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WRU Chooses Viewing Figures Over Cash

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:04 pm

Running rugby wrote:
Code:
18 July 2013 by Adrian Hill

Television rights are one of the most important commodities in a governing body’s locker. Set against that background the decision of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) to agree a new contract with the BBC for exclusive live coverage of their Autumn International matches on network television until 2018 is an intriguing strategic step.

The agreement also covers potential one off Test matches played at other times of the year, but does not include any games which will be scheduled in the ‘warm-up’ period before the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The WRU says it will “ensure” Saturday afternoon kick-offs become standard for Autumn Internationals from 2014 and there is also an option for Welsh language station S4C to show live international matches simultaneously with the BBC Network transmissions.

On the field, the stock of the Wales team is at its highest for 40 years; four RBS Six Nations titles in the last nine seasons, including three Grand Slams, and fourth place in the 2011 Rugby World Cup have been backed up recently by a British & Irish Lions side dominated by Welshmen securing a 2-1 series victory in Australia.

However, off the pitch the situation is not as rosy. Bickering between the WRU and the four Welsh regions has been done publicly and many of the principality’s top players have gone to seek their fortunes in England or France, with the regions admitting that they are unable to compete with the financial packages offered earlier this year by Northampton Saints to Scarlets wing George North and Racing Metro for Cardiff Blues centre Jamie Roberts and Ospreys flanker Dan Lydiate.

The trio of Lions join fellow Welshmen Mike Phillips (Bayonne), Luke Charteris and James Hook (both Perpignan), Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne), Paul James (Bath Rugby) and Craig Mitchell (Exeter Chiefs) in plying their trades away from home.

The regions are desperate for the WRU to help them keep Wales’ top players, with added financial subsidy the obvious solution. Yet the governing body has opted to stay loyal with the BBC rather than go elsewhere for potentially greater income.

A WRU spokesperson would not confirm or deny that other broadcasters bid for the Autumn Tests but with Sky Sports having clearly targeted extending its coverage, securing deals with France, Ireland and Italy in addition to its on-going relationship with England each November, it would appear that the WRU has turned down Sky, keeping its product on terrestrial television but at a price likely to be below what they would have received had they gone down the satellite route.

When asked, the WRU would not provide Running Rugby with any further details of the contract, other than confirming that it is a four-year deal with the BBC.

In a statement, the WRU says that the agreement will “make a significant contribution to the financial stability of the WRU over the coming seasons”. It remains to be seen how this munificence from the BBC will manifest itself in terms of the regions.

The clear pulling point of the deal is the potential number of people who will have access to the action. The WRU sets great store by the “significant television audience” and “the importance of making Welsh rugby available, to as wide an audience as possible.”

It adds that this “will have positive knock on effects for all of our stakeholders.”

WRU wants as many Wales fans as possible to see their team

A comparison with another sport is revelatory. In 2004 the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) decided to grant Sky Sports exclusive live rights to England’s home Test matches from 2006 in a deal said to be worth £200million. At the time the England cricket team (like Wales in rugby now) were riding high and then hit the jackpot with Ashes victory in 2005. Yet, unlike the WRU, the ECB chose to go for money over viewing figures and in doing so shored up the 18 first-class counties. Two further renewals between the parties mean that, by 2017, 12 seasons of live international cricket will have been shown solely on the Sky platform in the UK.

The money has helped make England even more successful, provided the resources to prevent the players all rushing off to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League, enabled ground improvements at county level and boosted the grass roots.

In 2009 a review called for England's home Ashes Tests to return to the list of events that must be shown live on `free-to-air` stations such as the BBC. The ECB argued that this move would lead to a serious reduction in funding, as their rights would become less lucrative without the option of cricket’s equivalent of the Six Nations being available to all bidders. It appears that the present government, having deferred a decision, is unlikely to accede to the recommendations.

Professor Chris Gratton, of the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, was on the 2009 review panel and tells Running Rugby that, despite appearing to place great store on securing terrestrial coverage, the WRU was adamant that the Six Nations and Autumn Internationals should not be on the protected list.

“At the debate, the WRU was saying that it needs to be free to negotiate with whoever it chooses,” says Gratton. “They didn’t want the Autumn Internationals on the list and the first minister of Wales and the chief executive of the WRU both said that if the Six Nations went on the list Welsh rugby would be decimated.”

