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European Comps

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No 7&1/2
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European Comps - Page 6 Empty European Comps

Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 05 Oct 2022, 1:27 pm

First topic message reminder :

From the EPCR websites:

'Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup are set for a major viewership boost with the announcement that BT Sport, as well as ITV, RTÉ and S4C, have all agreed multi-year partnerships for the new broadcast cycle in the UK and Ireland.

BT Sport to continue as lead broadcaster in UK and Ireland
EPCR and BT Sport extend long-standing partnership, with BT Sport set to broadcast eighth season of both competitions
ITV, RTÉ and S4C to generate new viewers with extensive free-to-air coverage
BT Sport, who have delivered comprehensive and innovative coverage of the elite club competitions since 2015, have recommitted to the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup to extend their long-standing partnership with EPCR. As lead broadcaster in the UK and Ireland, BT Sport will continue to televise both tournaments until the conclusion of the 2023/24 season.

In addition, ITV, RTÉ and S4C have come on board in the UK and Ireland to provide free-to-air coverage and the new agreements will expand access for rugby fans across two key markets to the Heineken Champions Cup – the world’s biggest and most celebrated international club rugby competition – which is entering its 28th year.

The agreements with ITV and RTÉ, which will see each broadcaster cover one Heineken Champions Cup match per round in the UK and Ireland – including the Final – on a free-to-air basis, also run until the end of the 2023/24 season.

S4C will focus on the Welsh regions with live coverage of all Ospreys’ pool stage fixtures in the Heineken Champions Cup as well as one match featuring either Cardiff Rugby, Dragons RFC or the Scarlets in each pool stage round of the EPCR Challenge Cup also until the conclusion of the 2023/24 season.

“Broadcast partnerships are a massively important part of our strategy to bring our world-class competitions to even wider audiences, and we are very pleased with our partners in the UK and Ireland for the new cycle,” said EPCR Chairman, Dominic McKay.

“Following on from what was a magnificent Finals weekend in Marseille last May, we are delighted to continue to work with BT Sport, who have delivered incredible coverage of, and audience growth for, our competitions. It is also significant that we welcome three free-to-air partners on board in ITV, RTÉ and S4C, who will boost our viewership and profile as South African clubs come into the EPCR fold.

“BT Sport, ITV, RTÉ and S4C represent four more exciting broadcast partnerships in the key markets of the UK and Ireland, and with beIN SPORTS and France Télévisions in France, SuperSport in South Africa and FloSports in the USA, we are looking forward to bringing the pinnacle of international club rugby to more audiences than ever before.”

This update follows previous announcements of broadcast partnership renewals by both beIN SPORTS and France Télévisions in France, as well as confirmation of SuperSport as the exclusive broadcaster of EPCR’s tournaments in South Africa, with the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup set to extend their global reach with the historic inclusion of the DHL Stormers, Vodacom Bulls, Cell C Sharks, Emirates Lions and Toyota Cheetahs from this season.

EPCR has also agreed a multi-year agreement with the streaming platform FloSports, the home of rugby in the USA, as the exclusive broadcaster of the tournaments to American rugby fans until the conclusion of the 2024/25 season.

The deal is part of a ground-breaking alliance which will see the Heineken Champions Cup and the EPCR Challenge Cup bundled with key fixtures in the BKT United Rugby Championship and the TOP 14, ensuring viewers in America will have unprecedented access to all four competitions on one digital platform.

Rachel Knight, Sports Rights Director, BT Sport, said: “Today’s news means BT Sport remains the home of club rugby in the UK and Ireland, offering unrivalled coverage from the Heineken Champions Cup and the EPCR Challenge Cup, plus multiple live matches every week from Gallagher Premiership Rugby.”

Last month, BT Group and Warner Bros. Discovery completed their transaction to form a 50:50 Joint Venture (JV) that combines the assets of BT Sport and Eurosport UK. As the JV works to develop a new sports offering for the UK and Ireland, BT Sport and Eurosport UK will retain their separate product propositions and customers can continue to enjoy the sport offerings in all the same ways as they do currently.

Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “This new deal brings rugby fans live, free-to-air coverage of some of the biggest matches in club rugby, featuring the stars of the game and adds Heineken Champions Cup action to ITV’s range of top-class rugby alongside the domestic and international competitions we bring to viewers.”

Declan McBennett, RTÉ Group Head of Sport, said: “The Heineken Champions Cup is a tournament that is much loved and followed by fans throughout Ireland. We are delighted to partner with EPCR to bring this prestigious competition to audiences free-to-air and extend its reach to the widest possible audience in the Republic of Ireland.”

