Pro14-The Present and the Future

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Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by marty2086 on Wed 04 Jul 2018, 2:30 pm

Interview with Martin Anayi by Simon Thomas, some interesting developments. New agency on board to increase international marketing and distribution, plus refs to be brought into the Pro14

Q: What are your reflections looking back on the first season as an expanded PRO14?

A: Well, I guess most notably our attendances were up, which was great. That is our main barometer of how things are going.

We had a record crowd for the final, while attendances overall were up 10-11 per cent and the top eight teams in the league were up by 15 per cent.

The figures for the Scarlets were even better again.

For them to have an average of 10,000 people coming to games is a serious achievement when you consider they are a very small area. People don’t give them enough credit.

It just shows when sides are doing well, crowds go up.

Q: How do you feel the introduction of the two South African sides has worked out?

A: It has been overwhelmingly positive.

It’s transformed the league both on and off the field and been incredibly successful. We are delighted with how well it has gone.

We’ve not really had the kind of issues that one might have expected from expanding a major tournament.

That’s largely down to the hard work that was put in up front and just the positivity from all parties.

When people are open and willing and there’s reciprocity, things get a lot done a lot quicker and in the right way. That is what we got in South Africa, from the Union, the two teams and the broadcasters Super Sport, while our own team put in a huge amount of effort to get it over the line in time.

Everyone wanted it to happen and, as a result, it came together pretty quickly.

Q: We know it’s brought in significant TV revenue, but what about the rugby side of things?

A: A few people in South Africa didn’t realise the quality of the competition.

It hadn’t been covered over there. There was a lot of Top 14, Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup shown, but not our league.

There wasn’t an in-depth knowledge of what the PRO14 was like.

So the quality was a bit of a shock for some people down there. They now realise this is serious stuff.

The Cheetahs obviously fared the better of the two sides. They were very difficult to beat at home and it was a real achievement for them to reach the play-offs in their first season.

Their main target now is to take that home form on the road with them. If they can do that, they will be a serious force and pushing for the play-offs again.

It was always likely to be a tough year for the Southern Kings and so it proved.

They scored a lot of tries, now they will be looking to improve on their defence.

They have ambitions and are doing a lot of building off the field. They have got a few exciting announcements to come.

A lot of players come through that Eastern Cape region. The current Springboks captain, Siya Kolisi, is from Port Elizabeth.

The provincial union is not as financially strong as Western Province or Natal and players tend to go to the Stormers or the Sharks.

They’ve got to create a model that allows them to keep players and not lose them to other franchises. If they can do that, they will be very competitive, and that’s the goal. I expect them to step up over the next couple of years.

Q: There has been speculation about further South African sides coming on board. What can you tell us about that?

A: We are on record as saying we want to keep on expanding.

We go through a check list of main items when it comes to prospective teams and if all the boxes are ticked - the business case, the fan case, the competitive case - we look at it.

South Africa makes a lot of sense for us from a structural point of view, so we will definitely look at them again.

We have got to grow the league in a way that is sustainable and workable.

I think the best number for our competition is 16.

Strange as it may sound, that will actually allow us to play less rugby.

Going to 16 sides would make that possible. We have worked it out.

Having changed our format, we can be a little more flexible.

We do believe we need wherever possible to move away from international weekends and play slightly less rugby overall.

That way we have fewer matches where the star names are absent and we reduce the load on players generally.

Tadhg Beirne played 36 matches last season. He is at the peak of his game, but how long can he stay at the peak if he keeps on playing that much.

Q: You have a new TV deal in place for next season, with Premier Sports securing the broadcast rights for the UK and eir Sport taking over in Ireland? How was that decision reached.

A: It was a board decision. We as an executive put together a tender process and received bids. We put the best bid in front of the board and they made the decision. They obviously have input from our clubs. It’s a pretty robust process.

The bid which was accepted was significantly more than the next best offer. We worked hard for that in the process and we are very happy with it.

It puts us in a great position to kick on as a competititon.

It’s an amazing opportunity for rugby fans on both sides of the Irish Sea to follow every single game. That has never been done before in our league and not in England either.

