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Thread: Fox Sports make offer to show every Shute Shield match live

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    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    Fox Sports make offer to show every Shute Shield match live

    Fox Sports has made an unprecedented offer to show every Shute Shield match live – starting this season – but Rugby Australia’s desire to bundle together club rugby, Super Rugby and Test matches into one package to sell to broadcasters has created a stalemate.

    The Herald has obtained a letter, sent to NSW Rugby and Waratahs general manager Jason Moore last month and which was also forwarded to the Sydney Rugby Union board and Shute Shield club presidents, that outlines a proposal to broadcast the entire competition in 2020 and beyond.

    The Seven Network currently broadcasts one live Shute Shield match per week, on 7TWO. The deal they have is in conjunction with Club Rugby TV, which is owned by Nick Fordham and John Murray, and runs until the end of 2024.

    The terms of the deal state the SRU must pay $250,000 to the Seven Network for broadcasting and advertising as well as $50,000 to Club Rugby TV for production costs. It is a heavy financial burden just to get its product on television, but Fox Sports have come to the party with an offer many in clubland believe is too good to be true.

    It can be revealed that the head of Fox Sports, Peter Campbell, put forward a proposal last month for the pay-TV network to broadcast the match of the round live on a Fox Sports channel and stream every other game on a Saturday live on Kayo Sports, with dedicated camera crews at each suburban venue. The associated production costs would be significant.

    All finals matches would be broadcast on the main channel, while the match of the day would be shown on 7TWO or 7MATE on delay in order to maintain the competition’s free-to-air exposure.

    The five-year proposal would need to be approved by the NSW Rugby board, which works closely with the SRU. There is no timeline on when a decision may be made.

    For weaker clubs with little exposure, the chance to have matches broadcast on Kayo is enticing. As part of its proposal, Fox Sports would take care of the $300,000 fee the SRU has been paying to Seven and Club Rugby TV under the existing deal. Club Rugby TV has also guaranteed the SRU $200,000 per annum in sponsorship revenue.

    The offer is a major show of faith in club rugby, which has gone from strength to strength in recent years, as evidenced by excellent crowds, viewership figures and overall revenue.

    However, RA is acutely aware how well the club competition is doing and wants to get a slice of the pie. Chief executive Raelene Castle and her team are preparing to formally begin broadcast negotiations and want to try and sell a bigger package that brings together club rugby as well as Super Rugby and Test matches for greater alignment overall.

    A source with knowledge of the negotiations told the Herald RA was keen to get its hands on the Shute Shield rights, but with a deal already in place between the Seven Network and Club Rugby TV until 2024, something will have to give.

    RA have had discussions with Seven about trying to bring the rights into their stable so they can take a bigger product to market. The free-to-air network has received an offer but talks have stalled.

    RA has been speaking closely to NSW Rugby and the SRU, pitching its vision for a whole-of-game approach that will not only be looked upon favourably by broadcasters but can generate more investment in grassroots rugby.

    On the flipside, some in club land are concerned that if club rugby was sold off in a new broadcast deal, it could be neglected thereafter.

    The Shute Shield season starts in just over seven weeks on April 4 and if the NSW Rugby board does not agree to Fox Sports and Club Rugby TV’s new proposal, coverage will continue as it has done in previous years.

    However, if RA cannot obtain the rights, or a decision is not made, their ability to officially go to market may be delayed.

    Fox Sports has broadcast Super Rugby since the game went professional in 1996 but there is the real possibility Optus could snap up a new broadcast rights deal, which would run from 2021 to 2025.

    RA and NSW Rugby declined to comment. SRU president Phil Parsons did not return calls.

    From the Sydney Morning Herald

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    That seems to suggest that Fox Sports know that a sweetener deal on the Shute Shield is the way to get Rugby Australia to toe the line. I notice that they're not including the Hospital Cup, John I Dent Cup, Dewar Shield or Fortescue Premiership in the deal.

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    No thanks I'd rather watch local Perth teams play at all grades - LIVE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheikh View Post
    That seems to suggest that Fox Sports know that a sweetener deal on the Shute Shield is the way to get Rugby Australia to toe the line. I notice that they're not including the Hospital Cup, John I Dent Cup, Dewar Shield or Fortescue Premiership in the deal.
    Significantly NRC does not get a mention either.

    So Fox/Kayo are are going have 5 crews out in Sydney to film every Shute on Saturday and a 6th big crew to do the TAhs when they play at home on Saturday. Really?

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    I find the approach taken with Seven's coverage odd. Was channel surfing on the weekend and came across NITV covering the South Australian comp. Wonder how much they would be paying...?

    Have to think Fox is after the SS so they can say to RA "Got lots of content, don't really need SR thanks all the same..."

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    Is it evil of me to hope you are right on that last point, Andy?!

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .X. View Post

    RA has been speaking closely to NSW Rugby and the SRU, pitching its vision for a whole-of-game approach that will not only be looked upon favourably by broadcasters but can generate more investment in grassroots rugby.
    Hang on a minute, I thought they got all the money they would ever need for grassroots rugby when they cut the Force

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    two Points

    First is shute shield gets around 30k on 7mate, if foxtel can cover all of the games in the shute shield for say $1mil a year in production costs, this is far cheaper than what they pay for super rugby eg 40mil a year. and if they can get similar numbers for Shute to super rugby it is not a bad deal imo.

    Two, if Foxtel is doing this to undermine RA by showing Shute shield and paying for production costs, is their opportunity for Rapid Rugby to get its games production costs covered and shown on Foxtel, i assume they have been paying for it to be played on Fox the past seasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugbybob View Post
    two Points

    First is shute shield gets around 30k on 7mate, if foxtel can cover all of the games in the shute shield for say $1mil a year in production costs, this is far cheaper than what they pay for super rugby eg 40mil a year. and if they can get similar numbers for Shute to super rugby it is not a bad deal imo.

    Two, if Foxtel is doing this to undermine RA by showing Shute shield and paying for production costs, is their opportunity for Rapid Rugby to get its games production costs covered and shown on Foxtel, i assume they have been paying for it to be played on Fox the past seasons.
    No, it doesn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WCRugger View Post
    No, it doesn't.
    Aug 22 2019

    ''The Bledisloe Cup rated 204,000 on Foxtel on Saturday, while Ten pulled in 452,000 nationally.

    On Saturday afternoon the Shute Shield rated 20,000 on 7TWO in Sydney.''

    https://tvblackbox.com.au/page/2019/...football-codes

    seems closer to 20k but still considering how poorly Super Rugby is rating is much cheaper

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugbybob View Post
    Aug 22 2019

    ''The Bledisloe Cup rated 204,000 on Foxtel on Saturday, while Ten pulled in 452,000 nationally.

    On Saturday afternoon the Shute Shield rated 20,000 on 7TWO in Sydney.''

    https://tvblackbox.com.au/page/2019/...football-codes

    seems closer to 20k but still considering how poorly Super Rugby is rating is much cheaper
    That was a finals game. During the season the average barely cracked the 10k on average.

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    Who's interested in Shute Shield outside Sydney? no thanks!

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