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) continues to have an agreement with Sky Sports for England’s November Tests at Twickenham, an arrangement in place since 1997. At that time the RFU also controversially handed Sky exclusive live rights to its then-Five Nations home games. After five seasons, the RFU re-joined the BBC fold.

“England found out that people were not watching,” Gratton reflects. “They would get 500,000 viewers for their matches, Sky and terrestrial highlights combined, compared to over two million for the other home nations.”

England may be the biggest rugby nation on earth in terms of playing numbers but Gratton believes the key behind the WRU’s decision to stick with the BBC rather than be tempted by potentially greater riches on a niche channel lies with the perception of rugby being more culturally significant in Wales.

“For the Welsh it appears to be more important that their rugby is on terrestrial. That’s not the same in England or Scotland, where football holds that position. The WRU doesn’t want to make itself unpopular within Wales.”

The WRU has made its choice, and many will applaud it. Time will tell whether the regions will view it with quite so much enthusiasm. The WRU needs to manage its resources shrewdly but if many more Wales internationals set sail for pastures new, questions will be asked about how wise it was to settle for less cash at a time when the profile of Wales is at its height.

Sky Sports becoming broadcaster of the RaboDirect PRO12 from 2014-15 adds another dynamic. Covering matches involving the Welsh regions without Welsh star players would not have been what they signed up for.

A BBC spokesperson told Running Rugby that the corporation “never comments on rights deals as it is confidential information.”
http://www.runningrugby.com/media/wru-chooses-viewing-figures-over-cash/

A lazy post I know, but interesting I hope.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:23 pm

My feeling is that the WRFU is selling itself short.

The Welsh game is bleeding talent to foreigners whilst the entire Welsh club game had bled dry because of this ludicrous free-to-air charity they've adopted.

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Post by international197 Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:31 pm

If Sky Sports are offering a considerable amount more than the BBC for coverage of the Autumn Internationals, then why not take it?


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Post by LordDowlais Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:34 pm

Rugby is protected here in Wales, even if SKY did get it, S4C would still be able to air the internationals, this was passed in the senydd a few years back. So I doubt that sky would have offered that much more for the Welsh internationals, the Rabo on the other hand is a totaly different beast and I think SKY have purchased certain games for that for next season.

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Post by Guest Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:37 pm

They're not going to get many good games from the Rabo, I'd imagine. Dragons might get a few more games on the box though.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:41 pm

Risca Rev wrote:They're not going to get many good games from the Rabo, I'd imagine. Dragons might get a few more games on the box though.

yeah, I know, I was thinking this myself, I think SKY just purchased the games nobody else wanted just to get their foot in the door, they have been eying up the Rabo for a while now, I think in time to come they will end up with the lot, they seem to be stretching every muscle they have to get the Welsh internationals though.

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Post by HammerofThunor Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:21 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Rugby is protected here in Wales, even if SKY did get it, S4C would still be able to air the internationals, this was passed in the senydd a few years back. So I doubt that sky would have offered that much more for the Welsh internationals, the Rabo on the other hand is a totaly different beast and I think SKY have purchased certain games for that for next season.

 Do you have any reference for this? As far as I was aware only the UK Government could legally protect events as FTA. And only Welsh home games in the 6 nations were protected.

 Edit: this story suggests they don't have the power

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7992060.stm

Edit 2: the Assembly were given more powers after 2009 so they may be able to do it. Still can't find any reference to it mind

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Post by Casartelli Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:46 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Rugby is protected here in Wales, even if SKY did get it, S4C would still be able to air the internationals, this was passed in the senydd a few years back. So I doubt that sky would have offered that much more for the Welsh internationals, the Rabo on the other hand is a totaly different beast and I think SKY have purchased certain games for that for next season.

"passed in the senydd a few years back"???

Any links to any sources on this?  It seems to suggest that the WAG has powers outside free prescriptions and GCSEs.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:05 pm

walesonline wrote:
Code:


SIX NATIONS rugby matches involving Wales should be broadcast free to air, a top-level report will recommend today.

But while most people in Wales will welcome the news, the WRU fears it could lead to a damaging reduction in revenue that will end its ability to fund the game at the grassroots.

