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URC=Better League

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doctor_grey
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Post by Pot Hale Sat 11 Jun 2022, 12:01 am

First topic message reminder :

Been a great season from this fan's point of view. Lost this evening to a better team, but it's a great result for the league overall.

Big budgets don't necessarily win you competitions.

Great performances and some great match-ups this season.

Still two matches to go and it could end up with an SA team winning the comp in only their third season of involvement. Or Ulster setting the benchmark for others to follow.



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Post by Old Man Thu 23 Jun 2022, 3:06 pm

Intotouch wrote:
Old Man wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Might be wrong but I think the Welsh teams have always wanted to be part of a league with the English teams. As a result they on the whole havent shown much interest in the URC and previous versions of it albeit there have been some great Welsh sides like the Osprey's galacticos and the recent Scarlets side that won the league.


I think you mean 'some Welsh fans'.

oK, so not all Welsh fans have a negative position to the URC?

Would they be more positive to the URC without the SA teams?

In the past did the Welsh teams compete against the English clubs in a league?

Hi Old Man,
I thought there was a ten year period (80s? 90s?) where Welsh and English teams played each other regularly. I could be wrong about this so apologies to Welsh fans reading this if I am. From the comments and some articles that I’ve read in Welsh media some rugby fans see joining the prem as a great solution to crowd attendances as away fans traveled easily to matches against English sides in the past  and everyone was excited to see their teams against English opposition and it was wonderful for everyone.

The English premiership did definitely make an offer to accept a certain number of Welsh teams into their competition. I think this was way back in ‘’95/96. I’m not sure of the year. The WRU refused the offer at the time. This refusal and the “what ifs “ and “if onlys” of playing in the premiership is brought up in click bait articles in WalesOnline regularly or by fans in comments there bizarrely regularly. As far as I can tell there is zero interest from the premiership in making this offer again.

A major problem in Wales I think is the REGULAR drip feed of negative articles about the URC in WalesOnline (no 1 most popular site for rugby news in Wales, first up on Google search)and the easy access/ immersion in English media that simultaneously hype up the premiership and how good and exciting  it is. The two together make it harder to entice Welsh fans to attend or even be open to the URC. Does any journalist in Wales point out the benefits of the URC? Maybe negative articles are garunteed more clicks. I don’t know how editors decided this. This running down of the URC and harking after joining the premiership or having a British and Irish league pre-dates the South African teams joining. The criticism of the SA teams joining that I’ve noticed in Welch podcasts/ press is that the distance and cost of travelling so far for a match is extreme/ crazy, how random the collection of countries involved is, And how a British and Irish league makes much better sense than this.  

In contrast following SA rugby news this year I was struck by how uniformly positive all news sites were there about the URC and didn’t see one article discussing how they should have stayed in super rugby or how super rugby is so much better and if only they could rejoin and remember in 2010 how brilliant it was to play against ….. Indeed the URC was more than accepted by journalists it was actively promoted! Articles pointing out benefits like international players in every team etc. The Belfast telegraph has regular articles bout the prem teams but apart from this the prem isn’t promoted in Ireland or much discussed. In the Scottish press there’s a few negative articles/ podcast discussions about pro 12/ 14/ URC problems yearly, but nothing major. In Ireland it’s discussed in a positive way but not like that. More like the way eating lots of leafy greens and less sugar it’s considered good for us but not hyped by journalists. Once a year ish  there’s some criticism/ debate in the media about the standard.  I think we should do out best to follow SAs lead and hype this league. Has it ever been as well promoted in Europe? Can journalists, who are rugby lovers, get together and back this competition? I’d love to see this thrive.

The South African sides joining has been great for the league IMO. Rugby fans in Ireland that I know all agree on this. The lack of travelling fans has and will always be a problem for the league. It is a mish mash of teams. It is a bit crazy in some ways. But it’s in one time zone with more contrasts in style and climate than any other league which must help players develop and it’s still a young league with ways to improve. Id love to see at least four teams, from more than one country, with a good shout of winning it each year.

Thanks for the response and history intotouch.

Strangely enough the SA pundits actually believe they could have done a lot more to promote the URC, and I think it will be much better promoted in SA next season.

Some of the Irish podcasts I have been listening to also mentioned the URC should be better promoted in Europe, in general they have been more positive about the inclusion of the SA teams whilst some of the pundits were very perochial about the Irish teams and perhaps a little derogatory about the style of SA rugby.

Which in my opinion is a lazy way to look at our teams, we do play direct rugby with oodles of physicality, yet there are some silky skills and great tries scored by the SA teams.

It is a shame the Welsh media influence the Welsh supporters negatively, but I suppose there isn't much anyone else can do about it. That would be something they need to sort out or come to terms with thrmselves.

I think the SA rugby public have really enjoyed the URC and with crowds now being able to come back in full force the final showcased our passion for the sport and what a spectacle we can put on.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 23 Jun 2022, 6:13 pm

Old Man wrote:
Intotouch wrote:
Old Man wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Might be wrong but I think the Welsh teams have always wanted to be part of a league with the English teams. As a result they on the whole havent shown much interest in the URC and previous versions of it albeit there have been some great Welsh sides like the Osprey's galacticos and the recent Scarlets side that won the league.


