Rugby Union 3 years ago

Super Rugby to go free-to-air in 2016

  • Super Rugby to go free-to-air in 2016

THE FACTS

Channel Ten is looking set to cover one match per week of the 2016 the Super Rugby season, the first time the competition has been shown on free to air television since its establishment in 1996.

Australian Rugby Union (ARU) were said to have attempted to start a bidding war between the three major Australian networks, however Channel Seven and Channel Nine were not interested in having the sport broadcast.

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This meant Channel Ten were given the rights to the game, and due to already hosting Wallabies matches, it seemed as if they were the most logical choice, but with the competition being 20 years old in 2016, have the ARU left this too late?

THE ANALYSIS

This is a great step for the ARU, as they have been given coverage on free to air television. The whole of Australia will be able to watch one game a week, exposing the sport, and hopefully helping it out of the state it is already in.

Any publicity is good publicity, and being able to show the sport of rugby union can only help the game.

However, it seems is one thing about the coverage that isnít so great, and that is the fact that they will only be replaying the game, and it will be shown on a Sunday morning.

Looking at this from a rugby purist standpoint, it is terrible. Who would want to get up and watch a replay of a game, with a high chance that your team isnít playing, and donít even mention the fact that it is on a Sunday morning.

But, just like the NRC, this is made for new rugby fans. People who are just getting into the sport and need to be exposed, and turn them into purists like us.

Rugby Union can not go on having fickle fans who do not watch Super Rugby, and only watch the Wallabies if they are winning, they are doing whatever it takes to expose these people to the sport in an attempt to make them committed fans.

Whether this scheme will work or not is a different story, and yes, the ARU will probably need to go on step further with free to air coverage. Perhaps they will need to play one live game a week if they want to see some real results, but until then this is all we have and we will have to make do with it.

The best-case situation would be that rugby fans watch a couple of games and purchases the Foxtel Sports Package so they are able to watch Super Rugby, live and more than once per week.

Worst case scenario, well, nothing. The ARU gets coverage for almost no cost, and there is an extra game per week we are able to watch on free to air.

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