David Davies, the former executive director of the English Football Association, has led an inquiry into whether there should be a change in a list of so-called “Crown Jewels” – sporting events which must be available on free terrestrial TV.

Among the inquiry’s recommendations when the report is published today will be one that, because of the overwhelming interest in Wales’ Six Nations matches – with around seven in 10 households tuning in – they should be put on the Crown Jewels list. The other home nations would not be covered by the ruling because their viewing threshold is not considered high enough.

Currently the list includes such events as the FA Cup Final, the football World Cup and the Olympics. Although Six Nations rugby has not been on the list up to now, the BBC currently holds the contract to broadcast the matches and they are therefore available to all with a TV set.

There have been fears, however, that Sky could win a future contract, forcing people to buy a Sky package if they want to see the matches. The latest contract negotiated between the WRU and the BBC will begin next year and run until 2013. After that, if Wales’ Six Nations matches are added to the Crown Jewels list, Sky would be excluded from the bidding process.

Reports suggest that home qualifying matches for the football World Cup and European Championships should also be on the list, as should Ashes cricket test matches.

A spokesman for the WRU would last night only say: “We haven’t yet seen the report and await its publication with interest. If rugby is affected, we will be leaving any response to the appropriate body, which is the Six Nations Committee.”

Privately, however, senior executives at the WRU are seriously concerned at the potential impact of the Crown Jewels recommendation on the grassroots game.

Without Sky as a potential bidder, they believe the BBC would be able to strike a harder bargain, resulting in less revenue for the WRU. That, they believe, would force them to cut the support currently given to the great majority of the 241 clubs that play in the lower leagues.

In June, when AMs debated the issue at the Senedd, Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones confirmed that the Assembly Government wanted Six Nations matches to be added to the Crown Jewels.

The current Sky Ashes deal is worth £300m, and similar fears have been expressed by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The British Open golf tournament and the whole of Wimbledon are also expected to be classed as events of “special national resonance”.

Reacting to the decision to put the home football qualifying matches on the list, Gordon Smith, chief executive of the Scottish FA, said it demonstrated a lack of understanding.

“The games should be free to air – well it sounds great, it’s very populist in terms of the actual impact of it and I can understand that,” he said. “But from our point of view we think it would be disastrous for the game in terms of what we put into the game in Scotland.”

The majority of Mr Davies’ review is likely to be rubber stamped, including plans to abolish the so-called B list of events, highlights of which must be shown on terrestrial TV. Sporting fixtures like the Winter Olympics, the Derby, the Ryder Cup, Cricket World Cup and the World Athletics Championships could find themselves de-listed.

Despite the potential loss of exposure, some believe these events could potentially benefit from deals with pay TV.

“If you can negotiate bigger deals by not being on the list, arguably you have more funds to put back into the sports and create a better spectacle on the ground,” said brand expert Chris Lightfoot. “That in turn provides sponsors with other opportunities and benefits.”
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/wales-six-nations-matches-join-2070092

Implying an about-turn from WRFU

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:14 pm

" Wales matches in the Six Nations Rugby Championship (in Wales)"

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=34&ved=0CIoCEBYwIQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.parliament.uk%2Fbriefing-papers%2FSN00802.pdf&ei=NTvoUbfEDa_b4QT334HIDg&usg=AFQjCNFxH7Zee8Ic9WB7Eyvn95vSKsM03A&sig2=gwmCN_Fa1QqHU0SepXAJywonly)"

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:48 pm

Not got any links, but I remember a while ago, maybe when the RFC took their 5/6Ns games to sky, S4C have the right to show the full game (not necessarily live) due to being a minority language broadcaster.
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Post by Guest Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:17 pm

Casartelli wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Rugby is protected here in Wales, even if SKY did get it, S4C would still be able to air the internationals, this was passed in the senydd a few years back. So I doubt that sky would have offered that much more for the Welsh internationals, the Rabo on the other hand is a totaly different beast and I think SKY have purchased certain games for that for next season.

"passed in the senydd a few years back"???

Any links to any sources on this?  It seems to suggest that the WAG has powers outside free prescriptions and GCSEs.

