The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

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The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 09 Jan 2017, 4:28 pm

First topic message reminder :

I stepped out and she stepped in again
I stepped out and she stepped in again
learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball


In thinking about recent goings-on at union level within the PRO12, I was reminded of the lyrics of this old song as unions, corporate interests, private investors, Welsh benefactors, and sundry money-makers make their various moves on the PRO12 dance floor.  Scotland and Ireland seem to be bashfully eyeing up the investor lads on one side of the hall, fluttering their eyelashes, whilst on the other side, the Welsh bennys (as they're affectionately known Wink ) are making tapes and throwing shapes, whilst secretly hoping eagerly that they might get a chance to sign the WRU's card for a dance or two.  Meanwhile, the Italians dither in the middle wondering where they should be but won't tell anyone that they don't know even the music.  

But for now the band has taken a break whilst the visiting Europeans and Anglo heavies make their way onto the floor to start their version of French/Anglo hopscotch involving a number of bulky partners, foreign tap dancers, celtic coaches, and comic millionaires.

It's a good a time as any for a quick cuppa and a chance to talk about where the PRO12 is going with all the plans for expansion to US and Europe suddenly gone quiet, some league quality improvements, big weekend derbies, more neutral officials, and what else is on the horizon for upcoming changes within the PRO12.

The looming spectre of dwindling money and funding ever more expensive teams for the future seems to be the next big issue and where that is all going to come from.   Hopes of improved TV deals, better sponsors and business supporters of the league remain a distant aspiration - although the recent appointment of a commercial director to work alongside Martin Anayi on securing the best deals possible seems to be a step in the right direction.  Some are holding their whisth on that one.

Ownership and financing of the teams themselves is the most urgent and vexing issue facing the four unions operating in the PRO12.  Over the last number of months, the SRU have been making a lot of noise and some news headlines with their plans to bring in private investment to its two Scottish clubs to help meet some of the ongoing costs involved.   The SRU says it can't continue to finance the two teams at current levels of revenue and costs, and they need to bring in private investors/business to meet a substantial portion of the costs in return for a stake in one or both of the two clubs.  How much that stake would be is not clear as the SRU would want to keep their hand in the two clubs responsible for generating its line of test players, but whether that would be a 51% stake or less remains to be seen.   A voting process in late 2016 saw members give the green light to the Scottish Union to pursue this path of identifying and securing potential investment but only time will tell if it will draw in any worthwhile investors.

Italian rugby seems to lurch from one crisis to the next with the FIR having to bail out both Treviso and Zebre in recent times with substantial commitments of money.  After the last crisis, which saw a number of players leave the two clubs, it is Treviso who have fared better with the backing of Bennetton, and it is Zebre who are staring down the barrel of closure at season end once again.  A new franchise, based in Rome, is being rumoured to be on the cards with the FIR willing to put financial support into its development.   For many within the PRO12, and without, the Italian project seems to be a wasted exercise and just amounts to weekly humiliation as opposition teams pile up the points, regularly taking home try bonus points in their victories. For others, the Italian involvement is a long game and one that has to be persevered with.    Yet, the FIR is still not a shareholder in Celtic Rugby, the company which manages the PRO12 - the latest filings with the Companies Registration Office in Dublin shows that the three Celtic unions remain the founding shareholders, and critically, the beneficiaries of any financial dealing that flow through it - particularly in relation to TV broadcasting deals such as Sky Sports.  This current season, it took until Round 6 before an Italian broadcaster could be secured for covering the home matches of Treviso and Zebre, and with crowds often hovering around 1,500-2,000, this didn't raise many eyebrows.  for the foreseeable future, Italian rugby will stay within the PRO12, and the FIR will continue to be a major stakeholder/financier in the teams.

Irish rugby has been dabbling with business support for a number of years now with the provincial teams drawing in sponsorships, player salary top-ups, and increasing financial support for the various provinces through different types of schemes devised by the individual branches.   Jamie Heaslip recently re-signed with Leinster on what's likely to be his final playing contract before retirement (at age 37).  One of Ireland’s most consistent and durable players, he’s also been one of the most consistently highest paid through his IRFU central contract, and a salary top-up through his Leinster club with a business sponsorship deal with Bank of Ireland.  

But these adhoc business supports and extended sponsorships/player promotions and brand ambassadors do not fill the coffers of the branches sufficiently to grow and expand, it's sufficient only to pay the salaries of 2-3 players to keep them in place against ever higher competing offers from the TV-deal-enriched clubs in England and France.  As the IRFU pointed at the launch of its annual report last June, the IRFU cannot continue to be "the bank of last resort" for the provinces - following a €1 million plus bailout of Munster, and a €250k additional budget for each province to help them compete on player salaries.   A number of the provinces have sought quietly to persuade the IRFU to consider opening up the provinces’ branch company structures to allow private investors to take a stake in each of the provinces in return for continued investment over a period of time.  Until the last year, those overtures have been largely rebuffed with the occasional odd positive murmur about the need to keep control if such a development were to be envisaged.   It is rumoured that alongside the SRU’s current moves, the IRFU is also investigating how the branches’ structures could be altered to allow such investment in the future.  A variant of the NZRU model whereby they allowed private investors to take a stake in each of the five Super Rugby franchises is being considered, but the IRFU would want to maintain a controlling stake that gives them oversight and control in line with the current player management policy and protocols they have in place.  

