Sky Sports ‘cronies’ and ‘why do they call it rugby?!’ – Your bug bears over Super League TV coverage

James Gordon
Wilkin O'Connor McDermott Rugby League TV coverage mailbox

There’s been quite the response to a recent Mailbox where one fan aired their grievances over rugby league coverage on TV.

That opinion, which can be seen here, seemingly struck a chord with a fair few of you. And it appears people have many others too…

Send your thoughts on this, or anything else rugby league related, to

Droning on and on…

My biggest bug bear is the constant droning and droning by the commentary teams, mainly Sky Sports cronies. It’s awful. Just droning on and on whilst the game is going on. Barrie McDermott, Jon Wilkin and Terry O’Connor are just awful.

Arron Ball

Why do they call it rugby?!

James, one of my biggest bugbears, while watching English Super League, is hearing the commentators call the game ‘RUGBY’. Every time they say that they give AIR to the other code.  Rugby League is struggling in England.  This may not be the only reason, but it certainly isn’t helping.  The game is huge in Australia, perhaps because we know who we are and Rugby isn’t.

I thoroughly enjoyed both golden point games recently.

Chris Langford (Go the mighty Raiders)

Replays getting in the way

I have to say that one of the most annoying things about Sky’s live coverage is that they play a replay of a play that has just happened when they don’t have time to complete it!

Subsequently, we miss part of the real time action. It’s happened since it started in the 90s but it never changes.

Also, there are far too many commentators and most of them are just repeating what their colleagues have said.

Keep up the good work.

Lee Roberts

Show us the action

Why do the broadcasters during the game cut to the coach or the manager. Why not put a split screen so you can still watch the game or realistically, who wants to look at a manager or coach we know what they look like. The same reason for a replay.

Why can’t broadcast games the referee just send the try up if he doesn’t know, why does he say try or not try to influence decision because if he sent up and he doesn’t know, then why give his opinion.

Craig Lucas

Editor’s comment

There’s simply not enough rugby league to quench the thirst of those who want to be pundits and media publications!

While I agree with the assertion that there are too many commentators often on the Sky Sports coverage, which means the same points are repeated and everyone seems to be fighting their air space, I quite enjoy the three named pundits’ observations. I think Barrie and Terry add a ‘double act’ vibe that has at least some comedy value, while Wilkin is more analytical and pragmatically minded in his approach. Wilkin would work particularly well with one strong lead commentator. For some reason, while football has almost always ran with two – a lead commentator and a co-commentator – rugby league seems to try and cram as many people in the box as possible.

Calling the game rugby is an interesting one. This probably won’t be a popular opinion – but ultimately, rugby league and rugby union while they are separate sports now, derive from one sport. The main reason for the split was a geographical one relating to the economy of the time.

The bottom line is that ‘rugby’ in certain areas (unfortunately still largely ‘old’ Lancashire and Yorkshire) means rugby league, and pretty much anywhere else means rugby union. 128 years on from the split, it may be a bit late to try and move away from rugby league. I’ve always thought the acronym RFL could be worth adopting (similar to the dominance of NFL and NRL), though sadly its reputation has been significantly tarnished over the past two decades to make hanging the sport’s hat on it difficult.

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