RL Commercial boss reveals seven-figure investment & explains financial benefits of Super League’s new streaming platform

Ben Olawumi
Cameraman pointing camera at Sky Sports Super League screen during a game

Sky Sport

Rugby League Commercial Director Rhodri Jones has revealed a seven-figure investment into the game by Sky Sports and discussed the financial benefits of Super League’s new streaming platform – Super League+.

The platform will be rolled out in full next week ahead of the new campaign, which for the first time ever will see every single Super League game broadcast live with a video referee in place at all six games each round.

Like with other subscription services, users will be able to pick and choose exactly what they wish to subscribe to, either annually, monthly or per game.

But the possibilities of making money from the platform go beyond just the match passes and subscription fees, as explained in detail by Jones yesterday.

RL Commercial boss reveals seven-figure investment & explains financial benefits of Super League’s new streaming platform

The RLC chief talked to the media at a press event held at the RFL‘s headquarters yesterday morning, saying: “Super League+ provides us a new revenue line, not just directly through streaming.

Sky are paying for the production of all of these matches, that’s a seven-figure sum investment by them and gives us a shot in the arm to create a new revenue line.

“In addition to that, the audience around it, the ability to commercialise games whether that’s break bumpers, banners during play, and all that sort of stuff with other bits and pieces.

“We now have a video referee at every game and we now have a big screen at every game, so suddenly some of your old assets now are refreshed by virtue that more people are seeing those assets.

“The ‘No Try/Try’ sequence, for example, is now more commercially viable and worth more money to us than it has ever been before.

“It opens up the fact that not only does streaming create revenue, all the other elements added to it give us opportunity and for the first time, we’ve worked with the guys at IMG around the betting and streaming rights.

“Selling those rights into betting shops, that’s never been a revenue line we’ve ever had before. But because we have six games a week for 27 weeks of the year, that now creates a new revenue line for us as well.”

‘We are slowly starting to fill the void’, says Rhodri Jones

Back in August when Sky‘s rights deal renewal was announced, Jones gave an exclusive interview to Love Rugby League about the details which won them the contract over the likes of DAZN and TNT Sports, both of whom submitted bids.

No secret was made of the fact that the deal had reduced in value from the previous instalment, with the current figure believed to be around £20 million.

Yesterday, Jones added: “While the rights fee from Sky perhaps wasn’t what it used to be, we are slowly starting to fill the void that has been left by that through the generation of new revenues.

“The key bit for us is the product. We need to make sure that the product is as good and as best in class as possible.

“We’ve got to work with IMG, who are leaders in their field. They’re building a platform for us, and we’ve got the best partner in Sky who are producing the pictures for us, so in terms of working with world-class people, we’ve got that.

“We’re giving ourselves the best shot to make this a success.”

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