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News on the new television deal
Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:16 am
Posted by Donnyman on Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:16 am
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Mark Sawyer is the chairman of Dewsbury Rams. Mr Sawyer was asked by RL journalist Gareth Walker to comment on the forthcoming new SKY deal in light of Rugby Union cutting their TV money to their second tier clubs, an action Walker suggested was hard not to draw comparisons with, as our own deal is just about up for re-negotiation.

This impacted at Leeds where they run a Union side and Mr. Hetherington commented that the RFU now see their championship as the peak of the community game and no longer the second tier of the professional game. This brought back recent memories of Ian Lenegan and co. seeking to redefine Superleague as two leagues of ten clubs. That move was voted down with some of the bigger Championship clubs siding with 17 clubs who would have been cut adrift from the professional game as Union are seeking to do now with their "minnows".

Mark Sawyer was concerned, but pointed to an agreement between the Championship and Superleague that under the new TV deal "a promotion spot would remain in place" this being the agreement that allowed TWP to be promoted despite SL clubs not wanting them (as Danny Lockwood confirmed in League weekly).

Mark Sawyer said that the current funding agreement and I assume the current league set up runs to the end of 2021. The report said "There is an exact calculation for what can happen 2022 onwards in broad terms if superleague only secures a deal that is 75% of the current one [b][u]Superleague are obliged to give the championship nothing."[/u][/b]

But if Superleague does not wish to be a closed shop which it doesn't as they have signed to continue P& R, then it has to have a second tier - which takes us back again to that attempt by Superleague to go to 2 x 10 clubs and leave 17 clubs adrift accordingly. Reporting by Gareth Walker, publisher Martyn Sadler of RL & LE.....
Re: News on the new television deal
Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:30 am
Posted by wrencat1873 on Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:30 am
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Donnyman wrote:
Mark Sawyer is the chairman of Dewsbury Rams. Mr Sawyer was asked by RL journalist Gareth Walker to comment on the forthcoming new SKY deal in light of Rugby Union cutting their TV money to their second tier clubs, an action Walker suggested was hard not to draw comparisons with, as our own deal is just about up for re-negotiation.

This impacted at Leeds where they run a Union side and Mr. Hetherington commented that the RFU now see their championship as the peak of the community game and no longer the second tier of the professional game. This brought back recent memories of Ian Lenegan and co. seeking to redefine Superleague as two leagues of ten clubs. That move was voted down with some of the bigger Championship clubs siding with 17 clubs who would have been cut adrift from the professional game as Union are seeking to do now with their "minnows".

Mark Sawyer was concerned, but pointed to an agreement between the Championship and Superleague that under the new TV deal "a promotion spot would remain in place" this being the agreement that allowed TWP to be promoted despite SL clubs not wanting them (as Danny Lockwood confirmed in League weekly).

Mark Sawyer said that the current funding agreement and I assume the current league set up runs to the end of 2021. The report said "There is an exact calculation for what can happen 2022 onwards in broad terms if superleague only secures a deal that is 75% of the current one [b][u]Superleague are obliged to give the championship nothing."[/u][/b]

But if Superleague does not wish to be a closed shop which it doesn't as they have signed to continue P& R, then it has to have a second tier - which takes us back again to that attempt by Superleague to go to 2 x 10 clubs and leave 17 clubs adrift accordingly. Reporting by Gareth Walker, publisher Martyn Sadler of RL & LE.....


By giving The Championship clubs £0, doesnt prevent, in theory at least, the continuation of promotion and relegation.
However, it would mean that only "cash rich" Championship clubs would be anything close to competitive enough to gain promotion and that any relegated club would be in severe, severe peril.

It does seem at this point, that any increase in funding (or the same again) looks unlikely to happen and how on earth would 2 x 10 work ??

This is just the Championship by another name and if there is barely enough funding for a 12 club SL, there sure as hell isn't going to be enough for 2 x 10.
Re: News on the new television deal
Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:55 am
Posted by Nothus on Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:55 am
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Remember when they all voted on this? Remember when certain clubs essentially blackmailed some champ clubs by threatening to end the dual reg agreements?

