Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sevens World Cup (effectively) unavailable on TV in UK

Amazing but true. Very little of the "world's largest TV audience for rugby" will have the chance to watch the Sevens World Cup in Dubai, either live or as recorded highlights. 

In the past ITV has covered the event, and though this was often staggeringly poor (experts yakking away in the studio while games were going on behind them), at least some of the tournament was available. 

This time, according to the IRB, Sky have the rights to tournament - which would be a bit of a blow for those without a dish, but would at least mean good coverage for those who do have satellite. However, desperate searching through the channel listings showed no sign of the tournament. The reason for this seems to be because the tournament will only be shown of Setanta Sports - which means that chances are there will be more players on the pitch than will be watching the competition on TV in the UK!

Setanta do show some rugby. However if anyone was tempted to take out a subscription so that they could follow events in Dubai, then first it is worth noting that Setanta will show the tournament live - as Dubai are four hours ahead this means mid afternoon our time but Setanta have no evening repeat or highlights packages planned. And second it seems that Setanta have a jaw dropping customer relations policy that makes subscriptions almost impossible to cancel. Based on that subscribing to Setanta is something that I'd certainly never consider.

You do have to wonder why Setanta have the tournament. I cannot believe there was a bidding war - after all, its not as if Setanta are making a big thing about their exclusive coverage - and you are forced to conclude that no other UK broadcaster wanted the event. Given that the UK is the main audience for TV rugby, you do wonder how this fits in the the IRB's Olympic claims that Sevens is a big, high profile sport...

But the main regret from this is the huge missed opportunity this is for the women's game. Never has women's rugby been given a greater chance to share the stage with the men's game like it will this week - shame that no-one in this country will notice.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:20 PM

    I agree totally - it seems amazing to me there is no coverage on ITV or SKY. Especially considering SKY has run good coverage of the previous two IRD Sevens tournaments in NZ and USA. Rugby's chances of inclusion in the 2012 Olympics just took a turn for the worse...


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