People want to watch all of their team’s games, home and away, and now they can on one channel.

Q: There have been concerns expressed that moving off terrestrial television to pay TV could damage the profile of league. What would you say to that?

A: You are still going to be able to get PRO14 games on free to air through Premier’s sister channel FreeSports.

And if you want to see all the action, you can do via a pay platform through a very good value deal.

The reality is pretty much every professional rugby competition globally is behind a pay barrier now.

If people want to to watch their team every single week, then they can get the subscription at a very reasonable cost.

Q: Some people have also asked “Premier Who?” in the sense they are not known as big players in the market. Was that a concern at all?

A: Media is changing all the time.

Not so long ago, people would have been asking who are Eleven Sports. Now they have secured the rights to La Liga.

Things are moving at breakneck speed in media and the usual dynamic has been thrown up in the air.

You’ve had Sky and BT sharing broadcast rights in football and rugby, which is a new dimension.

Big companies like Amazon and Virgin TV are now looking at the market and you have got new players like Premier Sports and Eleven.

Premier have a simple approach. They are looking to be big in sports that they can compete in.

They will not necessarily touch Premier League. They will leave that to others, but they are looking to make their mark in the rugby market.

Q: What can people expect from Premier Sports in terms of their coverage of the PRO14?

A: They are pretty advanced in terms of getting presenters and pundits on board.

It’s exciting to see how the league is going to be covered and portrayed by them.

I think it will give fans rugby content at a different level.

The investment in production, punditry, marketing and promotion has gone up.

We are working with them, looking at innovation and how we freshen things up.

Every PRO14 match will be shown live under the new TV deal

There are a lot of good story lines out there in terms of covering the competition seven days a week.

You will have a highlights package and a weekly magazine show, with plenty of colour content.

It’s just about giving our competition a lot more depth. We will hear from a lot more players and coaches and it’s chance to tell the positive stories to a wider public.

We are looking at how we are going to roll it all out now. It’s an opportunity for our clubs to be more involved.

We are just very happy with the deal we have got and are looking forward to the partnership kicking in. We are in a good spot.

Q: I understand the basic formula is going to be two matches on a Friday and four on a Saturday, with one more to be fitted in on either day each week?

A: We are working on finalising the schedules at the moment. We are talking to the clubs to see what works for them in terms of kick-off times and there’s a broadcasters meeting this week.

I think people will be happy with what we come up with.

Q: Will S4C be showing any games live?

A: There will be at least one game a week on free to air. There will be more information to follow on that relatively soon.

Q: You’ve also just signed a three year deal for the RDA agency to market the league’s international distribution rights. How does that work exactly?

A: Basically the contract excludes the UK, Ireland, Italy and South Africa – the territories in which PRO14 teams are based.

The focus will be on growing revenues in core market, as well as increasing our global footprint.

It’s the perfect time to join forces with RDA who have a track record of success when it comes to sports media rights.

We can ensure rugby fans will feel a part of the Guinness PRO14 action no matter where they are.

Q: There was a big improvement in the performances of the Italian teams last season. What do you put that down to?

A: That was certainly a big bonus. Benetton picked up 11 wins and Zebre 7. That’s not bad going on and a really notable step up.

A lot of it comes down to stability.

 Once you give teams a stable base to build from, players and coaches will thrive from that. They know they are not going to be turfed out in a year or two. They can build on that basis and go out and recruit.

As soon as Italy lost their automatic spot in the Champions Cup and we went to straight meritocracy, you had Benetton almost going through on results.

That is sports psychology for you. You push yourself when you’ve got to achieve something.

We need to see that improvement continuing over time and the Italian sides really pushing for places in Europe and the play-offs.

It’s our job to make sure that teams 9-14 keep improving to push teams 1-8.

It’s all about getting better every season.

The same is true for the Kings and Dragons.

Are teams getting better? Are things being put in place to ensure that they more competitive? That's what we are always looking at.

Q: Quite a few fans are frustrated that the fixtures for next season aren’t out yet. Can you explain why that’s the case.

