Exclusive: More details on Championship TV deal revealed including finances ahead of key meeting

Aaron Bower

Championship clubs will attend a meeting on Thursday to discuss whether or not to accept a new three-year deal to show the competition on Premier Sports – as Love Rugby League can exclusively reveal the numbers behind the deal.

Rugby League Live revealed last week how a deal had been tabled which would essentially show every game from the Championship live for the next few years, though the deal did receive some opposition from a number of clubs at a meeting of the Rugby League Council.

And Championship clubs have been summoned to Wakefield on Thursday to have further discussions about the deal – but Love Rugby League can reveal exactly what the financial package tabled is worth to the sport and what could happen next.

The three-year deal is worth over £200,000 over three years, with that figure rising each year. Premier Sports are understood to have tabled in the region of £50,000 for this coming year, with that figure rising to £75,000 in year two, and £100,000 in year three.

That money would go into a central pot controlled by Rugby League Commercial and then distributed between the clubs – but some Championship clubs have expressed concerns about the financial requirements surrounding the installation of gantries and production costs, which would provide a short-term financial hit before the money from the deal trickles through to clubs.

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But others, who are more in favour of a deal, are believed to be enthused by the prospect of attracting regular home supporters into their stadium to beam-back games against the likes of Toulouse, enabling them to make much-needed money in things like admission costs and bar sales.

These matters and more will be discussed at length on Thursday as clubs work out whether or not they wish to accept the deal. The Rugby Football League are believed to have no say in whether or not the deal is taken, and are leaving the decision solely to clubs.

Championship and League 1 clubs are facing increasing financial difficulties in comparison to recent seasons. Central distribution has dramatically reduced since the new TV deal was struck with Sky Sports, with under 10 per cent of the total received now going to clubs outside of Super League.

And Thursday will be a pivotal day for the competitions as the clubs further debate whether or not to take Premier Sports’ offer, or whether to reject it.

The competition was shown on Viaplay last year, but Premier Sports are in the process of reclaiming their UK business market from the broadcaster.

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