As the IRFU have stated time and again, the revenues from the test game is what keeps the whole of Irish rugby afloat - interfering with or disabling that in some way is not something they would countenance.  Equally, the union recognises that costs will continue to rise in the PRO12 and wider club game with player salaries being biggest driver.   Their investment policy has switched from paying out large salaries to high-profile capped foreign players to investing in the domestic pathway development (€10m over the last 3 years) - with the emergence of some fine academy players across the provinces proving testament to this approach led by David Nucifora on behalf of the IRFU.

Nonetheless, the club game is getting bigger and more financially competitive so if a methodology can be developed to allow private investment takes its place at the table, it’s likely to happen over the next few years.  

But as two unions move across the dance floor looking for wealthy partners, the Welsh benefactors are being drawn (protestingly for some) from the other side by the WRU who have recently announced that they see the future of the Welsh game involving a marriage of both union and private investment funds.  As two unions prepare to step out, the Welsh union is preparing to step in again.   The Dragons region has been languishing in the shop window for the past year, gathering dust as various investor-type people amble up, take a poke and move off again without buying.   Martin Phillps was pushed recently in an interview to say that the WRU couldn't allow the region to fold, but he wasn't too specific in public as to what kind of support they might bring.  Equally, he was encouraged enough to say that increased union funding for the four regions seemed to be inevitable - but he didn't say what price they might extract for such investment.  Would the benefactors/shareholders be asked to move on, or move around the table to make more room for union faces to sit down?  

Whilst there are those who pine for a future whereby pure private investment and ownership rules the roost like their counterparts in England and France, the likelihood of that model being created and surviving does not seem to be on anyone's dance cards.   More likely, a marriage of convenience may be arrived at, wherein true love may never be expressed, but at least the two parties will be able to pay the mortgage together, and maybe afford a new extension or two in the near future to mix a few metaphors.

But for now, let the European hopscotch begin, and then the merry four-nation dance can begin again.

All together now:

Sixteen long years we spent in Dub-i-lin
Sixteen long years doin' nothing at all
Sixteen long years we spent in Dub-i-lin
Learning to dance at the PRO12 ball.

They stepped out, and they stepped in again......
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 2:25 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:

Currently the Welsh regions get the lions share of the approx £4.5m paid by BBC Wales plus about £2m as their share from the Sky deal of £5m per annum.

BBC Wales pay nearly the same as Sky do? I'm quite shocked by that. Do BBC Northern Ireland also pay £4.5m? I'm guessing not as the deal is only £11m. How much do BBCNI pay?

 
The Sky deal is split by number of teams between Irl/Wal/Sco as the 3 shareholders in Celtic Rugby.   So it's not as lucrative for the Welsh.   You'd figure that in any new deal with a primary broadcaster and secondary terrestrial stations, the WRU and PRW would want to see their existing share of TV monies be the minimum they would receive under any new deal plus whatever increase can be negotiated on top. That would put it into the £18-20m bracket if greater equity of revenues was achieved next time around for the teams involved.

That's double what the deal is currently worth. Has the Pro12 has really kicked on enough to double the tv deal?

My figures are only guesstimates based on various media reports and annual reports from Unions.
BBC NI has only one team in its broadcast territory and only shows games involving Ulster Rugby. Whilst pop. Is 1.8m only a fraction of that watch on TV. They get about 9-10 games a season with Sky covering some of them as well. Value is less than £400k I reckon. TG4 has three teams and gets about half of the home games - Sky havevthecrest. Value about £800k. BBC Alba pays even less proportionately for the home games it covers for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

BBC WalesS4C has a budget of £160m annually (TG4 has €40m). They pay for coverage of 4 teams and approx 20/22 home games. Actually, on reflection their figure is probably closer to £3.5m per annum. And Sky is £5m plus. They've always been willing to pay more proportionately per game than other broadcasters.

Ideally a network deal that reduces the number of broadcasters and production a la Sky might help to drive audience and TV rights. With some matches broadcast live and others on delayed feed or in highlights.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 12:07 pm

I do not want to get into the nonsense surrounding this again, but our partners in the Pro12, or the other unions/countries pay a lot less than what the WRU managed to broker with BBC Wales. Yet there are people on here who will make multiple excuses on behalf of their broadcasters for it.

Irish/Scottish and Italian broadcasters pay a pittance when compared to what BBC Wales pay.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 12:09 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I do not want to get into the nonsense surrounding this again, but our partners in the Pro12, or the other unions/countries pay a lot less than what the WRU managed to broker with BBC Wales. Yet there are people on here who will make multiple excuses on behalf of their broadcasters for it.

Irish/Scottish and Italian broadcasters pay a pittance when compared to what BBC Wales pay.

Headscratch and yet here you are?

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 1:48 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I do not want to get into the nonsense surrounding this again, but our partners in the Pro12, or the other unions/countries pay a lot less than what the WRU managed to broker with BBC Wales. Yet there are people on here who will make multiple excuses on behalf of their broadcasters for it.

Irish/Scottish and Italian broadcasters pay a pittance when compared to what BBC Wales pay.