Cas, not sure if you're being sarcastic or not but WAG (or WG to be more accurate now) has devolved powers in the following areas, one of which is sport:


Agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development
Ancient monuments and historic buildings
Culture
Economic development
Education and training
Environment
Fire and rescue services and promotion of fire safety
Food
Health and health services
Highways and transport
Housing
Local government
Public administration
Social welfare
Sport and recreation
Tourism
Town and country planning
Water and flood defence
Welsh language

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Post by HammerofThunor Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:41 am

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Not got any links, but I remember a while ago, maybe when the RFC took their 5/6Ns games to sky, S4C have the right to show the full game (not necessarily live) due to being a minority language broadcaster.

Being allowed by sky and always having rights are two different things. If it was then then it was before S4C was widely available in all of the UK (1996) and therefore Sky letting S4C show them (possibly for a fee) probably wouldn't have bothered them. Even now they're given some Amlin aren't they, but they don't show the HEC.

I'm not saying it's not true but I haven't seen anything on this reported anywhere (online at least,no access to printed Welsh media).

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Post by HammerofThunor Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:49 am

Portnoy's Complaint wrote:" Wales matches in the Six Nations Rugby Championship (in Wales)"

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=34&ved=0CIoCEBYwIQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.parliament.uk%2Fbriefing-papers%2FSN00802.pdf&ei=NTvoUbfEDa_b4QT334HIDg&usg=AFQjCNFxH7Zee8Ic9WB7Eyvn95vSKsM03A&sig2=gwmCN_Fa1QqHU0SepXAJywonly)"

No mention that it only applies to England due to developed powers. Of course it doesn't say it applies to the whole of the UK either. Very non-specific.

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Post by LordDowlais Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:45 am

HammerofThunor wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:Not got any links, but I remember a while ago, maybe when the RFC took their 5/6Ns games to sky, S4C have the right to show the full game (not necessarily live) due to being a minority language broadcaster.

Being allowed by sky and always having rights are two different things. If it was then then it was before S4C was widely available in all of the UK (1996) and therefore Sky letting S4C show them (possibly for a fee) probably wouldn't have bothered them. Even now they're given some Amlin aren't they, but they don't show the HEC.

I'm not saying it's not true but I haven't seen anything on this reported anywhere (online at least,no access to printed Welsh media).

S4C show the Highlights of every Welsh region in the HC the exact same night as when the games were played.thumbsup

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Post by LordDowlais Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:51 am

HammerofThunor wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Rugby is protected here in Wales, even if SKY did get it, S4C would still be able to air the internationals, this was passed in the senydd a few years back. So I doubt that sky would have offered that much more for the Welsh internationals, the Rabo on the other hand is a totaly different beast and I think SKY have purchased certain games for that for next season.

 Do you have any reference for this? As far as I was aware only the UK Government could legally protect events as FTA. And only Welsh home games in the 6 nations were protected.

 Edit: this story suggests they don't have the power

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7992060.stm

Edit 2: the Assembly were given more powers after 2009 so they may be able to do it. Still can't find any reference to it mind

The Sennedd actually took the bill to Westminster to be approved before they had the power to do this themselves. I cannot believe nobody actually is aware of this, Roger Lewis was on the tele saying this a few years back, giving his usual tripe about how he is in it for the regular every day fan.

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Post by rainbow-warrior Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:57 am

Won't be that long before Westminster have no say. Be interesting when Scotland become independent next year to see what happens with them & SKY etc.
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Post by HammerofThunor Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:09 am

LordDowlais wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:Not got any links, but I remember a while ago, maybe when the RFC took their 5/6Ns games to sky, S4C have the right to show the full game (not necessarily live) due to being a minority language broadcaster.

Being allowed by sky and always having rights are two different things. If it was then then it was before S4C was widely available in all of the UK (1996) and therefore Sky letting S4C show them (possibly for a fee) probably wouldn't have bothered them. Even now they're given some Amlin aren't they, but they don't show the HEC.

I'm not saying it's not true but I haven't seen anything on this reported anywhere (online at least,no access to printed Welsh media).

S4C show the Highlights of every Welsh region in the HC the exact same night as when the games were played.thumbsup

And ITV show the highlights of the English games (only one program on the Sunday night, repeated a few times). What does that prove other than highlights packages are sold to other broadcasters.