Geraint Evans, S4C Director of Content and Publishing Strategy, said: “The Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup are two of the finest competitions that club rugby has to offer and we are pleased to renew our successful broadcast partnership with EPCR. S4C viewers will be able to follow the progress of all four Welsh regions across both tournaments and we look forward to some top-quality matches.”

With more than 50,000 tickets already sold for EPCR’s 2023 finals, the journey to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium will get underway in early December, and the exact dates, kick-off times and TV coverage of the pool stage fixtures will be announced later this week.'

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Post by Oakdene Tue 20 Dec 2022, 12:40 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Another nail in the coffin for the EPCR. To think people used to give out about the ERC, the organisation that ran one of the most successful clubs competitions in world rugby. Club rugby needs this competition to work.

Agreed, we need to get back to the 4 team pools in both competition, gives teams more incentive to put their best XV out each week.

Also, stop the best worst teams from the Champions Cup dropping into the knock out stages of the second tier competition.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 20 Dec 2022, 12:46 pm

I'm not sure I even understand the format this year. The older format with 5 teams per pool was okay for me. Also looks very sh**ty what happened to Ulster there. It's almost as if the French are the only stakeholder again...

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Post by Unclear Tue 20 Dec 2022, 4:48 pm

Heretical question, but does club rugby really need the Champions or Challenge cups? Can English/French/URC rugby sustain the extra games? There are many comments that there is too much rugby. The internationals aren't going to disappear. The leagues aren't going to disappear. So do we need a competition where a significant portion of the competitors can't or don't take it seriously? The current format doesn't help.

I have always supported the European competitions and love the standard of rugby that they can produce. I'll even put aside my personal view that they should be truly "European" and can only accept the facts that some of the changes have been for the better. But the current format is rubbish with only the very strongest (in talent and finance) able to compete, and an administration unfit for purpose as evidenced by the farce at Ravenhill/Lansdowne Rd.

Over-reaction?

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 21 Dec 2022, 1:03 am

Unclear wrote:Heretical question, but does club rugby really need the Champions or Challenge cups?  Can English/French/URC rugby sustain the extra games?  There are many comments that there is too much rugby.  The internationals aren't going to disappear.  The leagues aren't going to disappear.  So do we need a competition where a significant portion of the competitors can't or don't take it seriously?  The current format doesn't help.

I have always supported the European competitions and love the standard of rugby that they can produce.  I'll even put aside my personal view that they should be truly "European" and can only accept the facts that some of the changes have been for the better.  But the current format is rubbish with only the very strongest (in talent and finance) able to compete, and an administration unfit for purpose as evidenced by the farce at Ravenhill/Lansdowne Rd.

Over-reaction?
Not at all heretical nor an over-reaction.  Different clubs in different markets do have the financial advantage of higher compensation levels for their players compared to others in the Euro Rugby games.  Also, larger squads or a team's ability to pay more for back-ups or squad level players have an advantage.  Teams with more, better squad players have a huge advantage with the ability to rest more front-line players.  Even if calculations/assumptions are made to establish a form of cost equity, determining salary level adjustments based on cost of living amongst other local measures (large global companies do this all the time) will be one step in the right direction.  But will make it a lot fairer - as long as the required transparency in factored in.  

Of course financial advantage is not always turned into real advantage due to poor team leadership, poor player recruitment, poor coaching, or the usual bevy of injuries.  Front offices make up a significant part of a team's success (or failure).    

Given there are too many games now something will inevitably give when the pressures about longer term health, frequent injuries, head trauma, and so on, increase again.   The flip-side problem is Rugby is not financially string enough without the extra games which Europe provides.  Not sure how this could adjuticate itself, but I would not be surprised to see either Euro Rugby is turned into a typical knockout process or (at the minimum) the URC and Premiership combine making Euro Rugby more-or-less moot.   Only way I can see to reduce games and with a comp whch could still have interest. With the various teams from so many countries all playing together, this should be the most amazing comp.

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Post by Unclear Wed 21 Dec 2022, 12:23 pm

Good points Doc, I think the key one for me is about the extra money the "European" games provide. Do they really do this? I'm not sure that they bring in that much "new" money i.e. money that wouldn't have been spent/provided by fans/sponsors/broadcasters if the competitions didn't exist. The current structure does little to encourage the casual fan to follow it, with many games pretty pointless and weakened squads, and this will reflect through into the broadcast revenue eventually. Perhaps as you suggest it should just move to a knockout cup, an obvious solution but for the marked home advantage that seems to exist in our game (or maybe I am mis-remembering some analysis from ages ago).