A: It’s an incredibly complex process.

It’s completely different to the English or French leagues where all the teams are in the same country and it’s a simple home and away format.

We’ve got 14 different teams from five countries. We’ve got cross border trips and flights to and from South Africa.

We also have to wait for the football fixtures because there are a number of joint venues.

But we are pretty close to getting the fixtures finalised.

As I say, we’ve got a broadcasters meeting this week and then they will go to clubs first.

They should be out the same time as last year, which was the middle of July.

Q: Will it be the same format as last season or will you re-jig the conferences?

A: It will be the same two conferences, with teams playing the other sides in their section home and away and then teams from the other conference either home or away.

The one change is we will reverse the cross-conference fixtures.

Everybody who had 10 home games last season will have 11 this time around, to give that equity.

And if you only play a team once and were away to them last season, you will be at home this time around.

So we will leave the conferences as they are for this coming season.

That gives us stability and a chance to build rivalries within those conferences.

We will look at that competition again after next season and maybe have a rejig then.

Q: Officiating is always a big talking point with the league. How do you see that developing moving forward?

A: There is big news coming up in terms of the professionalism of referees.

There’s been a lot of work done off season. Our Elite Referee Manager Greg Garner has done an amazing amount of work.

We are basically creating a panel of elite referees.

We are effectively paying for the refs, which is what happening in England and France. It just gives us that high performance.

We are going to see a positive change and we are really happy about that.

It’s all part of moving into a new era.

We are in a good spot right now with the competition, but you always looking down the line at how you can keep moving forward.

That’s why we’ve got a five year plan, looking at how we are going to build the best league in the world.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by RugbyFan100 on Wed 04 Jul 2018, 2:37 pm

-Could be good news about referee improvements
-Lets hope fixture times are spread across ALL teams, and certain ones don't have regular unfair slots.
-Pro14 didn't deliver on their promise last year of the conferences changing year on year
-Zero mention of the farcical final venue decisions. More than half the nations that compete in this tournament look unlikely to ever host the final. Ridiculous.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by marty2086 on Wed 04 Jul 2018, 2:53 pm

And yet despite the changes you get the same idiots complaining about the same crap

Lets hope fixture times are spread across ALL teams, and certain ones don't have regular unfair slots

Not exactly sure how it's unfair for a team to get the same slot, now we know you are talking about Ulster so why don't you tell us how many home games at the Kingspan kicked off at 19.35 on a Friday night? Would that be 7 of 12?

By the way you are asking for equality not fairness they aren't the same thing OK

-Zero mention of the farcical final venue decisions. More than half the nations that compete in this tournament look unlikely to ever host the final. Ridiculous.

It's farcical creating an event that can be widely marketed to generate revenue for the league and subsequently the clubs because not everyone gets a turn even though not everyone has asked for a turn? Rolling Eyes




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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 04 Jul 2018, 5:51 pm

marty2086 wrote:Not exactly sure how it's unfair for a team to get the same slot, now we know you are talking about Ulster so why don't you tell us how many home games at the Kingspan kicked off at 19.35 on a Friday night? Would that be 7 of 12?

It's not so much the regular Friday nights. It's more to do with the fact that the Irish sides hardly ever have to play on a Sunday.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 6:06 am

"That gives us stability and a chance to build rivalries within those conferences.

We will look at that competition again after next season and maybe have a rejig then."

No point changing at all then?

No Sunday games, which should obviously mean Dragons will be playing home on a Friday (pretty much) all of the time, unless we do double headers with the Townies Wink

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 9:07 am

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Not exactly sure how it's unfair for a team to get the same slot, now we know you are talking about Ulster so why don't you tell us how many home games at the Kingspan kicked off at 19.35 on a Friday night? Would that be 7 of 12?

It's not so much the regular Friday nights. It's more to do with the fact that  the Irish sides hardly ever have to play on a Sunday.

Or the fact that the Welsh broadcasters are happy to televise on a Sunday.
The league do not force Sunday games on teams - one of rugbys urban myths

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by marty2086 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 9:12 am

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Not exactly sure how it's unfair for a team to get the same slot, now we know you are talking about Ulster so why don't you tell us how many home games at the Kingspan kicked off at 19.35 on a Friday night? Would that be 7 of 12?