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Post by HammerofThunor Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:11 am

LordDowlais wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Rugby is protected here in Wales, even if SKY did get it, S4C would still be able to air the internationals, this was passed in the senydd a few years back. So I doubt that sky would have offered that much more for the Welsh internationals, the Rabo on the other hand is a totaly different beast and I think SKY have purchased certain games for that for next season.

 Do you have any reference for this? As far as I was aware only the UK Government could legally protect events as FTA. And only Welsh home games in the 6 nations were protected.

 Edit: this story suggests they don't have the power

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7992060.stm

Edit 2: the Assembly were given more powers after 2009 so they may be able to do it. Still can't find any reference to it mind

The Sennedd actually took the bill to Westminster to be approved before they had the power to do this themselves. I cannot believe nobody actually is aware of this, Roger Lewis was on the tele saying this a few years back, giving his usual tripe about how he is in it for the regular every day fan.

Says you. As I said before, I'm not saying it's not true but as far as I can tell (and I've tried searching for it a couple of times) there is nothing online, not an WRU press release or anything that says that Welsh home internationals are protected (over the UK protections for the 6 Nations).

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Post by rainbow-warrior Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:06 pm

I recall England trying to sell their games to Sky a few years back, failed miserably though innit hehehe
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Post by SecretFly Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:23 pm

Maybe I've asked this before but I'd love to know how many accountants, bankers, stock market analysts (or fans thereof) frequent this site.

Some of you, when a TV rights/sponsorship/"show me the money!" debate happens, become very cold beings indeed as dollar and pound signs always seem to out-weigh the notion of sport for the people (as in the majority)

Portnoy's Complaint casually throws out the line "ludicrous free-to-air charity" when denouncing the lack of financial sense in giving Wales Internationals to a free-to-air provider.  

Where's the elitism in that!??  Where's the money?  Where's the sacrifice inherent in getting a bloomin' (I is a sports watching professional) subscription?  Why should any old body watching their bloody putrid free-to-air channels get to watch a sport they know nothing about simply to pander to an outdated concept of sport for the whole population (rather than for the miriad of exclusive elitist sporting 'sub-sections' that subscription channels have created)?

I'm sure there are legitmate monetary concerns behind such opinions but I'm afraid I always smell a degree of snottiness directed at the great 'uneducated', unwashed majority who casually turn on a TV in February to cheer on their Nation (the philistine eejits! Wink)

Yes, free-to-air means less money - but it also means a bigger audience.  Most especially, a bigger young audience.  Most especially, young boys whose parents might possibly never contemplate having a SKY sports package.  So for an immediate shortfall in quick and easy money, the larger audience and the potential for a younger audience is a more long-term counter-balance of kinds; one I personally think is just as financially sound a theory as the quick grab one.
Long term sustainable growth (both in viewing figures and, more importantly, in potential increase in playing numbers) is as viable a blueprint as the big money/limited viewing figures one

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:46 pm

SecretFly wrote:Maybe I've asked this before but I'd love to know how many accountants, bankers, stock market analysts (or fans thereof) frequent this site.

Some of you, when a TV rights/sponsorship/"show me the money!" debate happens, become very cold beings indeed as dollar and pound signs always seem to out-weigh the notion of sport for the people (as in the majority)

Portnoy's Complaint casually throws out the line "ludicrous free-to-air charity" when denouncing the lack of financial sense in giving Wales Internationals to a free-to-air provider.  

Where's the elitism in that!??  Where's the money?  Where's the sacrifice inherent in getting a bloomin' (I is a sports watching professional) subscription?  Why should any old body watching their bloody putrid free-to-air channels get to watch a sport they know nothing about simply to pander to an outdated concept of sport for the whole population (rather than for the miriad of exclusive elitist sporting 'sub-sections' that subscription channels have created)?

I'm sure there are legitmate monetary concerns behind such opinions but I'm afraid I always smell a degree of snottiness directed at the great 'uneducated', unwashed majority who casually turn on a TV in February to cheer on their Nation (the philistine eejits! Wink)

Yes, free-to-air means less money - but it also means a bigger audience.  Most especially, a bigger young audience.  Most especially, young boys whose parents might possibly never contemplate having a SKY sports package.  So for an immediate shortfall in quick and easy money, the larger audience and the potential for a younger audience is a more long-term counter-balance of kinds; one I personally think is just as financially sound a theory as the quick grab one.
Long term sustainable growth (both in viewing figures and, more importantly, in potential increase in playing numbers) is as viable a blueprint as the big money/limited viewing figures one

Is a bit like churches wanting Songs of Praise being on every day and twice on Sundays because although their congregations are dwindling, their choirs are great.