I think you mean 'some Welsh fans'.

oK, so not all Welsh fans have a negative position to the URC?

Would they be more positive to the URC without the SA teams?

In the past did the Welsh teams compete against the English clubs in a league?

Hi Old Man,
I thought there was a ten year period (80s? 90s?) where Welsh and English teams played each other regularly. I could be wrong about this so apologies to Welsh fans reading this if I am. From the comments and some articles that I’ve read in Welsh media some rugby fans see joining the prem as a great solution to crowd attendances as away fans traveled easily to matches against English sides in the past  and everyone was excited to see their teams against English opposition and it was wonderful for everyone.

The English premiership did definitely make an offer to accept a certain number of Welsh teams into their competition. I think this was way back in ‘’95/96. I’m not sure of the year. The WRU refused the offer at the time. This refusal and the “what ifs “ and “if onlys” of playing in the premiership is brought up in click bait articles in WalesOnline regularly or by fans in comments there bizarrely regularly. As far as I can tell there is zero interest from the premiership in making this offer again.

A major problem in Wales I think is the REGULAR drip feed of negative articles about the URC in WalesOnline (no 1 most popular site for rugby news in Wales, first up on Google search)and the easy access/ immersion in English media that simultaneously hype up the premiership and how good and exciting  it is. The two together make it harder to entice Welsh fans to attend or even be open to the URC. Does any journalist in Wales point out the benefits of the URC? Maybe negative articles are garunteed more clicks. I don’t know how editors decided this. This running down of the URC and harking after joining the premiership or having a British and Irish league pre-dates the South African teams joining. The criticism of the SA teams joining that I’ve noticed in Welch podcasts/ press is that the distance and cost of travelling so far for a match is extreme/ crazy, how random the collection of countries involved is, And how a British and Irish league makes much better sense than this.  

In contrast following SA rugby news this year I was struck by how uniformly positive all news sites were there about the URC and didn’t see one article discussing how they should have stayed in super rugby or how super rugby is so much better and if only they could rejoin and remember in 2010 how brilliant it was to play against ….. Indeed the URC was more than accepted by journalists it was actively promoted! Articles pointing out benefits like international players in every team etc. The Belfast telegraph has regular articles bout the prem teams but apart from this the prem isn’t promoted in Ireland or much discussed. In the Scottish press there’s a few negative articles/ podcast discussions about pro 12/ 14/ URC problems yearly, but nothing major. In Ireland it’s discussed in a positive way but not like that. More like the way eating lots of leafy greens and less sugar it’s considered good for us but not hyped by journalists. Once a year ish  there’s some criticism/ debate in the media about the standard.  I think we should do out best to follow SAs lead and hype this league. Has it ever been as well promoted in Europe? Can journalists, who are rugby lovers, get together and back this competition? I’d love to see this thrive.

The South African sides joining has been great for the league IMO. Rugby fans in Ireland that I know all agree on this. The lack of travelling fans has and will always be a problem for the league. It is a mish mash of teams. It is a bit crazy in some ways. But it’s in one time zone with more contrasts in style and climate than any other league which must help players develop and it’s still a young league with ways to improve. Id love to see at least four teams, from more than one country, with a good shout of winning it each year.

Thanks for the response and history intotouch.

Strangely enough the SA pundits actually believe they could have done a lot more to promote the URC, and I think it will be much better promoted in SA next season.

Some of the Irish podcasts I have been listening to also mentioned the URC should be better promoted in Europe, in general they have been more positive about the inclusion of the SA teams whilst some of the pundits were very perochial about the Irish teams and perhaps a little derogatory about the style of SA rugby.

Which in my opinion is a lazy way to look at our teams, we do play direct rugby with oodles of physicality, yet there are some silky skills and great tries scored by the SA teams.

It is a shame the Welsh media influence the Welsh supporters negatively, but I suppose there isn't much anyone else can do about it. That would be something they need to sort out or come to terms with thrmselves.

I think the SA rugby public have really enjoyed the URC and with crowds now being able to come back in full force the final showcased our passion for the sport and what a spectacle we can put on.
My thoughts on your thoughts which were in response to Old Man's comments which were in response.....
I think the URC and its predecessors have all been poorly marketed (The Premiership is not much better by the way), both at home and in Europe, as well as the rest of the diaspora.  To me, there is a big opportunity, which Rugby in general and the URC continue to miss.  

The issue with the URC and its predecessors in Wales is a mystery to me.  Ospreys did have those great teams about 10 years ago which formed the core of some very good Wales teams.  I also can't comment about Welsh teams in the Premiership.  Not sure how sincere the offer to join the Premiership was (though I do remember a series of discussions over a period of years), but that ship has sailed.  To be fair, in Cricket, the Welsh do throw their lot in with England; the ECB is formally named the England and Wales Cricket Board.  