It's not so much the regular Friday nights. It's more to do with the fact that  the Irish sides hardly ever have to play on a Sunday.

Except that's not what RF said, handy for him to have you to translate for him Rolling Eyes

The fixtures come from tv more than anyone, you want to blame someone, blame your brethren who watch the games on a Sunday and make it viable for BBC Wales

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 9:36 am

Do posters on here really complain about what day and time their team regularly play their games? I mean is there that little to whinge about that someone would think it unfair that their side plays more sundays than another side? What advantage does anyone gain by that?

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 9:51 am

marty2086 wrote:why don't you tell us how many home games at the Kingspan kicked off at 19.35 on a Friday night? Would that be 7 of 12?



Last season? No, that would be 8 out of 12. You must not be able to count.

In the last 5 seasons, Ulster have played 42 out of 56 home league games in a regular slot of Friday evening. That's 75%.

In season 2013/14, they played every single home league match on a Friday evening.

Pathetic. Lets hope the new TV deal makes this league fairer. But somehow I doubt it will.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by marty2086 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 9:57 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:why don't you tell us how many home games at the Kingspan kicked off at 19.35 on a Friday night? Would that be 7 of 12?



Last season? No, that would be 8 out of 12. You must not be able to count.

In the last 5 seasons, Ulster have played 42 out of 56 home league games in a regular slot of Friday evening. That's 75%.

In season 2013/14, they played every single home league match on a Friday evening.

Pathetic. Lets hope the new TV deal makes this league fairer. But somehow I doubt it will.

1.Cheetahs
2.Scarlets
3.Dragons
4.Connacht
5.Southern Kings
6.Edinburgh
7.Ospreys

That's 7...I repeat 7...is that clear....SE7EN

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by The Oracle on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 10:07 am

Pete330v2 wrote:Do posters on here really complain about what day and time their team regularly play their games? I mean is there that little to whinge about that someone would think it unfair that their side plays more sundays than another side? What advantage does anyone gain by that?

To answer you first question, yes. The second one (about it being unfair), no I think that's the wrong word to describe the feeling. Your 3rd one, the advantage to be gained by my team not playing on a Sunday (a lot) is better attendances and thus better ticket and beer sales, etc. Every little helps. Nothing wrong with a few Sunday games. But I just remember the Dragons having something like 14 one season (I think?!). People just don't go as much on a Sunday so, from a league, club and marketing point of view, it doesn't make much sense. For the TV company, then they're trying to fill a slot. They'd like a Sunday game and pay for it. Great if the money from the TV company went directly to that team that plays lots of Sunday games but we know that the TV monies go into the union who divide it equally amongst their clubs/regions.

To make it clear, I don't think it's unfair in terms of a comparison with other sides. It kind of is, but what I mean is I'm not complaining that it's not fair. I just think it's bad for business. And if we're trying to grow the league then we want stadiums fuller and games at a time that suits more fans. Any business would want to maximise that, surely? So spread the Sundays around.

Just to add that last season was much better for the Dragons and, I expect due to complaints, there were a lot less Sunday games. I think it's right for fans to have a say if it doesn't suit them though. If all of Ulster's games moved to a Tuesday night and it didn't suit a lot of people I'm sure you'd expect them to have the right to their say? We all spend a stupid amount of time talking about which player a coach picked, why not another, whether a ref has made the right/wrong decision, etc. So why not discussing match day???
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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 10:23 am

marty2086 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:why don't you tell us how many home games at the Kingspan kicked off at 19.35 on a Friday night? Would that be 7 of 12?



Last season? No, that would be 8 out of 12. You must not be able to count.

In the last 5 seasons, Ulster have played 42 out of 56 home league games in a regular slot of Friday evening. That's 75%.

In season 2013/14, they played every single home league match on a Friday evening.

Pathetic. Lets hope the new TV deal makes this league fairer. But somehow I doubt it will.

