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Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

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Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby jservuk » Sun, 09 Apr 2017, 10:54

Crazy I know, but with UEFA shooting itself in the foot by taking its prime competitions off free TV, there is I'm sure a gap for Rugby to fill the void, in both the French and UK markets.

BT just paid UEFA another £1 billion + for another 3 years, and this time there is no highlights on free TV package either.

Sky and ITV could pool together to get the Euro Rugby competitions.

I understand there would be logistics and other issues, but the increased revenues could fund sufficiently larger squads to cope.

Weekend sport is for the sports fan, not the casual viewer. The casual viewer will more likely be caught on a Wednesday evening.

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby sk 88 » Sun, 09 Apr 2017, 11:24

No.

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby sammo » Sun, 09 Apr 2017, 15:05

sk 88 wrote:No.


Care to elaborate?

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Sun, 09 Apr 2017, 15:12

I think the French and English are happy with their non-FTA TV deals. The Pro12 might be an option but I struggle to think of a precedent of a FTA channel in the U.K. showing a sport that feature U.K. nations but not England (whereas understandably they will essentially show English only sports regularly).

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby DoncasterKSrugby » Sun, 09 Apr 2017, 15:35

I think this debate can be split into 2 separate arguments

1- mid week will probably increase TV ratings for the games, as this has happened in other sports. 1 game on a Wednesday on TV gets more views than a game on Saturday as people are watching live at stadiums or even playing. This could lead to bigger deals for the competition from the TV companies (all good)

2- Actually footfall in terms with people filling seats in the stadium will drop dramatically, again evident in other sports, so a revenue cut for the clubs. (not good)

would need lots of consideration, it would all depend on £££££££££

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby sk 88 » Sun, 09 Apr 2017, 15:38

sammo wrote:
sk 88 wrote:No.


Care to elaborate?


There is nothing to elaborate on. Its not going to happen, I don't want it to happen and it would fail if it happened anyway.

Pretty sure Super League gets poor figures for their Thursday night games. I know counter to what people think the most viewed slot for English rugby is Saturday 3pm. By about 50%.

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby sammo » Sun, 09 Apr 2017, 15:43

sk 88 wrote:
sammo wrote:
sk 88 wrote:No.


Care to elaborate?


There is nothing to elaborate on. Its not going to happen, I don't want it to happen and it would fail if it happened anyway.

Pretty sure Super League gets poor figures for their Thursday night games. I know counter to what people think the most viewed slot for English rugby is Saturday 3pm. By about 50%.


I see the points to elaborate on there;
Why won't it happen?
Why don't you want it to happen?
Why would it fail if it happened?

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby sk 88 » Sun, 09 Apr 2017, 16:08

It won't happen because its a barmy idea.

I don't want it to happen because mid week games as a regular thing quickly become a pain in the arse. At football they are a right pain but at least I get there at kick off. For Rugby games I get there an hour before kick off to get my place on the terrace. As a one off against a touring side they are great fun, but not every other week. You also get significantly fewer ancillary sales as no one drinks 5 or 6 pints on a week night, no one stays around after either.

If it happened it would fail because stadium attendances (still over 30% of most clubs income) would fall. TV figures would probably fall (those Thursday night European games at the moment are hardly a success). So income would fall and they quickly move back to Saturdays which is clearly the best day. You can only play once per week, unless we dramatically change the laws, so moving to Wednesday can only mean leaving the weekend.

A FTA TV deal is very much worth talking about but playing games on Wednesdays instead of Saturdays is not.

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby jservuk » Sun, 09 Apr 2017, 22:15

There is an opportunity for a sport to fill a sorely missed gap on FTA, left by the misguided money grabbers at UEFA.

This is more about getting Rugby to fill that gap, to take advantage and build a culture of mid-week European games.

I agree it is highly unlikely, and sure, the normal weekend fan base might not like it, but it would attract a newer fanbase. Possibly promoting it like Saracens do with their Wembley days.

Best of all, if it worked it would kick UEFA in the teeth.

We have seen cricket now wanting to come back to FTA after basically losing a generation of potential fans by not being on FTA. Football in the UK will go the same way within a decade.

A smart move for Rugby would be to fill the gap now.

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby victorsra » Sun, 09 Apr 2017, 22:44

IMO mid-week matches are part of a solution for another serious problem: the overlap of national teams and clubs matches in Europe, that affects the release of players (that affects more T2/3 nations than T1s... as T1s, like France, can negociate with their own clubs the release of THEIR players involving dual-contracts). This won't be completely solved yet with the July move of the mid-year tests (and Top 14 is still a problem).