I think it is fair to say the Celtic League, Magners League, Pro 12/14, and now the URC is truthfully a cobbled together association.  Prior to professionalism there were quite a few top level clubs in both Wales and Scotland.  When professionalism hit, there were too many clubs for the smaller populations to maintain, so the Super Rugby model was adopted (to a degree).  Wales created 5 teams which then went down to 4, Scotland from 3 to 2.  Ireland always had their provincial model with the 4 teams.  Perhaps someone will remind me, but I don't really remember too many calls for a pan-UK/Ire league at that time.  

Adding the SA teams gives the URC as well as the Heineken Cup a shake up sorely needed.  The differences in playing style, even more so. Merchandised right, it could be great for the league and for the growth of Rugby globally.  Unfortunately, we are now down to three major club Rugby leagues.  Super Rugby, without the SA teams, and to a much lesser extent a team in Argentina (should have been two), will now be shut off from the rest of the world and will eventually be propped up by their private equity money.  So the finances there will need to be watched before it becomes a problem which impacts all of us.  

And, by the way, welcome to UK/Ire/France.  Just like in Europe, everyone in every corner is parochial.  Drive 30 miles and if you don't get caught by a speed camera (UK), you will find yourself in another part of our islands with a different point of view, let alone a different accent.

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Post by LordDowlais Fri 24 Jun 2022, 10:20 am

Just to be clear on this subject. I do not hate the league. I can just recognise areas that need to improve, and I broach the subjects on here, the problem is, that a lot of people on here do not like me doing it. Sorry

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Post by LordDowlais Fri 24 Jun 2022, 11:39 am

Hence the red bar. Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Post by RugbyFan100 Fri 24 Jun 2022, 12:44 pm

profitius wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Oakdene wrote:

As long as Ulster are looked after for their 7pm Friday home games......

The other clubs just accept it. They have no backbone. Imagine Stade Francais had a little special slot at 5pm on Saturdays in the Top14 whilst all the others had fixtures all over the place...do you think Toulon and the rest would just accept it? Of course that wouldn't happen as the T14 is competent league.

Anybody able to answer the question on how many evening home fixtures the South African sides had?
Given that we have finally accepted that TV dictate kick off times; In order to fix it, the league would have to go out and get brand new TV deals would it not?

As I've said, the 'league' is such an awful, out of control monstrosity, it is unfixable. There are far too many teams in it spread across too many places for any tv deal to make it work


Nonsense. All are on roughly the same time zone and the world cup has teams from everywhere, is that devalued?


The same arguments were made when the Italians joined.

The World Cup isn't a league.

Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Post by RugbyFan100 Fri 24 Jun 2022, 12:49 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:

The teams that can and do incur huge debts have massive assets behind them (large TV deal, stadium, hotels, casinos like in the NRL etc) which they can take out loans against or wealthy backers to take the hit. This is certainly not the case for most of the prem sides. If it wasn't a problem they wouldn't be dropping the salary cap so dramatically for next season.

Ulster, Connacht and Munster are in HUGE amounts of debt. They haven't made profits in years. To a lesser extent Ulster. Their sugar daddy is a Union though. So they don't get hit with the same stick. They just reap the benefits of the game in their country as a whole. This is absolutely no different to the English sides. The rich owner is just a different entity.

It's well-known that Munster are in a difficult place.  What informs you that Connacht and Ulster are in the same position of being HUGE amounts in debt?

Not sure about Ulster to be fair. But there's no way Connacht are close to making any money or ever have been. Their matchday income, stadium facilities and revenue streams are tiny, and they have a squad that costs about as much as Cardiff. Plus aren't they getting a stadium refurbishment paid for them? What have they done to merit that? The Union is just funding them via financial doping. IRFU is their sugar daddy. Same as Munster.

In Wales the teams get slaughtered if they get money from the Union and people say they are "rewarding mediocrity". In Ireland, you get a stadium upgrade.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 24 Jun 2022, 1:23 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:

The teams that can and do incur huge debts have massive assets behind them (large TV deal, stadium, hotels, casinos like in the NRL etc) which they can take out loans against or wealthy backers to take the hit. This is certainly not the case for most of the prem sides. If it wasn't a problem they wouldn't be dropping the salary cap so dramatically for next season.

Ulster, Connacht and Munster are in HUGE amounts of debt. They haven't made profits in years. To a lesser extent Ulster. Their sugar daddy is a Union though. So they don't get hit with the same stick. They just reap the benefits of the game in their country as a whole. This is absolutely no different to the English sides. The rich owner is just a different entity.

It's well-known that Munster are in a difficult place.  What informs you that Connacht and Ulster are in the same position of being HUGE amounts in debt?

Not sure about Ulster to be fair. But there's no way Connacht are close to making any money or ever have been. Their matchday income, stadium facilities and revenue streams are tiny, and they have a squad that costs about  as much as Cardiff. Plus aren't they getting a stadium refurbishment paid for them? What have they done to merit that? The Union is just funding them via financial doping. IRFU is their sugar daddy. Same as Munster.

In Wales the teams get slaughtered if they get money from the Union and people say they are "rewarding mediocrity". In Ireland, you get a stadium upgrade.

