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Drew

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The funny thing about rumours like this is that they provide a chance to test the market without making any kind of strategic commitment. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is exactly what is happening. The rhetoric coming out of many in the UK isn’t favourable so this has people like CVC and the beancounters looking at the money potential of the 6 Nations written all over it.

SARU have been pretty shrewd with their manoeuvrings to date with the shifting of their two other teams into the Pro14 and I suspect dissolving the Sunwolves probably plays into strengthening their position as the upside of Japan is likely of more strategic significant to AU & NZ in that it provides access to another larger market for which SA has historically provided in the SANZAAR relationship. That said, as much as the population differences are often presented, the GDP/Income in Australia is significantly larger so the market potential is maybe not as significant as is often touted.

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. The Asia Pacific including Japan is really the future for ANZ but it will be a tricky one with Japan needing us a lot less than we’ll likely need them in the long run.

Time the NZAAR part of the partnership asked the obvious question of SA

What a poor article. Optus doesn’t need to have a production arm. It will outsource and use people like NEP exactly like Foxtel does.

“Foxtel is furious RA rejected its first offer, perceiving it as disrespectful after 25 years of funding.”.

Seriously, these are businesses not individuals to disrespect. Why try to attach some moralistic bent to the situation.

Roll up, folks, it's time for another round of rugby broadcast negotiations by media

I’m always curious how statistically valid those FTA viewership numbers are. I know they are technically ment to be around a 1% margin of error, but surely there is some selection bias in those 2-3000 families who have those boxes. Also how long does one have to be on said channel to register as a viewership number?

Roll up, folks, it's time for another round of rugby broadcast negotiations by media

Christopher, do you have sources for those numbers (genuinely interested).

You list the Optus Sports one as active subscribers too and the others you don’t make a distinction. I have a Kayo subscription that is not active. Am I captured in that metric?

Is there a breakdown of how many of those Fotel Now/Foxtel Subscriptions have the sports pack because the numbers are a little meaningless without the distinction?

The Optus numbers actually look rather impressive for such a limited amount of content, but then like those Foxtel numbers it depends how you look at them. Likely a lot of free accounts because people have a phones etc.. with Optus. Curious how many Fetch accounts too.

Roll up, folks, it's time for another round of rugby broadcast negotiations by media

Ex Force Fan. I think you also see SANZAAR as a homogeneous entity. The truth is that there are competing parties all trying to derive a range of outcomes for their home nation/union. Sometimes I suspect the status quo is a by-product of the realities of trying to evolve with the competing agendas at the table.

Roll up, folks, it's time for another round of rugby broadcast negotiations by media

I believe there has always been some challenge to the validity of all the reported viewership numbers. The methodology of the viewership boxes has been a bit of a best we can do approach. Streaming services have much more accurate metrics but many are cagey about the sharing of such insights. People like Netflix notoriously so.

Roll up, folks, it's time for another round of rugby broadcast negotiations by media

Source?

Roll up, folks, it's time for another round of rugby broadcast negotiations by media

Pretty sure TWAS. Rumoured $400mil and 5% equity stake in Sky.

Roll up, folks, it's time for another round of rugby broadcast negotiations by media

Disagree. I don’t dislike the guy but Mitchell was rather immature at times seemingly more interested in name dropping and being one of the boys. I’d love some of the real analysis and punditry they have in NZ or the UK.

Roll up, folks, it's time for another round of rugby broadcast negotiations by media

NZRU also apparently did a trial with Amazon. Amazon stream some sports in the UK with the Premier League. There are more of these streaming service players who are looking for content to differentiate their offerings.

Roll up, folks, it's time for another round of rugby broadcast negotiations by media

Also, surely there is some data from things like the Shute Shield to get a sense of the appetite for Rugby. I appreciate not the same product but it would speak to some of the preference in the market.

Roll up, folks, it's time for another round of rugby broadcast negotiations by media

Did he really say it would be ‘better’? I though he hedged only really saying that he was open to considering changes but the whole thing was pretty immaterial as the current agreement runs till 2025. You’d be a poor CEO if you didn’t look at all the options in front of you.

Roll up, folks, it's time for another round of rugby broadcast negotiations by media

Micko you might be overstating some facts. Where does your 15% of NZ’s population living in Australia come from? I don’t believe that correlates with what I remember from the latest census.

Also what is the percentage of rugby support/viewership in NZ? even with a large NZ population in Australia, this doesn’t automatically translate into a large group in Australia with an appetite to watch rugby. The age spread of those individuals is going to have a large impact on where they might see their allegiances in terms of supporting a team or club. I also am not sure the picture you are trying to paint with football/soccer is wholly accurate. The so called not buying into Australia as you say was more a by-product of nothing to really buy into. The ethnic clubs were as much the result of the market not serving a subset of the popular (migrants with a preference for football/soccer) than anything else.

I do agree with your general notion that there is a fickleness if a particular sport and/or club isn’t imbedded in the cultural landscape but then you have to start somewhere and sometimes planting a top tier franchise then enables you to start building the lower tiers. I’m a believer that the market likes choice so there is always going to be a place for a range of sports. This issue is if the percentage of attention and market share each can gain meets their requirements of success.