So why do you think the others are not bringing in as much money?
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 1:59 pm

profitius wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I do not want to get into the nonsense surrounding this again, but our partners in the Pro12, or the other unions/countries pay a lot less than what the WRU managed to broker with BBC Wales. Yet there are people on here who will make multiple excuses on behalf of their broadcasters for it.

Irish/Scottish and Italian broadcasters pay a pittance when compared to what BBC Wales pay.


So why do you think the others are not bringing in as much money?

According to Gerald Davies the Welsh have cost the league some money

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Sin é on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 2:07 pm

This what Gerald Davies actually said:

GD: Let’s look at where we’ve come from. The Pro12 hasn’t had an easy passage. It’s been very difficult, even on a basic level. French and English leagues retained the same clubs as they made the transition from amateur to professional rugby, whereas for us, it’s a totally new concept. We must be given time to settle down. The civil war between the WRU and the Regions went on for two years. It was a very unsettling, awkward time, which affected the television rights and sponsorship deals. It created so much uncertainty. Companies weren’t going to invest in something where no one was sure of the future. Now we have people on board to move forward. There’s a certainty about the competition and we feel optimistic.

http://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/italy/the-big-pro12-interview-can-it-keep-pace-with-the-premiership-and-top-14-53103
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Griff on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 2:12 pm

Ah yes, blame the Welsh! As you were boys.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Sin é on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 2:12 pm

Griff wrote:Ah yes, blame the Welsh!  As you were boys.

Is Gerald Davies not Welsh?
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 2:15 pm

Well its a Welshman blaming the Welsh so don't blame us you cant get along with yourselves

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Griff on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 2:17 pm

Sin é wrote:Pot, just interested to know, what is going to happen to all these extra funds? Spunked on keeping Welsh players in Wales? This could be a race to the bottom.


Not sure I get this, Sin e. It wasn't that long ago that the Irish posters on here (not the Scottish as far as I remember) were telling the Welsh to get their house in order and to stop the Welsh players leaving Wales as it was spoiling the product (Pro12) and turning away investors and spectators, and that sponsors would be put off if crowds were half empty, etc. So if any extra money was spent (or spunked) by the WRU on keeping players in Wales, what's wrong with that?

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Griff on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 2:20 pm

Sin é wrote:
Griff wrote:Ah yes, blame the Welsh!  As you were boys.

Is Gerald Davies not Welsh?

It's an Irish poster using a quote from an ageing ex-player to blame the Welsh on this message board. As if Gerald Davies is in the know. He's just been asked an opinion and given it. He doesn't know that for sure. Like asking your average man in the street.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Griff on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 2:20 pm

marty2086 wrote:Well its a Welshman blaming the Welsh so don't blame us you cant get along with yourselves

See above.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Munchkin on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 2:23 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I do not want to get into the nonsense surrounding this again, but our partners in the Pro12, or the other unions/countries pay a lot less than what the WRU managed to broker with BBC Wales. Yet there are people on here who will make multiple excuses on behalf of their broadcasters for it.

Irish/Scottish and Italian broadcasters pay a pittance when compared to what BBC Wales pay.

You're right that the Regions have attracted much more broadcasting revenue, and that the Scots and the Provinces should be attracting more. The Regions do keep the lions share of their broadcasting revenue though, although that probably isn't your point.


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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Sin é on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 2:26 pm

Griff wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Griff wrote:Ah yes, blame the Welsh!  As you were boys.

Is Gerald Davies not Welsh?

It's an Irish poster using a quote from an ageing ex-player to blame the Welsh on this message board.  As if Gerald Davies is in the know.  He's just been asked an opinion and given it.  He doesn't know that for sure.  Like asking your average man in the street.

I hope he is in the know. He is the Chairman of the Pro12 Very Happy

The Pro12 is in its infancy compared to the Aviva Premiership and Top 14, so how is it progressing? We spoke to its Managing Director Martin Anayi and Chairman Gerald Davies
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 2:27 pm

Griff wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Well its a Welshman blaming the Welsh so don't blame us you cant get along with yourselves

See above.

Now see above thumbsup

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Munchkin on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 2:29 pm

Griff wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Griff wrote:Ah yes, blame the Welsh!  As you were boys.

Is Gerald Davies not Welsh?

It's an Irish poster using a quote from an ageing ex-player to blame the Welsh on this message board.  As if Gerald Davies is in the know.  He's just been asked an opinion and given it.  He doesn't know that for sure.  Like asking your average man in the street.

I would think GD is much more in the know than the average guy on the street, Griff.

I think what he said is just common sense. The WRU v RRW fall-out would have tarnished the PRO12 to some extent. It seems that all that is changing over in Wales now. A new era for WRU/PRW relations, and hopefully one that benefits the Regions and the PRO12.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Griff on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 3:21 pm

Yes I know he's Chairman! Not wanting to name drop or anything but I'm mates with his son and have drunk beer in Gerald's kitchen!

I'd much prefer to listen to business chat from Martin Anayi to be honest. And if you read the whole interview in the link Martin doesn't say anything about the Welsh in-fighting affecting the league and its sponsors. And they were responding to a question about whether the differences between the Aviva/French league and Pro12 were fair.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 3:24 pm

Griff wrote:Yes I know he's Chairman!  Not wanting to name drop or anything but I'm mates with his son and have drunk beer in Gerald's kitchen!