In terms of financial equity, as you say transparency is key. It might reduce traffic on this board as it would remove the 3 apples = 4 pears = 2 sheep arguments that go on here, but then maybe we could focus on the actual rugby! A salary cap can only be a benefit if it goes across all the leagues, and so the variations in cost of living, and currency exchange rates become issues. As you say, there would be ways round these, if there is a will. But is there the will?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 21 Dec 2022, 12:25 pm

Unclear wrote:Good points Doc, I think the key one for me is about the extra money the "European" games provide.  Do they really do this?  I'm not sure that they bring in that much "new" money i.e. money that wouldn't have been spent/provided by fans/sponsors/broadcasters if the competitions didn't exist.  The current structure does little to encourage the casual fan to follow it, with many games pretty pointless and weakened squads, and this will reflect through into the broadcast revenue eventually.  Perhaps as you suggest it should just move to a knockout cup, an obvious solution but for the marked home advantage that seems to exist in our game (or maybe I am mis-remembering some analysis from ages ago).

In terms of financial equity, as you say transparency is key.  It might reduce traffic on this board as it would remove the 3 apples = 4 pears = 2 sheep arguments that go on here, but then maybe we could focus on the actual rugby!  A salary cap can only be a benefit if it goes across all the leagues, and so the variations in cost of living, and currency exchange rates become issues.  As you say, there would be ways round these, if there is a will.  But is there the will?

The games do make a financial difference, you only have to look at the reports around teams like Leicester having blank weekends due to Wuss and Quins. If there was a reduced schedule from this then alot/most/all of the teams would fill them with something.

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Post by Unclear Wed 21 Dec 2022, 4:06 pm

The games you are referring to were league games, but I take the point. A figure of £700,000 is being bandied about as loss of income for Ulster with the transfer of their game at the weekend. But does this income offset the additional squad costs required to compete? Could that income not be generated within an existing league structure?

Internationals generate the biggest incomes, so why not just play more and let the money filter down from the Unions? Apart from issues about trusting Unions to do this fairly, I would have to say this doesn't seem to have done cricket much good.

The issues of an excessive number of games for the very elite players do not seem to be being balanced against overall income for the sport. Surely this needs to be addressed.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Dec 2022, 7:42 am

Create additional space and it will be filled by matches. Additional internationals doesn't mean the clubs won't still play. I actually think it's the tier down from international elite olayers whoch bear the brunt.

On another note Ramos getting a 5 match bam on top of a 4 match ban for 2 offences but gets to have them concurrently....wtf?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 22 Dec 2022, 11:18 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Unclear wrote:Good points Doc, I think the key one for me is about the extra money the "European" games provide.  Do they really do this?  I'm not sure that they bring in that much "new" money i.e. money that wouldn't have been spent/provided by fans/sponsors/broadcasters if the competitions didn't exist.  The current structure does little to encourage the casual fan to follow it, with many games pretty pointless and weakened squads, and this will reflect through into the broadcast revenue eventually.  Perhaps as you suggest it should just move to a knockout cup, an obvious solution but for the marked home advantage that seems to exist in our game (or maybe I am mis-remembering some analysis from ages ago).

In terms of financial equity, as you say transparency is key.  It might reduce traffic on this board as it would remove the 3 apples = 4 pears = 2 sheep arguments that go on here, but then maybe we could focus on the actual rugby!  A salary cap can only be a benefit if it goes across all the leagues, and so the variations in cost of living, and currency exchange rates become issues.  As you say, there would be ways round these, if there is a will.  But is there the will?

The games do make a financial difference, you only have to look at the reports around teams like Leicester having blank weekends due to Wuss and Quins. If there was a reduced schedule from this then alot/most/all of the teams would fill them with something.

For budgeting purposes Tigers were set to lose around a £1m for the two lost games at a time when they also had their bye week. Three weeks with no games can hamper the cash flow mid season when you're not expecting it.

Not necessarily the same as it being laid out well in advance though you can't rule out the clubs trying to earn a few quid on the side.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Thu 22 Dec 2022, 12:45 pm

Ouch. Europe is dead:

https://twitter.com/T2Rugby/status/1605897632848625665

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Dec 2022, 1:12 pm

Doubt it. As above clubs need the money.

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Post by Intotouch Sat 21 Jan 2023, 10:41 pm

It’s year one with the SA teams and we haven’t even reached the knock out stages yet. Later in the year when they see some super matches with thee SA sides they may change their minds.

What the competitions need to boost interest are more free to air matches in France and everywhere else. That or a time machine.

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