The RFL have confirmed their plans to live stream England’s mid-season international against Samoa.
The game, which takes place on 6th May with a British start time of 10:30am will be the first large scale foray into streaming that the RFL themselves have undertaken.
A two-tier pricing structure has been announced with fans able to purchase the broadcast for an early bird £3.49 before 10:30am on May 5th. After this time the price rises to £4.99.
Explaining this move Rugby Football League Chief Commercial Officer and Super League Executive Director, Roger Draper, said, “The way in which people watch sport is changing and we know that there is significant demand to watch Rugby League and particularly our national team.
“We believe that at just £3.49, the Test Match between England and Samoa offers tremendous value for what promises to be an incredible contest between two top sides. This one-off game also gives us the perfect opportunity to test and learn more about the market for live streaming as we begin to prepare for the future landscape of sports broadcasting and how Rugby League can best take advantage of it.
“We value all our broadcast partnerships tremendously and terrestrial coverage for our national team is very important to us, which is why we have secured deals that will show all of England’s games in both the 2017 and 2021 Rugby League World Cups live on terrestrial TV but the world is moving quickly and viewing habits are changing and we are excited to explore this opportunity.
“For this game, we entered into conversation with a number of organisations interested in buying the broadcast rights however the terms that were offered were not considered acceptable for Rugby League. We value the rights for our national team significantly higher than any of the offers and therefore felt that the right decision for this Test Match was to take it into our own hands and stream the game.”
This move has already sparked an adverse reaction on Twitter. What do you think about it? Tweet @loverugbyleague with your thoughts using hashtag #livestreamrl.