When pro sports teams make a profit they're generally criticised for not pumping it back into the team. I'm not too bothered by sugar daddies unless it's the likes of the Saudis. Let teams get money how they can.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 24 Jun 2022, 3:35 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:

The teams that can and do incur huge debts have massive assets behind them (large TV deal, stadium, hotels, casinos like in the NRL etc) which they can take out loans against or wealthy backers to take the hit. This is certainly not the case for most of the prem sides. If it wasn't a problem they wouldn't be dropping the salary cap so dramatically for next season.

Ulster, Connacht and Munster are in HUGE amounts of debt. They haven't made profits in years. To a lesser extent Ulster. Their sugar daddy is a Union though. So they don't get hit with the same stick. They just reap the benefits of the game in their country as a whole. This is absolutely no different to the English sides. The rich owner is just a different entity.

It's well-known that Munster are in a difficult place.  What informs you that Connacht and Ulster are in the same position of being HUGE amounts in debt?

Not sure about Ulster to be fair. But there's no way Connacht are close to making any money or ever have been. Their matchday income, stadium facilities and revenue streams are tiny, and they have a squad that costs about  as much as Cardiff. Plus aren't they getting a stadium refurbishment paid for them? What have they done to merit that? The Union is just funding them via financial doping. IRFU is their sugar daddy. Same as Munster.

In Wales the teams get slaughtered if they get money from the Union and people say they are "rewarding mediocrity". In Ireland, you get a stadium upgrade.
So it's not "well known" that Ulster and Connacht are in Huge debt then?

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Post by RugbyFan100 Fri 24 Jun 2022, 4:01 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:

The teams that can and do incur huge debts have massive assets behind them (large TV deal, stadium, hotels, casinos like in the NRL etc) which they can take out loans against or wealthy backers to take the hit. This is certainly not the case for most of the prem sides. If it wasn't a problem they wouldn't be dropping the salary cap so dramatically for next season.

Ulster, Connacht and Munster are in HUGE amounts of debt. They haven't made profits in years. To a lesser extent Ulster. Their sugar daddy is a Union though. So they don't get hit with the same stick. They just reap the benefits of the game in their country as a whole. This is absolutely no different to the English sides. The rich owner is just a different entity.

It's well-known that Munster are in a difficult place.  What informs you that Connacht and Ulster are in the same position of being HUGE amounts in debt?

Not sure about Ulster to be fair. But there's no way Connacht are close to making any money or ever have been. Their matchday income, stadium facilities and revenue streams are tiny, and they have a squad that costs about  as much as Cardiff. Plus aren't they getting a stadium refurbishment paid for them? What have they done to merit that? The Union is just funding them via financial doping. IRFU is their sugar daddy. Same as Munster.

In Wales the teams get slaughtered if they get money from the Union and people say they are "rewarding mediocrity". In Ireland, you get a stadium upgrade.
So it's not "well known" that Ulster and Connacht are in Huge debt then?

It is not well known, no. It's barely spoken about. Because somehow it's fine for clubs to live well out of their means if they are owned by a Union, but if a rich person bank rolls a team that makes losses - it's "bad for the game" somehow. It's a massively duplicitous point of view to suggest that the English teams being run on losses is an unsustainable rugby model when you can count the number of teams that make a profit in the Northern Hemisphere on one hand. Edinburgh will be another one. Possibly both Scottish teams.....gifted £30m a year but not much revenue coming the other way.


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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 24 Jun 2022, 4:36 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:

The teams that can and do incur huge debts have massive assets behind them (large TV deal, stadium, hotels, casinos like in the NRL etc) which they can take out loans against or wealthy backers to take the hit. This is certainly not the case for most of the prem sides. If it wasn't a problem they wouldn't be dropping the salary cap so dramatically for next season.

Ulster, Connacht and Munster are in HUGE amounts of debt. They haven't made profits in years. To a lesser extent Ulster. Their sugar daddy is a Union though. So they don't get hit with the same stick. They just reap the benefits of the game in their country as a whole. This is absolutely no different to the English sides. The rich owner is just a different entity.

It's well-known that Munster are in a difficult place.  What informs you that Connacht and Ulster are in the same position of being HUGE amounts in debt?

Not sure about Ulster to be fair. But there's no way Connacht are close to making any money or ever have been. Their matchday income, stadium facilities and revenue streams are tiny, and they have a squad that costs about  as much as Cardiff. Plus aren't they getting a stadium refurbishment paid for them? What have they done to merit that? The Union is just funding them via financial doping. IRFU is their sugar daddy. Same as Munster.

In Wales the teams get slaughtered if they get money from the Union and people say they are "rewarding mediocrity". In Ireland, you get a stadium upgrade.
So it's not "well known" that Ulster and Connacht are in Huge debt then?

It is not well known, no. It's barely spoken about. Because somehow it's fine for clubs to live well out of their means if they are owned by a Union, but if a rich person bank rolls a team that makes losses -  it's "bad for the game" somehow. It's a massively duplicitous point of view to suggest that the English teams being run on losses is an unsustainable rugby model when you can count the number of teams that make a profit in the Northern Hemisphere on one hand. Edinburgh will be another one. Possibly both Scottish teams.....gifted £30m a year but not much revenue coming the other way.