I'd much prefer to listen to business chat from Martin Anayi to be honest.  And if you read the whole interview in the link Martin doesn't say anything about the Welsh in-fighting affecting the league and its sponsors.  And they were responding to a question about whether the differences between the Aviva/French league and Pro12 were fair.

Ok so none of that has anything to do with anything unless you are calling him a liar?

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Griff on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 3:30 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Griff wrote:Yes I know he's Chairman!  Not wanting to name drop or anything but I'm mates with his son and have drunk beer in Gerald's kitchen!

I'd much prefer to listen to business chat from Martin Anayi to be honest.  And if you read the whole interview in the link Martin doesn't say anything about the Welsh in-fighting affecting the league and its sponsors.  And they were responding to a question about whether the differences between the Aviva/French league and Pro12 were fair.

Ok so none of that has anything to do with anything unless you are calling him a liar?

How can his opinion on the fairness of the TV deals (and the subsequent disparity) for the Pro12 and the English Prem be either the truth or a lie? That's the question he was asked in the interview. It's just an opinion. He's not stating fact.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 3:32 pm

Griff wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Griff wrote:Yes I know he's Chairman!  Not wanting to name drop or anything but I'm mates with his son and have drunk beer in Gerald's kitchen!

I'd much prefer to listen to business chat from Martin Anayi to be honest.  And if you read the whole interview in the link Martin doesn't say anything about the Welsh in-fighting affecting the league and its sponsors.  And they were responding to a question about whether the differences between the Aviva/French league and Pro12 were fair.

Ok so none of that has anything to do with anything unless you are calling him a liar?

How can his opinion on the fairness of the TV deals (and the subsequent disparity) for the Pro12 and the English Prem be either the truth or a lie?  That's the question he was asked in the interview.  It's just an opinion.  He's not stating fact.

No you are stating an opinion, you know no broadcaster, sponsor etc turned to him or anyone at Pro12 and said it was putting them off?

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Griff on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 3:39 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Griff wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Griff wrote:Yes I know he's Chairman!  Not wanting to name drop or anything but I'm mates with his son and have drunk beer in Gerald's kitchen!

I'd much prefer to listen to business chat from Martin Anayi to be honest.  And if you read the whole interview in the link Martin doesn't say anything about the Welsh in-fighting affecting the league and its sponsors.  And they were responding to a question about whether the differences between the Aviva/French league and Pro12 were fair.

Ok so none of that has anything to do with anything unless you are calling him a liar?

How can his opinion on the fairness of the TV deals (and the subsequent disparity) for the Pro12 and the English Prem be either the truth or a lie?  That's the question he was asked in the interview.  It's just an opinion.  He's not stating fact.

No you are stating an opinion, you know no broadcaster, sponsor etc turned to him or anyone at Pro12 and said it was putting them off?

No, I'm not convinced. Sounds like an easy cop out for Pro12 executives not hitting their targets and growing the league and attracting the sponsors.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 3:43 pm

Oh FFS, you get it put in front of you but you don't believe it?

picard

So they were going to get oodles of cash while the whole could come tumbling down? You'd go far in business

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by aucklandlaurie on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 3:53 pm

marty2086 wrote:Oh FFS, you get it put in front of you but you don't believe it?

picard

So they were going to get oodles of cash while the whole could come tumbling down? You'd go far in business

 I see you're back on the happy pills Marty.....

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 4:16 pm

Griff wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Griff wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Griff wrote:Yes I know he's Chairman!  Not wanting to name drop or anything but I'm mates with his son and have drunk beer in Gerald's kitchen!

I'd much prefer to listen to business chat from Martin Anayi to be honest.  And if you read the whole interview in the link Martin doesn't say anything about the Welsh in-fighting affecting the league and its sponsors.  And they were responding to a question about whether the differences between the Aviva/French league and Pro12 were fair.

Ok so none of that has anything to do with anything unless you are calling him a liar?

How can his opinion on the fairness of the TV deals (and the subsequent disparity) for the Pro12 and the English Prem be either the truth or a lie?  That's the question he was asked in the interview.  It's just an opinion.  He's not stating fact.

No you are stating an opinion, you know no broadcaster, sponsor etc turned to him or anyone at Pro12 and said it was putting them off?

No, I'm not convinced.  Sounds like an easy cop out for Pro12 executives not hitting their targets and growing the league and attracting the sponsors.


Its common sense. The Pro12 are trying to integrate all the various components of the league to make it run more smoothly. If a large chunk of the league (Wales) are fighting among themselves then its harder for the Pro12 to do business with them. At least now the fighting has stopped and they - RRW and WRU - are starting to work together. Working together achieves more.


We saw the damage done when there was uncertainty over the future of the European cup. The Italian teams lost half their players because they didn't know whether or not it was going to go ahead. Thats another example.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Griff on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 5:09 pm

marty2086 wrote:Oh FFS, you get it put in front of you but you don't believe it?

picard

So they were going to get oodles of cash while the whole could come tumbling down? You'd go far in business

Marty, you have plenty of history for this. Calm down, take a breath, take a Valium if need be. Why get all flustered and angry like a teenager being asked to put away his washing?!