1.Cheetahs
2.Scarlets
3.Dragons
4.Connacht
5.Southern Kings
6.Edinburgh
7.Ospreys

That's 7...I repeat 7...is that clear....SE7EN

laughing You're really not counting the Treviso game because it kicked off at 7.05pm on a Friday and not 7.35pm on a Friday?

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by marty2086 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 10:45 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:why don't you tell us how many home games at the Kingspan kicked off at 19.35 on a Friday night? Would that be 7 of 12?



Last season? No, that would be 8 out of 12. You must not be able to count.

In the last 5 seasons, Ulster have played 42 out of 56 home league games in a regular slot of Friday evening. That's 75%.

In season 2013/14, they played every single home league match on a Friday evening.

Pathetic. Lets hope the new TV deal makes this league fairer. But somehow I doubt it will.

1.Cheetahs
2.Scarlets
3.Dragons
4.Connacht
5.Southern Kings
6.Edinburgh
7.Ospreys

That's 7...I repeat 7...is that clear....SE7EN

laughing You're really not counting the Treviso game because it kicked off at 7.05pm on a Friday and not 7.35pm on a Friday?

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Well you said

Lets hope fixture times are spread across ALL teams, and certain ones don't have regular unfair slots.

That's a different slot or is now about the night or is just something to complain about.

So would you like to actually explain what the issue with it is?

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:18 am

marty2086 wrote:

So would you like to actually explain what the issue with it is?

Nah, you're ok. It's clear what the issue is to anyone with half a brain.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:18 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Or the fact that the Welsh broadcasters are happy to televise on a Sunday.
The league do not force Sunday games on teams - one of rugbys urban myths

marty2086 wrote:Except that's not what RF said, handy for him to have you to translate for him Rolling Eyes

The fixtures come from tv more than anyone, you want to blame someone, blame your brethren who watch the games on a Sunday and make it viable for BBC Wales

OK, so then this should stop, now that we have one broadcaster, and everyone now should get an even spread when it comes to TV companies dictating when teams should play.

I await this with baited breath. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:22 am

Also, there no wonder why this place is dying a death, how the MODS constantly turn a blind eye to marty and his antagonistic ways on here is beyond me. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by Sin é on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:28 am

LordDowlais wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Or the fact that the Welsh broadcasters are happy to televise on a Sunday.
The league do not force Sunday games on teams - one of rugbys urban myths

marty2086 wrote:Except that's not what RF said, handy for him to have you to translate for him Rolling Eyes

The fixtures come from tv more than anyone, you want to blame someone, blame your brethren who watch the games on a Sunday and make it viable for BBC Wales

OK, so then this should stop, now that we have one broadcaster, and everyone now should get an even spread when it comes to TV companies dictating when teams should play.

I await this with baited breath. Rolling Eyes

Why not try and accommodate all at the times that suit them? For instance, Saturday evening at 5pm is probably the best time for Munster (as their fans have long distances to travel). Friday night (unless its in Cork) will get a poor attendance. Sunday afternoon wouldn't be the worst for Munster either - only problem with that is that they may have to play the following Friday night.
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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:29 am

Slightly related question, but what is the preferred day/time for home games for pro14 fans?

As an Edinburgh fan, I prefer Friday evenings as its probably the only time I can realistically make, but conscious that it might not be possible going forward due to TV coverage.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:33 am

EWT Spoons wrote:Slightly related question, but what is the preferred day/time for home games for pro14 fans?

.

It differs from fan to fan. Some have kids, some have to travel further to the stadium, some work nights etc etc.

That's why an even spread for ALL teams can be the only fair way.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:33 am

EWT Spoons wrote:Slightly related question, but what is the preferred day/time for home games for pro14 fans?

As an Edinburgh fan, I prefer Friday evenings as its probably the only time I can realistically make, but conscious that it might not be possible going forward due to TV coverage.

Saturday afternoon between 2&3pm. That would be my preferred time. OK

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:42 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:Slightly related question, but what is the preferred day/time for home games for pro14 fans?

.