The likes of Saracens are fine as they are backed by a consortium which has substantial wealth, I'm talking about the likes of this: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-61827414 and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-10900893/Worcester-players-FINALLY-paid-overdue-wages-clubs-short-term-cashflow-issue.html

No wonder promotion and relegation have been rid of, if this is a league that is "thriving" according to you, then god help us all.

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Post by Intotouch Fri 24 Jun 2022, 10:47 pm

Rugby fan,
Connacht have been regularly selling out matches for years which is why they are getting funding to increase the size of the sports ground. Same with Ulster. They have both justified the investment and will be able to sell more tickets to more fans afterwards.

With the price of fuel going up Munster are in a tougher place now. The majority of fans are in Cork and Thomond park is in Limerick.

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Post by Intotouch Fri 24 Jun 2022, 11:24 pm

“Thanks for the response and history intotouch.

Strangely enough the SA pundits actually believe they could have done a lot more to promote the URC, and I think it will be much better promoted in SA next season.

Some of the Irish podcasts I have been listening to also mentioned the URC should be better promoted in Europe, in general they have been more positive about the inclusion of the SA teams whilst some of the pundits were very perochial about the Irish teams and perhaps a little derogatory about the style of SA rugby.

Which in my opinion is a lazy way to look at our teams, we do play direct rugby with oodles of physicality, yet there are some silky skills and great tries scored by the SA teams.

It is a shame the Welsh media influence the Welsh supporters negatively, but I suppose there isn't much anyone else can do about it. That would be something they need to sort out or come to terms with thrmselves.

I think the SA rugby public have really enjoyed the URC and with crowds now being able to come back in full force the final showcased our passion for the sport and what a spectacle we can put on.”

Hi Old man,
That’s great to hear! It’s wonderful to see SA fans enjoyed the URC so much. I’d love to see a proper, unified promotion of the league everywhere. Every year Ve seen some  terrific matches in it. And occasionally terrible ones, but it’s regularly exciting.

Yes it deserves good promotion.

Years ago I had a French boyfriend and we would watch both the pro 12 and the top14 together and after a while he said preferred the pro 12. The style of rugby and variety was much better to watch. This was a bit shocking to hear from a proud French rugby player. But after that, apart from when Toulouse were playing, we followed the pro 12. But the love of the URC is “the love that dare not speak it’s name” in rugby. I think rugby fans in Europe all believed it was the worst league so admitting you love it just felt silly. Or set you up for ridicule. So pundits and fans say they love their team or loved a particular match but never ever that they love the competition.

Give the Irish podcasts another go Old man. I think you’ll like them. OTB with some guests can be really good. OTB have had SA journalists on recently and whole show on how the competition went there. They’re trying at least. The left wing did similar and had a thorough introduction to rugby in SA. which was great for people like me who need the basics explained. It’d be old hat to you of course. Whatever they said about South African rugby it can’t be any worse than what I’ve heard Scottish and Welsh journalists say about Irish teams! And visa versa. But yes on the whole the podcasts in each country are focused 90% of the time on their own teams and parochial problems. When there is criticism I, probably weirdly, think that’s kind of good. A bit of agro means people will care more about the re-match.
Attacking scrum Wales podcast, the thistle Scottish rugby podcast and the bbbc Scotland Scottish rugby podcast are good imo..

A program/ podcast made by the URC needs to be done. The one attempt that I saw was boring though.

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Post by Old Man Sat 25 Jun 2022, 4:37 am

Yeah, I prefer watching podcasts and the like from opposing countries pypurely because I have lost respect for SA pundits and content creators for some time now.

During the transformation period of rugby in SA ( the last 10 years or so) the presenters and pundits lost all credibility in my view as they weren't allowed to criticise players of under priviledged background which meant they had to tippy toe around these issues.

That to me was symptomatic as to why transformation took longer than it needed to as instead of embracing it and be open and direct about players it created a culture of lets not talk about it.

Besides that, if you want to know what someone thinks of SA rugby listen to those who doesn't want to lose to you. They will be over critical and even though they have a biased perception theywill tell more truths.

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Post by Pot Hale Sat 25 Jun 2022, 8:44 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:

The teams that can and do incur huge debts have massive assets behind them (large TV deal, stadium, hotels, casinos like in the NRL etc) which they can take out loans against or wealthy backers to take the hit. This is certainly not the case for most of the prem sides. If it wasn't a problem they wouldn't be dropping the salary cap so dramatically for next season.

Ulster, Connacht and Munster are in HUGE amounts of debt. They haven't made profits in years. To a lesser extent Ulster. Their sugar daddy is a Union though. So they don't get hit with the same stick. They just reap the benefits of the game in their country as a whole. This is absolutely no different to the English sides. The rich owner is just a different entity.

It's well-known that Munster are in a difficult place.  What informs you that Connacht and Ulster are in the same position of being HUGE amounts in debt?

Not sure about Ulster to be fair. But there's no way Connacht are close to making any money or ever have been. Their matchday income, stadium facilities and revenue streams are tiny, and they have a squad that costs about  as much as Cardiff. Plus aren't they getting a stadium refurbishment paid for them? What have they done to merit that? The Union is just funding them via financial doping. IRFU is their sugar daddy. Same as Munster.

