Harrison: Championship needs TV coverage

Batley CEO Paul Harrison says the Championship needs to get back on TV screens to help grow the exposure and sponsorship of the division.

Sky have rights to the second tier, after taking over from Premier Sports, but only broadcast the Big Bash in 2016.

“I think there’s some plans going on in the background to try and get the championship on TV,” Harrison told Love Rugby League.

“I believe its massive to promote the game on a whole. I know football do it, I know its heavily weighted to the Premier League but they still show all goals that go on in the other leagues.

“But just for sponsors and promoting the local people who put the money into those clubs.

“It’s just great kudos being on Sky or any TV channel, but obviously Sky is a huge platform to get people seeing you.

“I’d welcome it with open arms to get back on TV. i think we started the Thursday night thrillers a few seasons back and obviously Super League‘s taken it over now on a Thursday night.”

The 2016 Championship saw more investment and focus as several clubs battled for promotion to Super League.

There was also an influx of high-profile players from the NRL and Super League into the competition last season. Next season French club Toulouse will feature after achieving promotion.

Harrison believes the Championship is an entertaining product that would appeal to TV viewers.

“It’s good you’ve got Hull HR, you’ve got everybody, I think its a different brand Championship rugby is to Super League,” he said.

“It’s a lot more free-flowing. Super League is a very fitness-first sort of thing, the less mistakes you make you’re going to win the game.

“I do like the style of rugby in the Championship, people aren’t afraid to throw the ball around.

“It’s an entertainment game after all and that what Matt’s [Diskin] trying to promote through Batley Bulldogs. That’s the way we want to play as a club.”

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