Mixed response to Challenge Cup draw coverage

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.

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