I can't begin to wonder why the added extra interest in childhood gender is there for. Daughters, girlfiends and Mums can take an interest in all rôles from participant through activist* to spectator.

*i.e. ferrying around, making the playersboys' food, and graciously accepting being butt of flirtatious/sexist comments.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:00 pm

I think all our national tests should be on the BBC and freely available to all.  These are OUR teams, no?  We should all be able to watch.  Not just for the obvious logical financial long term growth strategy of bringing in the next generation, but because they are US.

Which brings me to a rant about...us.  We are all one effing country (apologies to the Irish from the republic, not directed at you of course).  This devolution populist pandering nonsense can destroy a great country.  And will leave in the ashes smaller weaker and financially less well off rumps.  Think times are tight now?  None of us (excepting maybe Portnoy) were around when the crowns were united.  For three hundred years we built something great.  It would be a terrible shame and a terrible waste to blow it up so some politicians can secure a few votes, then live out their retirement on nice pensions and all crashes around them.  

Sorry for that, boys and girls.  Needed to vent.

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Post by SecretFly Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:04 pm

Portnoy's Complaint wrote:

Is a bit like churches wanting Songs of Praise being on every day and twice on Sundays because although their congregations are dwindling, their choirs are great.

I can't begin to wonder why the added extra interest in childhood gender is there for. Daughters, girlfiends and Mums can take an interest in all rôles from participant through activist* to spectator.

*i.e. ferrying around, making the playersboys' food, and graciously accepting being butt of flirtatious/sexist comments.

Em...I'm finding it difficult to follow all that Portnoy's. The bit I can follow (highlighted) seems to be more an analogy for Sky sports than it is an argument put forward for free-to-air....?

Anyway, I might be missing the point of that line too! Wink If so, by all means clarify



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Post by Irish Londoner Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:28 pm

The comparison with cricket (which is gone wholly to SKY) is interesting as there are less young people who are taking up the sport and joining clubs as they are not seeing cricket on TV.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:38 pm

I agree, IL.

Although the WRU is committed apparently to sub-optimising both its and its Union's stakeholders streams of revenues. The Regions and the clubs are cash-strapped and only at the Cathedral are congregations are full whilst the churches and chapels continue to decline and/or are forced to sell their alter silverware.

Apparently the WRU are convinced that the meek shall inherit the Earth...

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Post by maestegmafia Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:44 pm

Welsh rugby is protected as a national treasure in the same way English International Soccer is for them. Ofcom are the people in charge.

Read the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events / BBC proposal, and you will see under Rugby Union Wales International and Six Nations matches are protected from being sold to pay per view channels.

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Post by maestegmafia Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:50 pm

Portnoy's Complaint wrote:I agree, IL.

Although the WRU is committed apparently to sub-optimising both its and its Union's stakeholders streams of revenues. The Regions and the clubs are cash-strapped and only at the Cathedral are congregations are full whilst the churches and chapels continue to decline and/or are forced to sell their alter silverware.

Apparently the WRU are convinced that the meek shall inherit the Earth...


I'm not sure even you can follow what you wrote there mate...!


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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:31 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
Portnoy's Complaint wrote:I agree, IL.

Although the WRU is committed apparently to sub-optimising both its and its Union's stakeholders streams of revenues. The Regions and the clubs are cash-strapped and only at the Cathedral are congregations are full whilst the churches and chapels continue to decline and/or are forced to sell their alter silverware.

Apparently the WRU are convinced that the meek shall inherit the Earth...


I'm not sure even you can follow what you wrote there mate...!

Put it this way maes (and SF for that matter). I'll put it simply.

If you can't afford to feed your family, you either find a job that pays better or you apply for benefits (if available).

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Post by maestegmafia Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:49 pm

The PWC report showed that the regions were badly managed not un-financially viable.

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Post by profitius Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:34 pm

If rugby is protected in Wales then shy would sky offer them much money. Sky wants exclusivity for everything it pays for. I suspect that sky offered a little bit extra but it wasn't enough to tempt the WRU.