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 7:26 pm

http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/european-cup/all-rugby-roads-lead-to-rome-as-zebre-battle-extinction-1.2936350

The current Pro12 television deal, like the convoluted Champions Cup agreement, ends after the 2017/18 season. Two new teams, Rome and AN Other, would automatically alter the conversation with Sky and, potentially, BT Sport.

A Roma franchise could have an impact similar to that of the Jaguares, initially playing in South Africa but now a Super Rugby outfit, on Argentinian rugby.

Maybe then Caesar can set them free.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 7:34 pm

Griff wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Oh FFS, you get it put in front of you but you don't believe it?

picard

So they were going to get oodles of cash while the whole could come tumbling down? You'd go far in business

Marty, you have plenty of history for this. Calm down, take a breath, take a Valium if need be. Why get all flustered and angry like a teenager being asked to put away his washing?!

Nice, keep up the bs

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 14 Jan 2017, 3:03 am

LordDowlais wrote:I do not want to get into the nonsense surrounding this again, but our partners in the Pro12, or the other unions/countries pay a lot less than what the WRU managed to broker with BBC Wales. Yet there are people on here who will make multiple excuses on behalf of their broadcasters for it.

Irish/Scottish and Italian broadcasters pay a pittance when compared to what BBC Wales pay.

Did you manage to read the post before yours?
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Sun 22 Jan 2017, 1:17 pm

Interview with Pro 12's Adam Redmond about the competitions future.


http://www.punditarena.com/rugby/adrumm/pro12s-communications-director-talks-us-future-league-conferences-italian-participation-tv-deals/

Indeed, Redmond was keen to point out that there is “already a lot of interest there from broadcasters that maybe wasn’t there the last time round, particularly in Ireland.”
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Sun 22 Jan 2017, 5:42 pm

Sounds like they're going to move to conferences before they get any new teams in.   
I wonder how 18 games would be achieved?

2 pools of 6 would give 10 games each.  Then presumably, one set of matches between pools adding another 5 - possibly alternating home and away each season or one team in each pool has a bye round, and play the other four home and away?  That would give 8 and a total of 18.

They also talked about having the top six teams going into some kind of knockout stages similar to T14.  

Presumably this would knock the current Euro qualification from PRO12 on the head, and just have top 7 teams qualify and leave playoff 8th spot to AP and T14.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Sin é on Sun 22 Jan 2017, 7:11 pm

I didn't listen to the interview, but it is not just moving from 22 to 18 so that there won't be any games during international breaks and that internationals will be available for 80% of the time?

edit: as an aside, in an article about Ireland's bid for the Rugby World Cup with Hugo MacNeill, he said that World Rugby wants to expand and said that the USA is their first target. He said that is the reason Ireland played the ABs in the US as Ireland has such good relations there. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if teams are coming from anywhere into the PRO12, it will be the east coast of the US.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:23 am

Pot Hale wrote:Sounds like they're going to move to conferences before they get any new teams in.   
I wonder how 18 games would be achieved?

2 pools of 6 would give 10 games each.  Then presumably, one set of matches between pools adding another 5 - possibly alternating home and away each season or one team in each pool has a bye round, and play the other four home and away?  That would give 8 and a total of 18.

They also talked about having the top six teams going into some kind of knockout stages similar to T14.  

Presumably this would knock the current Euro qualification from PRO12 on the head, and just have top 7 teams qualify and leave playoff 8th spot to AP and T14.

Interesting. I wonder if fans of the Welsh regions for example would be prepared to pay the same price for season tickets knowing that there would be 18% less league matches on offer? They would have to slash season ticket prices. Which would not be good for their business models.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:39 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Sounds like they're going to move to conferences before they get any new teams in.   
I wonder how 18 games would be achieved?

2 pools of 6 would give 10 games each.  Then presumably, one set of matches between pools adding another 5 - possibly alternating home and away each season or one team in each pool has a bye round, and play the other four home and away?  That would give 8 and a total of 18.

They also talked about having the top six teams going into some kind of knockout stages similar to T14.  

Presumably this would knock the current Euro qualification from PRO12 on the head, and just have top 7 teams qualify and leave playoff 8th spot to AP and T14.

Interesting. I wonder if fans of the Welsh regions for example would be prepared to pay the same price for season tickets knowing that there would be 18% less league matches on offer? They would have to slash season ticket prices. Which would not be good for their business models.

Who said anything about paying the prices?

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:49 am

marty2086 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Sounds like they're going to move to conferences before they get any new teams in.   
I wonder how 18 games would be achieved?

2 pools of 6 would give 10 games each.  Then presumably, one set of matches between pools adding another 5 - possibly alternating home and away each season or one team in each pool has a bye round, and play the other four home and away?  That would give 8 and a total of 18.

They also talked about having the top six teams going into some kind of knockout stages similar to T14.  

Presumably this would knock the current Euro qualification from PRO12 on the head, and just have top 7 teams qualify and leave playoff 8th spot to AP and T14.

Interesting. I wonder if fans of the Welsh regions for example would be prepared to pay the same price for season tickets knowing that there would be 18% less league matches on offer? They would have to slash season ticket prices. Which would not be good for their business models.

Who said anything about paying the prices?

I'm not sure I follow. I brought up paying the prices. Will clubs have to alter season ticket prices with 18% less league matches?