The deal passed. And that deal said that any reduction in Sky funding is borne 100% by the lower leagues. SL clubs can go into these negotiations knowing that whatever happens - barring a complete disaster - they'll still keep their same slice of the pie.

Meanwhile I believe the championship will also have the ability to try and secure their own tv deal at the same time? I'm not sure about this bit though, but it would certainly help to explain why they are pushing the OurLeague app and the broadcasts on that platform this season. They're clearly making efforts to give champ rugby some exposure.
Re: News on the new television deal
Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:14 am
Posted by Donnyman on Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:14 am
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wrencat1873 wrote:
By giving The Championship clubs £0, doesnt prevent, in theory at least, the continuation of promotion and relegation.
However, it would mean that only "cash rich" Championship clubs would be anything close to competitive enough to gain promotion and that any relegated club would be in severe, severe peril.
It does seem at this point, that any increase in funding (or the same again) looks unlikely to happen and how on earth would 2 x 10 work ??This is just the Championship by another name and if there is barely enough funding for a 12 club SL, there sure as hell isn't going to be enough for 2 x 10.


Hello again my very good friend :wink:

History shows us that in the early years of Superleague the Championship got SKY funding, and then it was cut altogether. For years the second tier worked on a £300,000 salary cap and clubs did get relegated and other clubs did get promoted and did stay up. Look it up mate, or I can list the club movements up and down for you?

What counted for the Championship club was not SKY money but the philanthropy of a rich owner. Superleague want rich owners (but not in Canada) and so any P & R system that favours rich owners will suit Superleague. The door is wide open for such as Semore Kurdi at Newcastle, the door is wide open and inviting anyone rich to pick up Widnes or Bradford and take these clubs to Superleague.
Re: News on the new television deal
Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:35 am
Posted by Donnyman on Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:35 am
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Nothus wrote:
Remember when they all voted on this? Remember when certain clubs essentially blackmailed some champ clubs by threatening to end the dual reg agreements? The deal passed. And that deal said that any reduction in Sky funding is borne 100% by the lower leagues. SL clubs can go into these negotiations knowing that whatever happens - barring a complete disaster - they'll still keep their same slice of the pie.

Meanwhile I believe the championship will also have the ability to try and secure their own tv deal at the same time? I'm not sure about this bit though, but it would certainly help to explain why they are pushing the OurLeague app and the broadcasts on that platform this season. They're clearly making efforts to give champ rugby some exposure.


Thank you for kindly replying.

I'm not sure what "deal passed" what I was referring to was when 37 clubs were asked over a year ago to consider changing the overall league structure from the current 12 clubs in the Superleague and 25 clubs in the RFL Championship.....to 20 clubs under Superleague administration in two divisions of 10, and 17 clubs staying under the control of the RFL.

Lenegan & co. felt that most SL clubs and ambitious Championship clubs would win the vote, this meaning that Superleague could reject clubs like TWP, Ottawa, New York, West Wales, Hunslet, Rochdale whoever, but it appeared that a number of top Championship clubs stayed loyal to the rest and the vote was lost and the status quo remained (not the rock band).....but only for the time being. At that time clubs like Dewsbury and Batley feared for their existence as they stood 22nd. and 24th, in the league structure, Halifax, York and Fev probably feared "there but for the grace of god go we...."
Re: News on the new television deal
Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:25 am
Posted by Steph Curry on Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:25 am
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I would love the championship to secure its own TV deal. Whist the actual product on show is no where near the level of SL, some of the games last season were far more exciting.
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Re: News on the new television deal
Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:06 pm
Posted by Someday on Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:06 pm
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Steph Curry wrote:
I would love the championship to secure its own TV deal. Whist the actual product on show is no where near the level of SL, some of the games last season were far more exciting.