In Ireland the november internationals are on free to air TV in the republic but viewers in northern Ireland are blocked from viewing! Now our Ulster friends accused the IRFU of neglecting them but I think its just a fact of having 2 seperate jurisdictions with their own laws and rules.
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Post by HammerofThunor Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:30 pm

maestegmafia wrote:Welsh rugby is protected as a national treasure in the same way English International Soccer is for them. Ofcom are the people in charge.

Read the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events / BBC proposal, and you will see under Rugby Union Wales International and Six Nations matches are protected from being sold to pay per view channels.

Do you mean this? 

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/broadcast/other-codes/ofcom_code_on_sport.pdf


Only rugby union on here is World Cup final. The proposals don't mean anything until they're ratified and as far as I'm aware the proposed list was reduced to remove none 6nations Wales games.

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Post by HammerofThunor Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:40 pm

After a bit of digging I think this is the current set up

As Maesteg said Ofcom control protected events for the UK. There are no developed responsibilities.

The current list includes the rugby World Cup final as the only union protected event.

In 2009 the BBC proposed adding Welsh home games in 6 nations and Autumn Internationals and the World Cup tournament.

Later in 2009 a panel led by David Davies gave recommendations that the whole World Cup and Welsh home games in 6 nations be added to the list of protected events.

It was decided to defer the revision of the list until after the Digital switch over in 2013.

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Post by Shifty Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:08 pm

Wales grass roots rugby is in total free fall, Wales actually now has the lowest player numbers of all the 6 Nations. Even Scotland have soared ahead of us.

The last thing the WRU want to do is make it hard for the few fans left to see Wales play. It's a good long term way to do things.
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Post by profitius Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:48 pm

Shifty wrote:Wales grass roots rugby is in total free fall, Wales actually now has the lowest player numbers of all the 6 Nations.  Even Scotland have soared ahead of us.

The last thing the WRU want to do is make it hard for the few fans left to see Wales play.  It's a good long term way to do things.


Sure about that Shifty? Its hard to imagine Scotland having more numbers than Wales.


What effect is premiership soccer having?
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Post by The Saint Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:58 pm

I'd be surprised if Italy and Scotland have more junior players than us. Though if they have then perhaps it's because their grass roots have improved. As it is, the strength of teams at grass roots in Wales is pretty good.

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Post by HammerofThunor Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:07 pm

Country/pre-teen/teen/senior
Wales/34000/23000/12000
Scotland/96404/38531/13873
Italy/31488/18359/66402

Males only

 Edit: Wales' figures are suspiciously round. Also these numbers are notoriously unreliable.

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Post by The Saint Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:17 pm

Yeah that is suspicious. They've changed since I last seen them. When I last viewed them we had just a little less than Ireland, but that was a lot more than Scotland.

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Post by HammerofThunor Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:01 pm

Ireland/48315/57808/25616

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Post by yappysnap Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:10 pm

Have Scotland got some kind of school rugby setup to boost those pre teen numbers?

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Post by Guest Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:45 am

The thing with Scotland is, their club system is a bit of a mockery of adult rugby below a certain level (unless it has changed since 09), as below the top level club sides (at some point) you're only allowed to push 1.5m in the scrum. Very hard work is that getting pinged if you go a bit further.

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Post by maestegmafia Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:10 am

HT as I wrote above...!

Read the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events / BBC proposal

It clearly states exactly what the welsh fans said, that rugby is a protected sport in Wales and is not allowed to be sold Pay Per View except Friendly Fixtures arranged outside the WRU program.

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Post by HammerofThunor Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:41 am

maestegmafia wrote:HT as I wrote above...!

Read the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events / BBC proposal

It clearly states exactly what the welsh fans said, that rugby is a protected sport in Wales and is not allowed to be sold Pay Per View except Friendly Fixtures arranged outside the WRU program.

Do you think the BBC proposal is actual valid on it own? It's just a proposal. As I said before, the Ofcom list currently only protects rugby World Cup final. The BBC proposal included the Welsh AI and 6N games. But this hasn't been implemented and a parliamentary panel have recommended just the Welsh home games in the 6N are protected.

I feel like I'm repeating myself.

