership changes anything, are there 12 multi-millionaires out there just waiting to throw money into teams if only the pesky unions would let them ? And how does this give greater fan access ?

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:29 pm

People in Ireland but Sky Sports for the football, not the Pro12. You have said yourself, the Pro12 is not popular in Ireland, so Sky did not buy it for the Irish audience. wrote:

Sin é wrote:I didn't say that.

Erm, yes you did.

Sin é wrote:Then there is the PRO12 (which isn't that popular anyway).

It's a few posts up from here. OK

Are we changing our tune now ?

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:32 pm

SecretFly wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
SecretFly wrote:The Irish free to air broadcasters pay for what they can afford, and sorry to tell all people across the water - yet one more time - that rugby comes lower down on the list of sports the majority of Irish people want to watch.  Money goes to what the public want to watch.

So I will ask the question again. How come our Irish members on here are constantly telling us that Sky bought the rights for the Pro12 because of the Irish ?

You seem to not get the idea that Irish households and pubs pay for the privilege of watching Pro12 on Sky.  Thus Irish people add to the SKY broadcasting pot offered to Pro12 regardless of them watching on RTE, TV3 or Sky.

They do not though, Sin e has said the Pro12 is not popular in Ireland, which makes the suggestion that people in Ireland purchase Sky Sports for another product, probably the premiership football, and then watch the rugby as an added bonus. Who am I to believe ? You ? Or Sin e ?

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:37 pm

In fact Secretfly you have said as much so yourself:-

SecretFly wrote:The Irish free to air broadcasters pay for what they can afford, and sorry to tell all people across the water - yet one more time - that rugby comes lower down on the list of sports the majority of Irish people want to watch. Money goes to what the public want to watch.

So you see, you must see my bemusement when I read stuff written by Irish people like this, then have them trying to tell me something completely opposite. Can you not see the hypocrisy ?

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

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:37 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
SecretFly wrote:The Irish free to air broadcasters pay for what they can afford, and sorry to tell all people across the water - yet one more time - that rugby comes lower down on the list of sports the majority of Irish people want to watch.  Money goes to what the public want to watch.

So I will ask the question again. How come our Irish members on here are constantly telling us that Sky bought the rights for the Pro12 because of the Irish ?

You seem to not get the idea that Irish households and pubs pay for the privilege of watching Pro12 on Sky.  Thus Irish people add to the SKY broadcasting pot offered to Pro12 regardless of them watching on RTE, TV3 or Sky.

They do not though, Sin e has said the Pro12 is not popular in Ireland, which makes the suggestion that people in Ireland purchase Sky Sports for another product, probably the premiership football, and then watch the rugby as an added bonus. Who am I to believe ? You ? Or Sin e ?

This is what I said:

I think Irish fans are Cup fans rather than League fans. Its hardwired into a lot of us from GAA - the League is just a warm up for the All Ireland Championship.

There is a difference in saying that something isn't popular to something isn't as popular.

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:43 pm

No, this is what you said:-

Sin é wrote:All sport, bar GAA & League of Ireland football and PRO12 are on pay tv.

As I've explained to you, GAA is national sport and it is considered important that it is on FTA.
League of Ireland football isn't that popular.
Then there is the PRO12 (which isn't that popular anyway). There is no English football / highlights programme anymore. We used to have Champions League, but I think thats gone now.

Notice the bit in bold. Now, stop backtracking. OK

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

Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:46 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
SecretFly wrote:The Irish free to air broadcasters pay for what they can afford, and sorry to tell all people across the water - yet one more time - that rugby comes lower down on the list of sports the majority of Irish people want to watch.  Money goes to what the public want to watch.

So I will ask the question again. How come our Irish members on here are constantly telling us that Sky bought the rights for the Pro12 because of the Irish ?

You seem to not get the idea that Irish households and pubs pay for the privilege of watching Pro12 on Sky.  Thus Irish people add to the SKY broadcasting pot offered to Pro12 regardless of them watching on RTE, TV3 or Sky.