It differs from fan to fan. Some have kids, some have to travel further to the stadium, some work nights etc etc.

That's why an even spread for ALL teams can be the only fair way.

Surely it makes more sense for the clubs to say what times they prefer (taking on the comments of their fans) and that is accommodated as much as possible? There's no point giving the Blues 5 Friday evening games and Edinburgh 5 Saturday afternoon games if the Blues want Saturday games and Edinburgh want Friday ones.

if it is done properly and is well thought through (which isn't guaranteed!) it will mean the majority of games for each team when they want it. If they did it your way it would definitely mean most teams getting more games when they don't want them.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:47 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:Slightly related question, but what is the preferred day/time for home games for pro14 fans?

.

It differs from fan to fan. Some have kids, some have to travel further to the stadium, some work nights etc etc.

That's why an even spread for ALL teams can be the only fair way.

Surely it makes more sense for the clubs to say what times they prefer (taking on the comments of their fans) and that is accommodated as much as possible? There's no point giving the Blues 5 Friday evening games and Edinburgh 5 Saturday afternoon games if the Blues want Saturday games and Edinburgh want Friday ones.

if it is done properly and is well thought through (which isn't guaranteed!) it will mean the majority of games for each team when they want it. If they did it your way it would definitely mean most teams getting more games when they don't want them.

No, I don't agree. Because the end result will be 1 or 2 teams having 75% of their kick offs in their desired time. Several other teams having 50% of their kick offs in their desired time. and a few others having hardly any of their kick offs in their desired time. In other words....a hotch potch.

If it is shared equally, then there are no complaints.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:47 am

Why can't every game kick off at the same time ? What is wrong with everybody having 3pm Saturday afternoon kick off times ?

OK, we will have timezone issues with South Africa & Italy. But we can have the odd Friday night game, for the tele, and perhaps the odd late Saturday evening game for the tele.

But for the most they, could all be on a Saturday.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:48 am

LordDowlais wrote:Why can't every game kick off at the same time ? What is wrong with everybody having 3pm Saturday afternoon kick off times ?

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The TV deal

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:49 am

LordDowlais wrote:Why can't every game kick off at the same time ? What is wrong with everybody having 3pm Saturday afternoon kick off times ?

OK, we will have timezone issues with South Africa & Italy. But we can have the odd Friday night game, for the tele, and perhaps the odd late Saturday evening game for the tele.

But for the most they, could all be on a Saturday.

Well that would mean they could only show 2 or 3 games a weekend, depending on how many channels they have! If they split them over a weekend they can show many more.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:56 am

"Why can't every game kick off at the same time ? What is wrong with everybody having 3pm Saturday afternoon kick off times ?"

Well I for one like to watch more than one match at the weekend and I like to watch them live. I'd have only the Saturday to look forward to whereas with the current format you can get a match per day at the weekend, sometimes even a couple on the Saturday. The TV companies want us watching lots of rugby on their channels all weekend long, not just a stampede on a Saturday.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 11:59 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:Slightly related question, but what is the preferred day/time for home games for pro14 fans?

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It differs from fan to fan. Some have kids, some have to travel further to the stadium, some work nights etc etc.

That's why an even spread for ALL teams can be the only fair way.

Surely it makes more sense for the clubs to say what times they prefer (taking on the comments of their fans) and that is accommodated as much as possible? There's no point giving the Blues 5 Friday evening games and Edinburgh 5 Saturday afternoon games if the Blues want Saturday games and Edinburgh want Friday ones.

if it is done properly and is well thought through (which isn't guaranteed!) it will mean the majority of games for each team when they want it. If they did it your way it would definitely mean most teams getting more games when they don't want them.

This is what prompted my question, I know Edinburgh have said they are trying to get a time slot that suits their fanbase (where possible) for the majority of their home games, and this is Friday evenings.  I would imagine the other clubs are doing something similar.  From memory I think there are 2 - 3 matches due to be on Friday evening, and the rest on Saturday (Split between afternoon and evening), with none on Sunday.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 12:10 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:Slightly related question, but what is the preferred day/time for home games for pro14 fans?.