In Wales the teams get slaughtered if they get money from the Union and people say they are "rewarding mediocrity". In Ireland, you get a stadium upgrade.

You're "not sure" about Ulster or Connacht.    If you don't know and have no factual evidence to back it up, it's better to say so.   Ulster are acknowledged as having returned a small surplus in recent times.   Munster is in trouble because of falling attendances.   They have only managed to survive and draw in foreign capped players because of the fundraising efforts of their 1014 group which raises private monies for the branch.  

Connacht have managed to fill the Sportsground to the best of their ability over the last number of years.  They and the Irish Greyhound Board are co-tenants of the stadium which is owned by Galway Agricultural and Sports Society.     They made a business case for developing and upgrading the co-owned stadium 3-4 years ago and got support from local and state Government, and local business.   The biggest chunk of the upgrade monies (c. €30m) is coming from State funding through the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund and Ireland 2040 fund about €20m.  Private monies will also be a source of funding.  https://www.connachtrugby.ie/state-investment-of-e20m-in-sportsground-redevelopment-provides-certainty-towards-delivering-on-transformational-project/  The IRFU is not in a position to invest capital monies in something they don't own.  
 
Connacht get the same split of monies from the IRFU from URC/EPCR competition income as the other 3 provinces.   Yes their squad is of a lower value and quality compared to the other 3, that's because their own income is smaller so they have to cut their cloth to suit their measure.  A stadium upgrade from 5,500 to 12,000 is intended to increase their own income and will benefit the local area economy through economic are spending to the tune of €34m.

Leinster made a similar application for State funding to upgrade the RDS Arena which is owned by the Royal Dublin Society (not an asset of the IRFU). Their plans are to upgrade from 18,000 to 21,000 with a view to improving corporate facilities and upgrading the very ageing Anglesea Stand. Sport and sporting facilities are viewed by the Government as a major benefit for local economies, hence the policy currently in place to improve/upgrade same.
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 17 Aug 2022, 5:13 pm

From URC

Over 34 million fans tuned into the inaugural United Rugby Championship season as the league set a number of major broadcast records in its first campaign.
With records set for the season-long audience, Play-Off viewers and the URC Grand Final itself, it is clear that the new 16-team league has caught the imagination of rugby fans across the northern and southern hemispheres.

Despite reducing the regular season to 18 rounds, the strong viewership numbers produced across the UK, Ireland and South Africa prove that less is more. In a further boost, Italy reported their largest audiences ever while international rights coverage and the launch of the URC.tv streaming service bolstered the global total.

In its first season, the United Rugby Championship was supported by Free-to-Air (FTA) broadcasters in the UK, Ireland and Italy – BBC Wales, BBC Northern Ireland, Mediaset, RTÉ, S4C and TG4 and by leading Pay TV companies SuperSport (South Africa) and Premier Sports (UK and Ireland).

This mix of broadcast platforms allowed fans to enjoy rising standards of production while the crossover and collaboration across different territories gave the league a truly global feel.

Martin Anayi, United Rugby Championship, CEO said: “We are blown away by the broadcast audiences in the first season of the United Rugby Championship. It is a tremendous credit to the standard of rugby displayed by our teams and players and the superb work done by our broadcasters to showcase that talent.
“The URC offers a diversity in playing styles and cultures across two hemispheres that is unique in club rugby and we can see that fans in the north and south have been attracted to that. With a mix of Free to Air and Pay TV coverage allied to our increased presence in South Africa and record figures in Italy we have found a very effective formula to grow interest in our league and the sport of rugby union.”

The numbers behind the headlines are truly stellar and set a high benchmark for the URC, its teams, players, broadcasters and partners to aim for ahead of the new 2022/23 season.
THE NUMBERS BEHIND THE RECORD-BREAKING AUDIENCES
Regular Season

Thanks to the consolidated reports from Nielsen Sports, one of the world’s leading agencies in broadcast reporting, the United Rugby Championship can confirm that the audience for the entire 2021/22 season reached a high mark of 34.6million across 7,000-plus hours of coverage.

That figure of 34.6m was an increase of 169% compared to the 2020/21 PRO14 and Rainbow Cup campaigns combined.

The cumulative average audience per game during the season was 230k which represented a 109% increase on 20/21.
A cumulative audience of almost 3 million people tuned into Round 3 with the figure of 2,892,000 setting a new record for the highest audience for a single round in the league’s history.
In total, four rounds eclipsed an audience of 2 million, seven rounds drew more than 1.5 million and 6 of the remaining 7 rounds all attracted a minimum viewership of 1 million.
The average audience per round in the regular season was 1.7 million.
The cumulative audience from Italy was 1.6 million.

URC Grand Final and Play-Offs

The first-ever United Rugby Championship Grand Final took place in Cape Town, South Africa between the DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls and set a new TV milestone for the league.

A total of 1.25 million watched the DHL Stormers win their first URC title and set a new record for the league decider. Although the Grand Final was an all-South African affair 41% of the audience came from outside of the territory with RTÉ’s live coverage in the Republic of Ireland accounting for 15%.