They do not though, Sin e has said the Pro12 is not popular in Ireland, which makes the suggestion that people in Ireland purchase Sky Sports for another product, probably the premiership football, and then watch the rugby as an added bonus. Who am I to believe ? You ? Or Sin e ?

Wrong.  You're just thinking in much too elementary terms, Lord.

The sports most Irish people (not all Irish people - most of them) want to watch is sports other than rugby.  
The population though is still larger than that of Wales.  So those that want to watch rugby are still a big enough crowd to make it a viable market for a broadcasting company that isn't held to constraints of population v marketing (ie SKY)  
Like I've alluded to already,  BBC Wales allows the big national arms of broadcasting in the UK to handle the big International sporting events.  In Ireland, not only do our free-to-air channels pay for GAA for example, they also pay for these big world events. (Olympics, Euros, World Cups Rugby and Football).  They have to factor in budgets for these big world events years in advance of these events because their audience want to watch them.
So the funding that Irish free-to-air networks have are always limited and therefore priority is given to the more popular sports - sports that will get more bums on seats and more advertisers paying.  

But rugby is still a sport followed by enough people in Ireland for SKY to feel it good business sense to enter the market in Ireland with rugby as one of its selling points.  Sky contributes to Pro12 funding and it does so by taking a big slice of the Pro12 Irish rugby market.

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

Post by Recwatcher16 on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:48 pm

Sin é wrote:
Recwatcher16 wrote:

I simply cannot see what the positive long term future holds for Union owned and controlled, elite franchise systems, when competing with a privately owned club system which provides greater access to fans and finance - which professional sport is all about. Perhaps Govt funding is the future - one Pro12 team seems to have done well out of it.

More than one way to skin a cat though. For instance, Leinster has Denis O'Brien part funding some of Sexton wages. O'Brien also covers the cost of Martin O'Neill & Roy Keane's wages for Republic of Ireland. He doesn't interfere. Leinster's new training centre was built by another wealthy individual.

Munster is going down a Patron Route. Wealthy individuals agree to contribute up to 30K per annum over a 3 year period (90K in total). So far Munster has 30 of these individuals signed up and are looking to secure about 100. Munster is also about to open its new €9.5m training centre which is being built by the University of Limerick for them. They have also got the European Franchise for some US corporate training programme which will make use of Munster's backroom staff. Another initiative is that they have a Dinner in London every year (Grosvenor Hotel). This and the patron scheme raised 2m last year.

Doing it this way means the IRFU maintain control and are not left to deal with just one controlling investor's ego.


All good activity - perhaps it will make up the difference - time is running out though to prove the case for this type approach.

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:48 pm

Secretfly, you are just making excuses, the broadcasters in Ireland do not pay that much for the Pro12, because as yourself, and Sin e have rightly alluded to, the interest is not there.

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

Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:49 pm

LordDowlais wrote:In fact Secretfly you have said as much so yourself:-

SecretFly wrote:The Irish free to air broadcasters pay for what they can afford, and sorry to tell all people across the water - yet one more time - that rugby comes lower down on the list of sports the majority of Irish people want to watch.  Money goes to what the public want to watch.

So you see, you must see my bemusement when I read stuff written by Irish people like this, then have them trying to tell me something completely opposite. Can you not see the hypocrisy ?

No...I can't see the hypocrisy. I can though see your confusion.

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

Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:51 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Secretfly, you are just making excuses, the broadcasters in Ireland do not pay that much for the Pro12, because as yourself, and Sin e have rightly alluded to, the interest is not there.

Absolutely totally inaccurate reading of what is printed in front of you. Wink

But there you go - anything to avoid my earlier points about BBC Wales and where exactly all this Pro12 funding money is coming from.  

Keep side-stepping the truth that SKY like that the Irish are in Pro12 - and that the Irish pay for the privilege and help the Pro12 product accordingly.


Last edited by SecretFly on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

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

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:52 pm

SecretFly wrote:No...I can't see the hypocrisy. I can though see your confusion.

Nope, no confusion from me, I can clearly see the sidestepping, backtracking, and hypocrisy though. I think it is you, Sin e and Pot Hale who are confused. Very Happy

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

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