From a Gallagher Premiership fan's view - one of the reasons I stopped my season ticket this year (after 20 years) was because there was so much change in the fixtures from week to week. Of course having a 100 mile journey to Welford Road did not help, but it was very difficult to plan things. As soon as the fixture list would come out I would have to try and pl;an the season ahead - looking at when I would spend time with my kids (and all other father duties).

In order my favourites were:

Saturday Afternoon
Saturday Evening
Sunday Afternoon
Friday Evening
Sunday Evening

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 12:15 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Or the fact that the Welsh broadcasters are happy to televise on a Sunday.
The league do not force Sunday games on teams - one of rugbys urban myths

marty2086 wrote:Except that's not what RF said, handy for him to have you to translate for him Rolling Eyes

The fixtures come from tv more than anyone, you want to blame someone, blame your brethren who watch the games on a Sunday and make it viable for BBC Wales

OK, so then this should stop, now that we have one broadcaster, and everyone now should get an even spread when it comes to TV companies dictating when teams should play.

I await this with baited breath. Rolling Eyes

We will get 2 games on a Friday, 4 on a Saturday (2 in the afternoon and 2 in the evening) and 1 floater as per the TV deal so the beef about Sundays and Welsh TV Channels selecting it should at least stop

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by The Oracle on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 12:16 pm

Friday evenings for me (at the Dragons). Used to be that way a few years back and the crowds were healthier.

Friday suits because:

- If it's Saturday afternoon then that clashes with all welsh club rugby. Some (but not huge numbers) like to take their kids to the regional game AND take their kids to play in club rugby (or play themselves), plus it makes sense for a side that is meant to represent all of the clubs in the area not to clash with them on kick off time. So Friday allows those that can/want to to do both.
- Saturday afternoon also clashes with Newport County football who, by virtue of their tenancy agreement, have 'primacy of tenure' and so have first dibs on the Saturday 3pm kickoffs as per FA rules (don't get me started on that). We also have Newport RFC who play there and their welsh prem games tend to be on Saturday at 3pm (so alternate with the footy).
- Which leaves Sunday. I doubt there are many religious people in the Gwent area but Sunday is just under-attended for some reason and that must hurt the coffers. The atmosphere is always muted too. Like a funeral. So rather than a whinge about Sunday fixtures I just see Friday as an opportunity to maximise business revenues and produce a better experience, atmosphere, etc. based on my years of experience in attending.

Kind of agree that the only 'fair' way would be to randomise it, but some teams (like the Dragons) seem to be stuck to either Friday or Sunday so that needs to be factored it. I appreciate it's not easy pleasing everyone. But great that we can have these constructive debates.
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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by marty2086 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 12:25 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:

So would you like to actually explain what the issue with it is?

Nah, you're ok. It's clear what the issue is to anyone with half a brain.

So in other words you can't explain...not surprised

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by marty2086 on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 12:28 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Or the fact that the Welsh broadcasters are happy to televise on a Sunday.
The league do not force Sunday games on teams - one of rugbys urban myths

marty2086 wrote:Except that's not what RF said, handy for him to have you to translate for him Rolling Eyes

The fixtures come from tv more than anyone, you want to blame someone, blame your brethren who watch the games on a Sunday and make it viable for BBC Wales

OK, so then this should stop, now that we have one broadcaster, and everyone now should get an even spread when it comes to TV companies dictating when teams should play.

I await this with baited breath. Rolling Eyes

We will get 2 games on a Friday, 4 on a Saturday (2 in the afternoon and 2 in the evening) and 1 floater as per the TV deal so the beef about Sundays and Welsh TV Channels selecting it should at least stop

Let's not forget, two out of Ulsters 3 home games in the ERCC last season were Friday evening kick offs last season, it's almost like Friday evenings in Belfast are something that appeal to broadcasters or that Sky had a number of Ulster games picked out for a Friday night

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by Kingshu on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 6:08 pm

I cannot believe this is still an issue.
Remember TV monies did not used to get shared.
WRU sign deal with SC4 that has Sunday games
IRFU sign off deal for Ulster with BBCNI which has 7.30pm Friday games.

