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NRL hopes to lock in schedule

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14

    IT is the bane of every rugby league fan - not knowing at the start of the season exactly when their side will be playing.

    Instead, they are dictated to by television, six weeks in advance.

    But in a clear response to the demands of supporters and the clubs, the NRL concedes it is prepared to sacrifice valuable dollars in the next television broadcast rights deal in order to have a "full-season" schedule locked in place for 2013 and beyond.

    The revelation emerged on the first day of the NRL annual conference held yesterday at Homebush. "Our goal is to have a full-season schedule locked in place," NRL chief executive David Gallop said last night.

    "But we'll have to assess what that does to the value of the broadcast rights."

    A long-time complaint from fans and clubs is that their season is determined on the whim of the TV networks, as opposed to the AFL, which for years has bedded down its schedule for next season every November.

    The downside for the league is that blockbuster matches towards the end of the year could be played in unfriendly timeslots.

    "We would certainly consider the idea of locking in the schedule for most of the season except for the last few rounds so we could put the best games in the best timeslots late in the year," Gallop said.

    The billion-dollar question for the NRL is how much a full-season schedule might hurt its position at the bargaining table.

    So much emphasis has been placed on the importance of the next television rights deal, with some analysts adamant rugby league can surpass the AFL's $1.25 billion deal struck earlier this year because of its popularity as a television sport.

    The NRL rolled out a series of figures at yesterday's meeting - which was also attended by the eight members of the incoming Independent Commission - and declared that rugby league was the most watched sport on television.

    The key figures were:

    MORE than 134 million viewers tuned in to watch rugby league on free-to-air and subscription television - 12 million more than any other Australian sport;

    RUGBY league accounted for four of the top five sporting programs of the year on free-to-air television, and 64 of the top hundred programs on pay-TV.

    STATE of Origin III - the series decider- was the highest rating free-to-air sports program this year.

    Despite the glowing numbers, Gallop refused to say the fabled billion-dollar mark could be reached.

    "These results must make the broadcasters sit up and take notice of how the game's place," Gallop said. "We will go into our negotiations optimistic but it's always difficult to put a figure on it."

    The conference continues today.
  2. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member

    +516 /0
    I don't see why the NRL would have to 'give up' dollars with a fixed schedule. The AFL have set the benchmark for 'dollars' for the last five years and don't have a problem getting the money. Sure, leave the last month of the month to schedule more interesting matchups, that would be tolerable. The NRL seem to be bleating about lost income when a tough negotiator would do the job of screwing the TV and other right holder. I worry about the 'negotiator', i.e. Gallop getting the best deal from his employer for his employer.
  3. Mals

    Mals Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +1,652 /39
    A fixed schedule is a must! Supporters need to know well in advance the dates their team will be playing, especially for away games. I'm sure guys like Mark from MWTS will be breathing a sign of relief if it comes in.

    Don't let Gallop get anywhere near the media rights negotiating table, he's a marshmellow.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Mark from Brisbane

      Mark from Brisbane Living the dream Premium Member

      +19,663 /383
      Not wrong there, how much easier for the MWTS.....they can lock in cheap airfares (in advance)...would save people heaps and heaps and mean more could afford to go....BRING IT ON!!
    • Jatz Crackers

      Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

      +1,476 /8
      Yes agreed DSM. Its quite obvious how the negotiations should be handled differently. And add the fact that Gallop has a conflict of interest.

      But, one thing I did notice is a demonstrable change in Gallops media outputs. His openess and his approach changed noticably once the IC was 100% confirmed, which suggests News Ltd have signalled the end of their need for him & have thanked him by parlaying it into his safe seat as CEO of the IC.

      I still dont believe in his integrity and I still dont believe in his abilities.
    • ManlyBacker

      ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

      +972 /7
      If Gallop is involved then the last month of the season will be open to the tv networks. I doubt he has the cajones to even pull that off, but it would be a big improvement on today.

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