A prime spot in the middle of the most popular breakfast radio show in the country sounds like a firm tick in the box for the “get more media coverage” brigade.
But apparently not.
Chris Evans hosted the sixth round Challenge Cup draw this morning, featuring the BBC’s rugby league man Dave Woods, plus high profile players Josh Charnley and Jamie Jones-Buchanan.
Yes the timing of the draw was a little later than billed, but there was a decent conversation about the game, the history of the cup and a nice bit of light-hearted discussion between the rugby league personalities.
Don’t forget, this is going out to a national audience, a large proportion of which have no interest in rugby league, so the light-hearted nature keeps it relevant.
Sadly, rugby league is gripped by a moaning culture. Whatever is done, is never good enough.
Some have mentioned the lack of coverage of the Denver test, the Magic Weekend and the end of season series against New Zealand.
Hang on, this is the Challenge Cup draw. That’s it. A piece of content on a national radio show. It’s not a slot for free advertising, and OK, JJB got a bit in about a film about Leeds, but that may well be of interest to a wider audience. He also chucked that in to avoid a very delicate question about the state of rugby league – not something that needs bringing up in a significant PR slot!
We can’t just desperately plug everything we’ve got in a short stint otherwise we won’t be asked back.
The value in a sport for sponsors and broadcast partners is the fans – and given the negativity that seems to surround virtually everything in rugby league, it’s perhaps no surprise some are reluctant to get involved.
That’s not to say that there aren’t problems in the game, there are – but getting pent up about a cup draw on such a high profile show will not help.
The draw might be running late – but this is invaluable coverage for RL on a huge platform on Chris Evans' show. Dave Woods, JJB and Josh Charnley all doing the sport justice
— Gareth Walker (@garethwalker) April 25, 2018
I give up with some of the reaction to this tweet ??♂️ RL’s been the main subject on Radio 2 for around 20 minutes
— Gareth Walker (@garethwalker) April 25, 2018
— Mark F (@Mk_FRugby) April 25, 2018
Rugby league fans will whinge about literally anything ?? very good coverage on the challenge cup draw this morning? @BBCRadio2 Not a bad draw for us either ?⚪️
— Liam Rouse (@LiamRouse85) April 25, 2018
What was that fiasco on Chris Evans show an advertisement for a schools sports day or the draw for a great competition shame on the RFL & BBC #ChallengeCup
— Tony Hall (@TonyH99) April 25, 2018
Good exposure for cup draw on Chris Evans radio show earlier.
Hearing quarter-finals draw on Russia Today and semis on Countryfile… #challengecup
— Chris Irvine (@Chrisirvine) April 25, 2018
Why are people moaning about a match in Denver and a round of fixtures in newcastle not getting a mention on what was a Challenge Cup draw.. ?
— Steven Hall (@TipsterSte) April 25, 2018
The challenge cup draw was live on the most listened to breakfast show in the country and yet the fans still complain about the coverage, it could have literally been broadcast on every radio station in the country and fans would still complain??♂️
— Arron Chorley (@Chorleypie) April 25, 2018
Thought that went pretty well for a Challenge Cup draw. Dave Woods basically held it together, but we managed to not look like tits in front of a huge audience – which is what we all hope for.
Touch and go when they asked if ‘the lovely Hannah’ could hold the balls, mind.
— Wobbly Headed Bull (@wobblyhead) April 25, 2018
The deal was they broadcast the 6th round Challenge Cup draw. They did that and they are still talking about it at 8.53am. Why don't you take your complaint to the BBC and see where that gets you? I might be able to answer that now.
— Steve Till (@steve_till) April 25, 2018
Would it really be a Challenge Cup draw on mainstream media without fans complaining about *something*? Thought that was all handled pretty well, to be fair. Nice exposure, good dedicated timeslot etc. Oh – and a cracking draw!
— Aaron Bower (@AaronBower) April 25, 2018
I thought the set up and execution was a complete farce. They spoke about RL as if it was a foreign comedy sport with Chris Evans sounding patronising throughout. RL gained nothing today #ChallengeCup #RugbyLeague
— Nick Oakley (@free_oakers84) April 25, 2018
— Fatboy_Rob (@Fatboy_Rob) April 25, 2018
Great coverage of the Ladbrokes challenge cup draw by Chris Evans and the guys @bbcradio2
— ian (@zogarmy) April 25, 2018
Amazing coverage of the #ChallengeCup draw on radio2
— Liam Glover (@glovelee09) April 25, 2018
Ah, only Rugby League fans could simultaneously moan about the lack of exposure for the sport whilst also moaning that they're spending too much time talking about it on a major national breakfast show #challengecup
— Fee Fi Fo Fum (@GiantsFanzine) April 25, 2018