World Rugby should put a VETO on professional club matches during 6N/June (July in the future)/November windows. This would force clubs to find new dates and mid-weeks are perfect. However, players safety would be a concern. In this case another rule that WR should make is to veto professional players to play more than 2 matches in 8 days, which means clubs will need larger squads to make rotation between weekends and mid-weeks. This can help young players and more T2/3 players to get pro contracts.
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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby hag » Mon, 10 Apr 2017, 12:55

There are already 'mid week' matches in PRO D2. I believe this is for broadcasting reasons: Canal + and Eurosport 2 France.
What can we learn from those games? It are the top games of the weekend.

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby victorsra » Mon, 10 Apr 2017, 13:20

Friday doesn't count as midweek. Just the Challenge Cup still has thursday matches, but it is the same round as the weekend's. What mean is a round between Tuesday and Wednesday for exemple.
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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby hag » Tue, 11 Apr 2017, 06:42

victorsra wrote:Friday doesn't count as midweek. Just the Challenge Cup still has thursday matches, but it is the same round as the weekend's. What mean is a round between Tuesday and Wednesday for exemple.


If you are referring to my post. The mid-week match of the PRO D2 is on Thursday. It is the same round as the weekend's and usually the headliner of the weekend.
To me this is proof that there is interest in playing in the midweek. The headliner is moved to Thursday for broadcasting on TV. I don't find any attendance stats.
But in the end if the interest is big and it grows it will move to pay tv.

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby ihateblazers » Tue, 11 Apr 2017, 08:26

In the UK and Ireland at least they should experiment with a max of pay TV and free TV. That has afterall helped drive the increase in the NRL and the 6 nations rights, not to mention increase exposure.

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby victorsra » Wed, 12 Apr 2017, 04:03

If you are referring to my post. The mid-week match of the PRO D2 is on Thursday. It is the same round as the weekend's and usually the headliner of the weekend.
To me this is proof that there is interest in playing in the midweek. The headliner is moved to Thursday for broadcasting on TV. I don't find any attendance stats.
But in the end if the interest is big and it grows it will move to pay tv.

Sorry I made a confusion. I was thinking about those Thursday matche PRO12 tried to do. But yes, Pro D2 major matches is on Thursdays. I tried to Perpignan vs Biarritz a couple of weeks ago.

NZ's Mitre 10 Cup is the only league that has a Wednesday match non-related to the weekend round. If I am not wrong, every team plays 1 midweek match every tournament, with all wednesdays with a match. And those teams play again during the weekend. Not sure about what the kiwis think about it, but I think it is a concept that could be experimented in Europe.
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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby Figaro » Wed, 12 Apr 2017, 07:28

Bruce_ma_goose wrote:I think the French and English are happy with their non-FTA TV deals. The Pro12 might be an option but I struggle to think of a precedent of a FTA channel in the U.K. showing a sport that feature U.K. nations but not England (whereas understandably they will essentially show English only sports regularly).


They already show Pro12 games on FTA. Each week there's a Welsh game on BBC2 Wales, another on S4C (a third gets shown on S4C Monday night on a delay), and a Scottish game on BBC Alba, and I think all Ulster's games are shown on BBC Northern Ireland. I don't know about the Italian or Irish games, when they don't feature a UK team.

That's 4 games per week on FTA, of the 6 in each round (*although, admittedly, often some of these are the same fixture being broadcast in different languages, e.g. Blues vs Glasgow being shown on both BBC2 Wales and BBC Alba).

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Re: Should European competitions switch to mid-week for TV?

Postby honestly_united » Wed, 12 Apr 2017, 10:31

There may be a case for doing a weekends rugby running Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, but I cant see Tuesday or Wednesday being feasible.

Friday night games have been good for Glasgow, selling out most weeks, but haven't had as many this year as Sky have taken a lot of their games for their Saturday slot. I think you would have to look at player welfare, you need at least a 4 or 5 day turn round between games so playing Saturday rules out Tuesday or Wednesday, I would say Thursday would be the earliest you would want to be playing.

As has been said the Pro12 already has a mixture of FTA and Sky. I would add that Glasgow games being on FTA has boosted their attendances (they pretty much sell out all their home games and could do with a bigger stadium) as it has given a wider audience of rugby fans, who maybe wouldn't attend a Glasgow game the chance to see how good the rugby is and in turn have attended live games.

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