Mailbox: All Super League games should be shown live

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience.

Want to be featured? Email the editor: james@loverugbyleague.com

Dear James,

I wonder if you can do anything. My name is Jayne Thompson Riley and I support St Helens RLFC. I live 1000yds from the Saints ground, BUT I am disabled and wheelchair bound and suffer with circulation problems, so it would be too cold for me to go to the ground and I have no close family or friends who can take me to the games, so therefore I have to rely on my TV and laptop to watch or listen to the game.

I wrote to Sky Sports last year and didn’t get very far. I requested that the games that were not being shown alongside the main game being shown, could they not be put on the red button on a basis so that the public could choose which game they wanted to watch, as the cameras are there recording the matches as they show all the tries at the end of the TV game or sort out some sort of live stream so that at least I could watch it live, like Wimbledon does with the tennis.

I didn’t get very far with them as they said it would discourage people from going to the game if they where all on TV. I explained to them that I could not get to the game and did they know how frustrating it was that I can watch every NFL game in America via a live stream, but I can’t watch a game that’s five minutes away from my home.

I can even hear the cheers with my window open, I have to rely on Radio Merseyside via live stream on my laptop to listen to the commentary (and have you ever listened to Ray French’s commentary, it’s always, we didn’t play like that in my day bull!! Sorry Ray!!)

Do you know of any live streams to be able to watch the games as they are being played, or have you got any clout when it comes to trying to convince Sky Sports to put them on the red button, I am sure if they do that they would get higher viewing figures from lots of disabled people who are unable to get to watch there team as I would like to do.

There was one Wigan v Saints game that wasn’t on TV and Wigan did a live stream and charged £4.99 it only happened the once I think it was about 18 months ago, whether they were experimenting or not at the time it was Wigan tv and you had to subscribe I think £5 a month. Well you can imagine being a staunch Saints fan, I only watched the Saints v Wigan game and then unsubscribed!

Now, why can’t all the clubs do that?

I know they are concerned over match attendance numbers but if they charged a £5 for the live stream of their own club games, they would still get something from it.

Thank you for reading this,
a very frustrated Saints fan,
Jayne Thompson Riley

Editor comments: Rugby league seems to be treading water with its TV coverage. We have roughly the same live coverage now as we did 10 years ago, however the Sky Sports PR people want to spin it. That is despite the modern technology, the presence of live streaming and the much broader sports market in terms of channels and outlets. With Sky TV games already clashing with other games, aren’t we already taking the risk of stopping people going the games anyway?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

6 Comments

  1. when I was involved with Leigh Centurions TV I enquired with the RFL and SKY re the chance of showing games live streaming via the internet the answer was an emphatic NO from both, even though we were in the Championship at the time which was getting no TV coverage (except of course the Summer Bash The Challenge Cup and the 8’s), both quoted that SKY had exclusive coverage and wouldn’t allow any live showing of games. Interesting to say that when the Bridgend club were on SC4 and then along came Toronto with their deal with the Canadian TV company and Premier sport, which surely blows out of the water the so called exclusive TV deal. Anyone recall Channel M on cable? they operated from Salford Uni and regularly covered the lower leagues but again SKY stopped them showing games, double standards maybe?

  2. The coverage from Sky for rugby league is dire, especially when you take into account they have the rights to Championship games but don’t use them!

    I’m now currently waiting for my current contract with Sky to run its course so I can cancel my subscription. I can’t justify paying for Sky Sports for the poor RL coverage, especially when I can pay Premier Sports £10 a month to get every single NRL game plus other RL content such as The Footy Show, etc.

    For me, the amount of televised games isn’t the issue, although I’d love to see more games televised. It’s that lack of additional content that frustrates and annoys me. As has been said, if you believed the spin from Sky, we’ve never had it so good. I’m sorry, that is just not true!

  3. As a Widnes supporter I have been saying this for a long time. The club is doing so much to involve the community – for the elderly – walking rugby, working in schools. Health links and meetinga with the elderly for example, but we need to introduce others to the game aa well. What better way than watching live games. The only games shown are seen by already die-hard fan because no-one else knows abot it or when it will be on. It is hardly ever in the newspapers either. I have converted a Union fan by taking him to the game. Thursday and Friday evening games do not help either and I have wondered if there is a move afoot to close or change clubs.

  4. Seems crazy our lower leagues need coverage and a decent enough sponsorship but like ive just read nfl seems to be able to cover every game , every premier league game is shown in america at 3pm on a sat , we are falling behind even more , we need to do more for this great sport

  5. I agree we live in Scotland and so opportunities to watch Saints is very limited! If I could pay just to watch Saints I could get rid of my useless SKY tv which spreads the matches they do stream on two channels so you have to take both!

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