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 2:25 pm

Less quantity but more quality. Isn't that what the Welsh fans want? With less matches they might have more A games or some sort of cup so that fringe squad players get gametime.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 2:40 pm

profitius wrote:Less quantity but more quality. Isn't that what the Welsh fans want? With less matches they might have more A games or some sort of cup so that fringe squad players get gametime.

I would expect they want at least the same number of games that the first team gets now. 'A team' games are great for production but lets face it they are 2nd string players, hardly fixtures that will get bums on seats. Or season tickets sold. Welsh teams have enough trouble as it is attracting crowds don't they?

I welcome any move by leagues to better their domestic product, I just wonder how the punters would react to this particular change.

Also if it were conferences, where do the Italians go? One in each conference would reduce their derby matches, 2 in the same conference would uneven the playing field.

Good news that the broadcasters are much more interested this time round though, a good tv deal is great news for the Pro12 clubs and should close the gap between the English and French.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 2:46 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Sounds like they're going to move to conferences before they get any new teams in.   
I wonder how 18 games would be achieved?

2 pools of 6 would give 10 games each.  Then presumably, one set of matches between pools adding another 5 - possibly alternating home and away each season or one team in each pool has a bye round, and play the other four home and away?  That would give 8 and a total of 18.

They also talked about having the top six teams going into some kind of knockout stages similar to T14.  

Presumably this would knock the current Euro qualification from PRO12 on the head, and just have top 7 teams qualify and leave playoff 8th spot to AP and T14.

Interesting. I wonder if fans of the Welsh regions for example would be prepared to pay the same price for season tickets knowing that there would be 18% less league matches on offer? They would have to slash season ticket prices. Which would not be good for their business models.

Who said anything about paying the prices?

I'm not sure I follow. I brought up paying the prices. Will clubs have to alter season ticket prices with 18% less league matches?

Some may decrease them, some may keep them the same, some may keep them the same but add in other benefits for the tickets that increases its value and others may still increase it.

Every club it unique with its own challenges

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Munchkin on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 2:49 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Sounds like they're going to move to conferences before they get any new teams in.   
I wonder how 18 games would be achieved?

2 pools of 6 would give 10 games each.  Then presumably, one set of matches between pools adding another 5 - possibly alternating home and away each season or one team in each pool has a bye round, and play the other four home and away?  That would give 8 and a total of 18.

They also talked about having the top six teams going into some kind of knockout stages similar to T14.  

Presumably this would knock the current Euro qualification from PRO12 on the head, and just have top 7 teams qualify and leave playoff 8th spot to AP and T14.

Interesting. I wonder if fans of the Welsh regions for example would be prepared to pay the same price for season tickets knowing that there would be 18% less league matches on offer? They would have to slash season ticket prices. Which would not be good for their business models.

It's an important question, and not limited to Welsh fans. All sides are trying to increase revenue and supporters may not be prepared to pay more for less. Why should they? I guess there could be some sort of cup created to fill the gaps, but would that not defeat the purpose of having less league games?

I'm not convinced having less games does mean more quality. Does it really mean our national players get more games at their Province/Region, or just that the PRO12 are cutting out games those players wouldn't be available for?

Less league games would certainly disadvantage sides that have less internationals playing for them. The AI's/6N's windows help level the field for some.

Something else; would a knock-on effect be a downsizing of squads? Also much less chance to develop young prospects, which would be to the detriment of the Provinces/Regions and the national sides. All of which would make us less competitive in Europe.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 4:09 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
profitius wrote:Less quantity but more quality. Isn't that what the Welsh fans want? With less matches they might have more A games or some sort of cup so that fringe squad players get gametime.

I would expect they want at least the same number of games that the first team gets now. 'A team' games are great for production but lets face it they are 2nd string players, hardly fixtures that will get bums on seats. Or season tickets sold. Welsh teams have enough trouble as it is attracting crowds don't they?

I welcome any move by leagues to better their domestic product, I just wonder how the punters would react to this particular change.

Also if it were conferences, where do the Italians go? One in each conference would reduce their derby matches, 2 in the same conference would uneven the playing field.

Good news that the broadcasters are much more interested this time round though, a good tv deal is great news for the Pro12 clubs and should close the gap between the English and French.


If not A games then som kind of cup competition to give the rest of the squad a run out.

On the broadcasters, I saw an article today that said Eir Sport had a good year. They're probably going to take over the Irish side of things. Thats a guess by me based on a few hints. Being optimistic I think the current TV money could be doubled next time. Having the top players play in more games will look for for the league as a product.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 4:10 pm

profitius wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
profitius wrote:Less quantity but more quality. Isn't that what the Welsh fans want? With less matches they might have more A games or some sort of cup so that fringe squad players get gametime.

I would expect they want at least the same number of games that the first team gets now. 'A team' games are great for production but lets face it they are 2nd string players, hardly fixtures that will get bums on seats. Or season tickets sold. Welsh teams have enough trouble as it is attracting crowds don't they?

I welcome any move by leagues to better their domestic product, I just wonder how the punters would react to this particular change.

Also if it were conferences, where do the Italians go? One in each conference would reduce their derby matches, 2 in the same conference would uneven the playing field.

Good news that the broadcasters are much more interested this time round though, a good tv deal is great news for the Pro12 clubs and should close the gap between the English and French.


If not A games then som kind of cup competition to give the rest of the squad a run out.