This trend of interest was a hallmark of the entire URC Play-Offs which also set a record for viewership with 3.8 million across seven games. The largest viewership for the Play-Offs came in the DHL Stormers v Ulster Final Four game where the audience hit 754k while the other Semi-Final encounter between Leinster and the Vodacom Bulls drew 472k.

Including the URC Grand Final, the average audience per game in the Play-Offs was 537k


Top 10 most watched regular season games in 2021/22

In the Top 10 most watched games of the regular season, Munster featured five times, the Cell C Sharks were involved in three with Ospreys, Ulster and the DHL Stormers appeared twice.

The most watched game in the regular season was Ospreys’ Round 3 game with Cell C Sharks which was viewed by a combined audience of 581k on BBC Wales, SuperSport and Premier Sports.

R3 Ospreys v Cell C Sharks 580,026
R3 Cardiff v Vodacom Bulls 560,886
R2 Munster v DHL Stormers 538,909
R6 Cell C Sharks v Scarlets 531,421
R10 Munster v Ulster 523,707
R4 Munster v Connacht 521,110
R1 Munster v Cell C Sharks 484,267
R5 Ospreys v Munster 480,652
R4 Ulster v Emirates Lions 468,993
R4 Dragons v DHL Stormers 445,471

Most Watched Clubs
Helped by their appearance in the URC Grand Final, the DHL Stormers were the most viewed team in the league with their total audience coming in at over 7.2million. The URC champions are followed by the Vodacom Bulls, Munster, Cell C Sharks and Leinster for audiences across the entire season.

The DHL Stormers and Munster were the most watched teams in South Africa and Ireland, respectively with Ospreys leading the interest in Wales, Benetton were No 1 in Italy and Edinburgh topped the pile in Scotland.

Derby matches which are at the heart of the tribal rivalries in the URC also performed well with only one South African fixture breaking the dominance of the all-Irish clashes.

Top 5 Derby Audiences
The most watched derby games of the season all took place in Ireland, with Munster’s R10 clash with Ulster drawing in 523k in a game that was also No 5 in the list of Top 10 most watched in the regular season. Munster also feature in four of the Top 5 derby audiences.

R10 Munster v Ulster 523,707
R4 Munster v Connacht 521,110
R16 Ulster v Munster 428,709
R15 Munster v Leinster 402,534
R6 Leinster v Ulster 401,603

Top 5 Games from South Africa

R6 Cell C Sharks v Scarlets 531,421
R17 DHL Stormers v Leinster 417,323
R7 Emirates Lions v Munster 394,416
R16 Cell C Sharks v Leinster 361,290
R17 Vodacom Bulls v Glasgow Warriors 323,386

Top 5 Games from Ireland
R2 Munster v DHL Stormers 538,909
R10 Munster v Ulster 523,707
R4 Munster v Connacht 521,110
R1 Munster v Cell C Sharks 484,267
R4 Ulster v Emirates Lions 468,993

Top 5 Games from Italy
R11 Zebre v Munster 439,701
R1 Zebre v Emirates Lions 295,647
R1 Benetton v DHL Stormers 213,754
R10 Benetton v Cell C Sharks 202,283
R4 Benetton v Ospreys 196,817

Top 5 Games from Scotland
R3 Edinburgh v DHL Stormers 382,185
R3 Glasgow Warriors v Emirates Lions 363,674
R4 Edinburgh v Vodacom Bulls 260,448
R5 Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 224,494
R2 Glasgow Warriors v Cell C Sharks 209,027

Top 5 Games from Wales
R3 Ospreys v Cell C Sharks 580,026
R3 Cardiff v Vodacom Bulls 560,886
R5 Ospreys v Munster 480,652
R4 Dragons v DHL Stormers 445,471
R3 Scarlets v Munster 330,313

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 17 Aug 2022, 5:34 pm

Dear me, quite a few tuned in to see Scarlets embarrassed by Munster’s 2nd team! Smile

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 17 Aug 2022, 5:41 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Dear me, quite a few tuned in to see Scarlets embarrassed by Munster’s 2nd team! Smile
Some incredibly impressive viewing figures there. Seeing Bennetton v Ospreys get almost 200k is the most shocking to me, especially when you see the nonsense that gets spouted on this forum. Clearly the league isn't invisible in Wales.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 17 Aug 2022, 6:23 pm

It could have been that half of the viewers (or more) were from Italy? SA have long had high viewing figures, so their stats do not surprise me.

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Post by Kingshu Wed 17 Aug 2022, 7:49 pm

I was going to post the viewing figures, I was trying to compare with the Premiership, and it may be that the URC now has more viewers?
https://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/broadcasting/itv-and-bt-break-premiership-rugby-viewing-record/5172010.article

The Prem final had 1.3m viewers the URC had 1.2m which puts those very close, both still dwarfed by the Top 14s 3.4m.

But have I got this right for the URC cumulative average audience per game during the season was 230k. With a total of 34.6m

While the Prem had a cumulative average audience of 14.5 million

Thunk ones peak, the others average so like comparing apples and oranges.

But to go with the Prems 2014 stats, which had around average audience of 7.8m means to now have 14m we can roughly double thier figures at that time the The average match audience was 119,000 which would be about 214,000 now compared to 230,000 for the URC?