Welsh fans get annoyed they have to play Sunday games and other teams don't?
How can you be angry at the Non Welsh teams for something the Welsh teams only signed up for and kept the money off.

Welsh fans get annoyed as Dragons get most Sunday games?
It is only Welsh teams that are on the SC4 Sunday game deal between the 4 teams that will play a Sunday game the Dragons ground is used by Newport FC (who have priority) on Saturdays, and on the second Saturdays (when NFC are playing away) Newport RFC use it meaning that Dragons can very rarely play on a Saturday, meaning they will mostly get Friday and Sunday games. I think that this year it has been reduced and one Saturday evenings used as well.

The solution some on here seam to have wanted was that BBCNI show the Dragons play on a Friday night, and SC4 show Ulster home games on a Sunday? And the WRU keep tall the money from the contact that included Sunday games?

I cannto agree with the games being just evenly spread, what do Dragons do with their 3pm Saturday games? They cannot move NFC, would annoy people if NRFC were moved? Ospreys as well?

For big city teams, like Leinster, Ulster, Edinburgh think Glasgow and Cardiff as well, Friday night kick offs suit best.
For Scarlets, Munster, think Connacht and Ospreys Saturday nights are best.
not sure what woks best for SA and Italian teams.

By spreading games you are not maximising things.
Everyone should be scheduled when it suits them best where possible.

I think Friday nights suits Dragons, and not Scarlets, so why schedule them with both the same number of Friday games? while it is equal it isn't what is best for either team, their finances or the league.
Why not try to give Dragons more Friday and Scarlets more Saturday games?



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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by The Oracle on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 6:43 pm

Kingshu, I think you’re confusing the WRU with the fans. Of course the WRU were happy with the money. And of course the tv company was happy to fill a Sunday tv slot. And I reckon the other regions were happy to get a 4 way split of the money for having very few Sunday games. It was the Dragons who only got a 1/4 of the money to shoulder the majority of those Sunday fixtures at a time when we could have done with all of the help possible to fill the stadium and swell the coffers which Sunday games do not do (for whatever reason). So I think it’s worth discussing (from a fans perspective). We were told that we were essentially spoiling the league by having empty seats being beamed out to the world!


Last edited by The Oracle on Fri 06 Jul 2018, 10:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by Kingshu on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 9:07 pm

Oracle it doesn't matter now, it was an arguement for last year or more the year before that.
This year it appears there are no sunday games which will help. Hopefully we het a fixture list that everyone is happy with.
Although I think if Ulster fans are happy with the fixture list a few fans will be unhappy, no matter if the regions are content or not. More anti Ulster and provinces than pro regions.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by PhilBB on Fri 06 Jul 2018, 9:55 am

Kingshu wrote:
Remember TV monies did not used to get shared.


Sure about that?
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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by Brendan on Sat 07 Jul 2018, 7:03 pm

I am all for teams picking their favourite times for games.

Wouldn't mind if each teams had two slots that games were mixed between. It's all about attendances and fans knowing what they will get.

Average attendance for S15, T14 and Prem is about 15k while we are at 9k so getting more people makes better and all the teams are working on it.

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Re: Pro14-The Present and the Future

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 11 Jul 2018, 4:26 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Or the fact that the Welsh broadcasters are happy to televise on a Sunday.
The league do not force Sunday games on teams - one of rugbys urban myths

marty2086 wrote:Except that's not what RF said, handy for him to have you to translate for him Rolling Eyes

The fixtures come from tv more than anyone, you want to blame someone, blame your brethren who watch the games on a Sunday and make it viable for BBC Wales

OK, so then this should stop, now that we have one broadcaster, and everyone now should get an even spread when it comes to TV companies dictating when teams should play.

I await this with baited breath. Rolling Eyes

Who is “we”?

There are a number of broadcasters in the different territories.

EirSport will decide what slots it wants for Irish home games along with TG4.
Premier Sports will decide for Scot, NI and Wales along with S4C.
EuroSport for Italian home games.
SuperSport for SA home games.
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