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Monday, November 03, 2008

England Sky TV deal to include (some) women's rugby

An exclusive deal between Sky TV and the RFU as announced today which will mean that from 2010 to 2015 all England men's games, excluding six nations games, will only be available on Sky.

At this headline level this is not that different from previous deals, but what is interesting, is that in the small print (and for the first time) Sky's TV deal specifically includes women's rugby - more specifically the World Cup in 2010. While in 2006 it was possible to follow most of England's games on via a (rather unreliable) Pay Per View internet stream, with the BBC showing the final, and in 2002 some short highlight packages were shown, this should mean that the tournament will get better mainstream TV coverage than ever before in the UK (as well as appearing on the internet via Sky Player).

However this is also the only mention of women's rugby in the deal. While the contract specifically includes all men's age group and Saxons matches, when it comes to the women's game only the World Cup is mentioned. If it is a success maybe they will show more women's games, but at this stage they are not requred to do so. This is a pity and a missed opportunity - TV packages signed by Sky for other sports have included a requirement to show a certain number of women's games, much to the benefit of those sports. Surely the RFU could have pressed a similar case for rugby - I cannot believe that a demand to show, maybe, one home international per season would have been a deal breaker.

There is no mention of women's club rugby, while the new deal does seem to give a complete and exclusive coverage to Sky for all domestic men's club rugby - the BBC lose even the Ango-Welsh EDF cup

2 comments:

  1. Katie Alcock10:44 AM

    Argh! This monopoly that Sky appears to be gaining on rugby is appalling - without Sky we won't be able to watch the 2011 World Cup or any Six Nations - this is awful!
    For those who can't afford Sky (and so obviously can't afford to go and watch England live) rugby will become practically inacessable.
    What a detriment to the game.
    Since I was little watching rugby with my parents at home has been part of my life, a family tradition that lead directly without question to me being interested in playing the game. No longer it seems unless we are prepared to shell out in excess of £30.00 a month!
    I was having a good day but this has but me in an awful mood!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Katie Alcock10:52 AM

    OK... on second thoughts have just re-read the article and realised my mistake, 'excluding' rather than 'including' all six nations games! I can only apologise for my previous rant!

    ReplyDelete

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