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Post by Shifty Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:44 am

HammerofThunor wrote:Country/pre-teen/teen/senior
Wales/34000/23000/12000
Scotland/96404/38531/13873
Italy/31488/18359/66402

Males only

 Edit: Wales' figures are suspiciously round. Also these numbers are notoriously unreliable.

The junior game in Wales is in total free fall at the moment, many school simply don't play the game anymore and most clubs no longer have junior sections. I was talking to a coach at Kenfig Hill the other day and he told me that Kenfig Hill is now the only local village side with a youth section. Pyle and Cefn Cribbwr and a few others have all closed theirs down due to lack of interest. Granted 3 rugby clubs all within a frisbe throwing distance is a bit much, but either way you do wonder where the players are going to come from for these local clubs in the next 10 years.
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Post by maestegmafia Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:43 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:HT as I wrote above...!

Read the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events / BBC proposal

It clearly states exactly what the welsh fans said, that rugby is a protected sport in Wales and is not allowed to be sold Pay Per View except Friendly Fixtures arranged outside the WRU program.

Do you think the BBC proposal is actual valid on it own? It's just a proposal. As I said before, the Ofcom list currently only protects rugby World Cup final. The BBC proposal included the Welsh AI and 6N games. But this hasn't been implemented and a parliamentary panel have recommended just the Welsh home games in the 6N are protected.

I feel like I'm repeating myself.

You are repeating yourself because you are not reading what is written. I can't be bothered to repeat myself again for you.

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Post by HammerofThunor Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:44 pm

I can read very well. However you seem to not understand what a proposal is.

Do you acknowledge that only the BBC proposal had the Welsh home internationals on it? And do you acknowledge that the current protected list ONLY has the World Cup final on it (for rugby)?

If not, you live in a dream world.

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Post by maestegmafia Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:59 pm


The BBC unveiled a proposed reordering of the list on 30 July 2009 it creates a new category for events that would have to be aired live in their entirety on a free-to-air channel.[2]

List A1
Events that would have to be aired live in their entirety on a free-to-air channel:

Association football:

FIFA World Cup finals (all matches)
UEFA European Football Championship
Multi-sport events:

Summer and Winter Olympic Games
List A2
These events, generally seen as only important to one Home Nation, would have to be aired live in their entirety on a free-to-air channel in that nation only:

Association football:

FA Cup final (in England)
Scottish Cup final (in Scotland)
FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Football Championship qualifiers (in the respective nation)
Rugby union:

Wales Six Nations and internationals (in Wales)
Multi-sport events:

Commonwealth Games (in the respective nation)
List A3
This list's definition is identical to the current Category A. Free-to-air channels must air coverage, but it can be shared by subscription channels:

Cricket:

World Cup final
ICC World Twenty20 final
Horse racing:

Grand National
Epsom Derby
Rugby league:

Challenge Cup final
Rugby union:

Rugby World Cup final
Tennis:

Wimbledon Championships men's and women's finals
List B
These events may be shown on a subscription channel if highlights are made available to a free-to-air channel.

Cricket

World Cup (highlights of all games must be made available to the free channel)
ICC World Twenty20
England home Test matches
Golf:

The Open
Ryder Cup
Rugby union:

World Cup
Six Nations Championship (highlights of all games must be made available to the free channel)
British and Irish Lions tours
Tennis:

Wimbledon Championships
Women's sports:

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Post by HammerofThunor Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:16 pm

How many times? That was the proposal. It has not been implemented. A parliamentary panel made their own recommendations that included only the Welsh home 6 nation games. Nothing has been implemented and the 2000 list still current.

Edit: Here's a link to the panel review in late 2009 (after the BBC proposal)

(link wouldn't work for some reason, but search "Review of Free-to-Air Listed Events 2009" and you'll get it and a summary report.

Page 11 of the summary is relevant as it specifies the changes. Note these recommendations haven't been implemented yet. It was decided to postpone any changes until after everyone is on digital (probably due to the definition of Free-to-Air changing with the increased number of channels)

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Post by Casartelli Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:39 pm

I think I speak for the entire forum when I say that I'd like to read more on this debate.

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Post by Shifty Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:47 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:Wales' figures are suspiciously round. Also these numbers are notoriously unreliable.

It's because about 6 clubs missed their registrations last season and didnt tell the Union about their young players number. It's on the North Wales rugby council website. Flint were on of the clubs involved I think.
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