On the broadcasters, I saw an article today that said Eir Sport had a good year. They're probably going to take over the Irish side of things. Thats a guess by me based on a few hints. Being optimistic I think the current TV money could be doubled next time. Having the top players play in more games will look for for the league as a product.

What value will that take the tv deal to?

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Munchkin on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 4:16 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
profitius wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
profitius wrote:Less quantity but more quality. Isn't that what the Welsh fans want? With less matches they might have more A games or some sort of cup so that fringe squad players get gametime.

I would expect they want at least the same number of games that the first team gets now. 'A team' games are great for production but lets face it they are 2nd string players, hardly fixtures that will get bums on seats. Or season tickets sold. Welsh teams have enough trouble as it is attracting crowds don't they?

I welcome any move by leagues to better their domestic product, I just wonder how the punters would react to this particular change.

Also if it were conferences, where do the Italians go? One in each conference would reduce their derby matches, 2 in the same conference would uneven the playing field.

Good news that the broadcasters are much more interested this time round though, a good tv deal is great news for the Pro12 clubs and should close the gap between the English and French.


If not A games then som kind of cup competition to give the rest of the squad a run out.

On the broadcasters, I saw an article today that said Eir Sport had a good year. They're probably going to take over the Irish side of things. Thats a guess by me based on a few hints. Being optimistic I think the current TV money could be doubled next time. Having the top players play in more games will look for for the league as a product.

What value will that take the tv deal to?

If it could take the deal to around €2m then the Provinces would be close to matching the Regions, if not matching them.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 4:22 pm

Munchkin wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
profitius wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
profitius wrote:Less quantity but more quality. Isn't that what the Welsh fans want? With less matches they might have more A games or some sort of cup so that fringe squad players get gametime.

I would expect they want at least the same number of games that the first team gets now. 'A team' games are great for production but lets face it they are 2nd string players, hardly fixtures that will get bums on seats. Or season tickets sold. Welsh teams have enough trouble as it is attracting crowds don't they?

I welcome any move by leagues to better their domestic product, I just wonder how the punters would react to this particular change.

Also if it were conferences, where do the Italians go? One in each conference would reduce their derby matches, 2 in the same conference would uneven the playing field.

Good news that the broadcasters are much more interested this time round though, a good tv deal is great news for the Pro12 clubs and should close the gap between the English and French.


If not A games then som kind of cup competition to give the rest of the squad a run out.

On the broadcasters, I saw an article today that said Eir Sport had a good year. They're probably going to take over the Irish side of things. Thats a guess by me based on a few hints. Being optimistic I think the current TV money could be doubled next time. Having the top players play in more games will look for for the league as a product.

What value will that take the tv deal to?

If it could take the deal to around €2m then the Provinces would be close to matching the Regions, if not matching them.

I assume you mean 20 and not 2 ? Matching the regions for what?

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Munchkin on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 4:26 pm

No, I mean €2m, for the 3 Provinces, not overall.

Matching the Regions for broadcasting revenue. Thinking about it more, I doubt it would match them, but certainly get close. Problem is I don't know how much the BBCNI deal is.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 4:29 pm

Munchkin wrote:No, I mean €2m, for the 3 Provinces, not overall.

Matching the Regions for broadcasting revenue. Thinking about it more, I doubt it would match them, but certainly get close. Problem is I don't know how much the BBCNI deal is.

Oh you're talking about 1 tiny fraction of input into the tv deal. I was talking about the entire number of revenue GAINED by the Pro12, which after digging is about £11m. I think they'll do very well to double that, and even then it's still quite a gap with the big boys.


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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Munchkin on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 4:33 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Munchkin wrote:No, I mean €2m, for the 3 Provinces, not overall.

Matching the Regions for broadcasting revenue. Thinking about it more, I doubt it would match them, but certainly get close. Problem is I don't know how much the BBCNI deal is.

Oh you're talking about 1 tiny fraction of input into the tv deal. I was talking about the entire number of revenue GAINED by the Pro12, which after digging is about £11m. I think they'll do very well to double that, and even then it's still quite a gap with the big boys.


You think what the Regions contribute is tiny? Interesting, but then I suppose it's relative.

I think the next PRO12 deal is more likely to be around the €17m mark. Complete guess, but it could be more.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 4:37 pm

Munchkin wrote:

It's an important question, and not limited to Welsh fans. All sides are trying to increase revenue and supporters may not be prepared to pay more for less. Why should they? I guess there could be some sort of cup created to fill the gaps, but would that not defeat the purpose of having less league games?

I'm not convinced having less games does mean more quality. Does it really mean our national players get more games at their Province/Region, or just that the PRO12 are cutting out games those players wouldn't be available for?

Less league games would certainly disadvantage sides that have less internationals playing for them. The AI's/6N's windows help level the field for some.

Something else; would a knock-on effect be a downsizing of squads? Also much less chance to develop young prospects, which would be to the detriment of the Provinces/Regions and the national sides. All of which would make us less competitive in Europe.


The more games the pro12 cut out, the higher percentage of games the top players play in. For simplicity, if there were 16 games and the top players played in 8 of those, that would only be 50%. If those 16 games got reduce by 4, out of 12 games now the top players would still be playing in 8 games but since theres only 12 games now, 8 of 12 is 66%. So theres a 16% rise in games where the star players are playing.