For a change you have been sensible and I agree with you
Re: News on the new television deal
Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:12 pm
Posted by wrencat1873 on Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:12 pm
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Donnyman wrote:
Hello again my very good friend :wink:

History shows us that in the early years of Superleague the Championship got SKY funding, and then it was cut altogether. For years the second tier worked on a £300,000 salary cap and clubs did get relegated and other clubs did get promoted and did stay up. Look it up mate, or I can list the club movements up and down for you?

What counted for the Championship club was not SKY money but the philanthropy of a rich owner. Superleague want rich owners (but not in Canada) and so any P & R system that favours rich owners will suit Superleague. The door is wide open for such as Semore Kurdi at Newcastle, the door is wide open and inviting anyone rich to pick up Widnes or Bradford and take these clubs to Superleague.


Please do provide your list, it will make interesting reading for everyone.
I still maintain that IF the parachute payment for relegated clubs were to disappear and without ANY Sky monies, any relegated club would be in serious peril.

THE most important aspect here is that, calling the second tier of the comp Super League 2, just means that is The Championship by another name and it merely hides the fact that the top flight and funding would have been cut, which under any measure is contracting the professional game.

IIRC, last time the 2 x 10 was muted, there was to be decent funding for all 20 clubs, which probably isn't the case this time around but, we live in hope.
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Re: News on the new television deal
Post Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:23 am
Posted by Donnyman on Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:23 am
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wrencat1873 wrote:
Please do provide your list, it will make interesting reading for everyone.
I still maintain that IF the parachute payment for relegated clubs were to disappear and without ANY Sky monies, any relegated club would be in serious peril.

THE most important aspect here is that, calling the second tier of the comp Super League 2, just means that is The Championship by another name

IIRC, last time the 2 x 10 was muted, there was to be decent funding for all 20 clubs, which probably isn't the case this time around


Yes of course the SL2 would be a rebrand of the Championship, but it would show that that SL2 is the second division of Superleague. What you miss is that Superleague would be 20 clubs and not 12 clubs. That's quite a leap forward (or backward if you view it that way) you can't dismiss this with such a throwaway comment. It's major news and worrying for some long established clubs.

You also miss the effect of SL1 & SL2 on the 17 other clubs. None of them would be members of Superleague. There would be no third division, there would be no relegation or promotion into or out of Superleage. The RFL would be left with 17 clubs to do with as they please.

As for funding the 2 x 10 was proposed not for last year but for the years going forward. The 2 x 10 was the proposed set up for Superleague under the new TV deal. SKY and Superleague want promotion and relegation battles but they don't want Toronto or Ottawa or New York stuffing the party. It doesn't matter if there is little money for SL2 that can easily stay a part time league. You were about years ago when Superleague was the only league getting the money, yet P & R worked and clubs like HKR, Widnes etc were promoted and went from part time to full time?

The proposal was about CONTROL it was about stopping the RFL meddling in Superleague business, it was to stop the phoney expansion clubs SL do not want and SKY do not want.

Wave it away as nothing all you want but as it stands if the top 20 English clubs became Superleague then TWP, Catalans, Toulouse, Sheffield, York, Newcastle could all be left out...But I guess SL will want York and Newcastle which could put Dewsbury and Batley at risk. Funnily enough the chairmen of those two clubs led the rebellion against these seismic changes.

Don't you remember that? It's NOT just a rebranding excersise??
Last edited by Donnyman on Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
Re: News on the new television deal
Post Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:40 am
Posted by Donnyman on Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:40 am
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Steph Curry wrote:
I would love the championship to secure its own TV deal. Whist the actual product on show is no where near the level of SL, some of the games last season were far more exciting.


Which is probably why Superleague want to become 20 clubs so some of that "excitement" will be under the control of Superleague. Both SL and SKY want such excitement so SL will take clubs away from the RFL to provide it.

The 2 x 10 idea is exactly to create the excitement you highlight. But sadly for you Superleague will be controlling the membership of the 20 and there will be no place for the phoney clubs you keep championing .......
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