Roll up, folks, it's time for another round of rugby broadcast negotiations by media

Bluesfan, I don’t think that streaming services are necessarily firewalls anymore. If I wanted to watch Game of Thrones in oz, I got Foxtel, if I thought The Mandalorian looked interesting I got Disney plus, if I was interested in the reboot of Veronica Mars I got Stan… etc.. etc..

People are already having to work with this new reality of content not being available through one ubiquitous source like FTA. I think consumption patterns have changed a lot and serendipity has adjusted to this growing norm that involves moving between services.

A lot of content is behind what you call firewalls, including sport which is across a range of services like BeIN, Optus, Rugbypass, ESPN etc..etc.. Foxtel itself is already in your firewall category being a services with penetration to a small subset of the population.

I’m not even convinced that Super Rugby will gain much attention on FTA with new viewership. The product already as too many challenges. Say I flick the channel on FTA and catch the Reds playing the Brumbies play on a friday night and I live in Qld so want to support my state team, the next week the game is over in SA at like 1am in the morning for me. Does this format capture me as a casual fan? not likely.

I personally feel that there might be some more value in trying to gain new rugby viewership through things like the Shute Shield, Hospital Cup and even NRC. You have local clubs playing each other at viewership friendly timeslots. I think RA is smart to try to better promote this level of rugby whilst hopefully making more apparent links to the higher tiers. I suspect that there is a lot of viewership still to be recaptured in the existing rugby supporter base – those individuals involved in rugby at some level, say parents with kids playing, who don’t really watch things like the Super Rugby. This would be the low hanging fruit for the RA, not someone who likes watching the AFL and just happens to flick over to a random rugby game.

Anyway, as I said initially, hopefully RA have done their due diligence and have some good analysis and modelling around the realities of Rugby viewership. Whilst I have no doubt growth is important and revenue streams through advertisers also a consideration, at the end of the day I suspect gaining the maximum offer from the market period is their highest priority.

RA turn to Optus for TV deal

If I had to guess, I’d suspect that Super Rugby would be a better mix as they are likely to have already captured the soccer fans with EPL.

RA turn to Optus for TV deal

TWAS you’d imagine that Foxtel has some hard metrics about how much each user is watching what, which should would give them a fair idea of what the consumer values. Shouldn’t be too hard to draw lines between the value of that consumer as a customer and the cost of particular content that said customer is demanding. I guess it’d be a little trickier to weight the value in a content mix, but again nothing some analysis’ couldn’t figure out with the right dataset.

RA turn to Optus for TV deal

Bluesfan, you’ve got to hope that RA have done their analysis. There is always is always going to be a decision to be made around trying to grow your supporter base vs. maximising the return on your product with your existing base. I’m not sure that Super Rugby has enough growth with the casual viewer to warrant the potential short to medium term loss of going with a FTA style hybrid deal vs an exclusive deal. As such I’m not sure your inference of how people view television, flipping channels to perhaps watch something they haven’t seen before and then becoming a fan actually plays out. Either way, general viewership numbers on Foxtel I believe have been declining so the data you would imagine runs counter to the notion that people who currently have Foxtel for other sports viewership are becoming Rugby watching fans. RA hopefully can make an informed decision around this.

You also present Foxtel as a cable company. Most of that cable to going to the NBN and Foxtel will be a sat product. Their real future though is their Foxtel Now/Play/Go product which is in direct competition with all the other streaming services. I suspect that consumers are adapting to the changing landscape and that a streaming option in Optus isn’t as restrictive with the general populace as you’d think.

I’ve also always suspected that RA see the Wallabies and the international games as the potential gateway to increased viewership of rugby more broadly… but again, I’m really not sure what the conversion rates are. I have many a mate who enjoys watching the Wallabies but has never tuned into Super Rugby match even with a Foxtel subscription.

RA turn to Optus for TV deal

That would great in an ideal world but the realities of the playing, training and travel schedules make spending 2-3days doing things outside the players core job hard. That said, it would be great if NSWRU could leverage some other assets such as the extended squad to get involved.

The Waratahs are back – Newcastle, it’s on you to show up

He has some nice tenacity and grit.

Comes across as a real competitor. I like seeing a player be filthy with their mistakes.

Lolesio relishing in Lealiifano's old role

My concern for Harrison is to stand out if his forward pack doesn’t turn up.

I believe that he is the best natural 10 of the young lads coming through. He’s got a bigger boot than Lucas and is just a little more consistent than Lolesio to date.

Like all positions, it’s just good to have some competition.

Lolesio relishing in Lealiifano's old role

You can only suspect he thought it too their advantage with a younger squad who’d have spent more time playing in similar (hot/humid) conditions. I agree that it was daft from a player welfare point of view.

McKellar slams Super Rugby's summer start

@jeznez, there are certain protocols for the number of minutes for some of the All Blacks. That could be impacting some of the NZ selections.

Super Rugby Round 1 teams: Four new faces for Waratahs, Nawaqanitawase to start

He did (Fitzpatrick). Holloway likewise over in Ireland.

Super Rugby Round 1 teams: Four new faces for Waratahs, Nawaqanitawase to start

Nice late game impact. I’m equally excited to see Tizzano and Short come on later. The younger players just play with such abandon.

Super Rugby Round 1 teams: Four new faces for Waratahs, Nawaqanitawase to start

Rodda is coming off an injury isn’t he?

Super Rugby Round 1 teams: Four new faces for Waratahs, Nawaqanitawase to start