Yes it would be an advantage to the strong sides but those sides would argue that they are being disadvantaged now with losing players in international windows. But there are advantages for smaller sides too like having less injuries, which I explain below.


Yes I think it would lead to downsizing of squads but that could be a good thing. The money saved in downsizing the squad could be put towards the first team players or put into the academy.


I also think more weeks off during the season would be great for lowering the number of injuries. Look at Connacht this season. They can't get on top of their injury crisis. What happens then is they have to play players that are not fully fit and they're more likely to pick up injuries too. Its a vicious circle. Connacht are picking up around 2 injuries per game. So 4 fewer games means 8 less injuries not to mention 4 more weeks of injured players being able to recover which in turn helps prevent injuries.


As already pointed out, changes will affect each team differently.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 4:41 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Munchkin wrote:No, I mean €2m, for the 3 Provinces, not overall.

Matching the Regions for broadcasting revenue. Thinking about it more, I doubt it would match them, but certainly get close. Problem is I don't know how much the BBCNI deal is.

Oh you're talking about 1 tiny fraction of input into the tv deal. I was talking about the entire number of revenue GAINED by the Pro12, which after digging is about £11m. I think they'll do very well to double that, and even then it's still quite a gap with the big boys.


I'd be hoping its nearer €20m next time. That might be me being overly optimistic but it'll probably rise naturally anyway plus there looks to be more competition for it now too. The more competition for it the better.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 4:41 pm

That is the one thing that Roger Lewis got right during his tenure. He set the going rate with BBC Wales for airing the Pro12. He got a good deal, and now, I think, the Pro12 conduct the deals with the regional broadcasters, he has got a price, and the BBC still negotiate to that price.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Munchkin on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 5:17 pm

profitius wrote:
Munchkin wrote:

It's an important question, and not limited to Welsh fans. All sides are trying to increase revenue and supporters may not be prepared to pay more for less. Why should they? I guess there could be some sort of cup created to fill the gaps, but would that not defeat the purpose of having less league games?

I'm not convinced having less games does mean more quality. Does it really mean our national players get more games at their Province/Region, or just that the PRO12 are cutting out games those players wouldn't be available for?

Less league games would certainly disadvantage sides that have less internationals playing for them. The AI's/6N's windows help level the field for some.

Something else; would a knock-on effect be a downsizing of squads? Also much less chance to develop young prospects, which would be to the detriment of the Provinces/Regions and the national sides. All of which would make us less competitive in Europe.


(1) The more games the pro12 cut out, the higher percentage of games the top players play in. For simplicity, if there were 16 games and the top players played in 8 of those, that would only be 50%. If those 16 games got reduce by 4, out of 12 games now the top players would still be playing in 8 games but since theres only 12 games now, 8 of 12 is 66%. So theres a 16% rise in games where the star players are playing.  


(2) Yes it would be an advantage to the strong sides but those sides would argue that they are being disadvantaged now with losing players in international windows. But there are advantages for smaller sides too like having less injuries, which I explain below.


(3) Yes I think it would lead to downsizing of squads but that could be a good thing. The money saved in downsizing the squad could be put towards the first team players or put into the academy.  


(4) I also think more weeks off during the season would be great for lowering the number of injuries. Look at Connacht this season. They can't get on top of their injury crisis. What happens then is they have to play players that are not fully fit and they're more likely to pick up injuries too. Its a vicious circle. Connacht are picking up around 2 injuries per game. So 4 fewer games means 8 less injuries not to mention 4 more weeks of injured players being able to recover which in turn helps prevent injuries.


(5) As already pointed out, changes will affect each team differently.

(1) I understand the maths, prof Smile

What I'm saying is that you don't get more games with top players. You get the same amount. Less doesn't always equal more. Season ticket holders might be paying the same costs for games featuring top players (as they have previously), but for less games overall, and non season ticket holders will be paying more for individual games.

If your point is that it raises the standard of the league, I'm still not sure I can agree. It raises the standard of sides with more of the top players, but leaves weaker sides floundering, with the gap between top and bottom sides widening.


(2) The sides losing players to international windows have no grounds for complaint. They sign the players, and it's up to them to add strength in depth. The weaker sides would love to have that complaint.


(3) The Provinces have to stick to the NIQ, so choices are limited in how you invest any saved money. That money could be invested into the academies, but any potential academy prospects are going to find it much harder to break into a side full of internationals who play most/all games. There would be much less opportunity to develop our young players.

(4) That's only true for the top players if those players are really playing less games. It will be true for some, but not all. If squads are downsized, then there will be less options for rest and recovery of players.

(5) Change will effect all differently. So far, I don't really see an upside, other than extra rest for those players not playing in Test sides.

I have to think the overall effect is to leave all sides less competitive in Europe.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not dead against it. I'm really just trying to shape my thinking on it, and concentrating on the cons.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by PhilBB on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 8:06 pm

LordDowlais wrote:That is the one thing that Roger Lewis got right during his tenure. He set the going rate with BBC Wales for airing the Pro12. He got a good deal, and now, I think, the Pro12 conduct the deals with the regional broadcasters, he has got a price, and the BBC still negotiate to that price.
No, he didn't. There was a deal in place before he came along.
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