Would mean that in viewership the two leagues are very close, with URC having a bigger total? Or does anyone know where it stands?

Its good news for the URC teams if they can attract the same viewing figures, and hopefully much better TV deals.

Both are someway behind the French though, with the French TV deal being 3 times bigger than the Prems.


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Post by PhilBB Wed 17 Aug 2022, 8:38 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Dear me, quite a few tuned in to see Scarlets embarrassed by Munster’s 2nd team! Smile
Some incredibly impressive viewing figures there. Seeing Bennetton v Ospreys get almost 200k is the most shocking to me, especially when you see the nonsense that gets spouted on this forum. Clearly the league isn't invisible in Wales.

It's on two free to air tv channels in Wales.....
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 17 Aug 2022, 9:42 pm

PhilBB wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Dear me, quite a few tuned in to see Scarlets embarrassed by Munster’s 2nd team! Smile
Some incredibly impressive viewing figures there. Seeing Bennetton v Ospreys get almost 200k is the most shocking to me, especially when you see the nonsense that gets spouted on this forum. Clearly the league isn't invisible in Wales.

It's on two free to air tv channels in Wales.....
OK....

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 01 Sep 2022, 9:34 am

URC, EPCR and Top 14 have all agreed to be part of US streaming service Flo Sports for their respective competitions' games.

In a move designed to boost the profile of the featured competitions in the North American market, FloSports will stream nearly 450 matches annually, which equates to more than 600 hours of live rugby.

Flo Sports also has a partnership with Sanzaar, to include coverage of competitions involving the national teams and domestic franchises from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina until 2025.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Thu 01 Sep 2022, 9:53 am

Seems the IRFU together with S Africa, Italy and USA Unions have organised a tournament between themselves in October where Emerging Ireland will play South African teams, USA A, Italy A etc. Prize money R1,000,000.

Still, URC best league.

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 01 Sep 2022, 11:52 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:Seems the IRFU together with S Africa, Italy and USA Unions have organised a tournament between themselves in October where Emerging Ireland will play South African teams, USA A, Italy A etc. Prize money R1,000,000.

Still, URC best league.

Yes - the Toyota Challenge comp organised by Toyota Cheetahs for up and coming players.  This is its second year.   Excellent idea.  The unions in those countries are much more advanced and better organised on their development pathways.   It's a pity the development cups here went by the wayside - but this is a good alternative for the academy players.  WRU need to get their finger out according to Dean Ryan - https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-rugby-warned-must-act-24890288

The emerging Ireland team that's travelling to SA will be largely made up of recent U20s players mainly so not much impact on the provincial senior squads and the URC after all, as first thought by some.
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Post by doctor_grey Fri 02 Sep 2022, 2:36 am

Pot Hale wrote:URC, EPCR and Top 14 have all agreed to be part of US streaming service Flo Sports for their respective competitions' games.

In a move designed to boost the profile of the featured competitions in the North American market, FloSports will stream nearly 450 matches annually, which equates to more than 600 hours of live rugby.

Flo Sports also has a partnership with Sanzaar, to include coverage of competitions involving the national teams and domestic franchises from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina until 2025.
Well, from the perspective of the left hand side of the Atlantic Ocean, not all great news in the Flo Rugby announcements.
Good news is the obvious: more Rugby comps on a single platform.
Bad news is this might indicate NBC/Peacock are less enamoured with Rugby than they were. A major media conglomerate like NBC can't afford to retain EPCR? NBC have the RWC rights so we will see how much effort they put in it.
Good news is Top 14 is being shown in US again after not being available the last few years (without bending an occasional law).
Bad news is I already subscribed to the URC thingy, and those Basterauds ain't gonna wanna refund anything, even just a penny.
Good news is it seems the Flo Rugby (Flo Sports) people are nice people. Their web site says they have 76 office dogs.

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Post by Pot Hale Fri 02 Sep 2022, 11:21 am

doctor_grey wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:URC, EPCR and Top 14 have all agreed to be part of US streaming service Flo Sports for their respective competitions' games.

In a move designed to boost the profile of the featured competitions in the North American market, FloSports will stream nearly 450 matches annually, which equates to more than 600 hours of live rugby.

Flo Sports also has a partnership with Sanzaar, to include coverage of competitions involving the national teams and domestic franchises from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina until 2025.
Well, from the perspective of the left hand side of the Atlantic Ocean, not all great news in the Flo Rugby announcements.  
Good news is the obvious:  more Rugby comps on a single platform.  
Bad news is this might indicate NBC/Peacock are less enamoured with Rugby than they were.  A major media conglomerate like NBC can't afford to retain EPCR?   NBC have the RWC rights so we will see how much effort they put in it.  
Good news is Top 14 is being shown in US again after not being available the last few years (without bending an occasional law).
Bad news is I already subscribed to the URC thingy, and those Basterauds ain't gonna wanna refund anything, even just a penny.  
Good news is it seems the Flo Rugby (Flo Sports) people are nice people.  Their web site says they have 76 office dogs.

Lol. Now that I like. Particularly the last sentence.
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