Verdict: Another disappointing Sky Sports rugby league promo

James Gordon
Sky Sports rugby league promo

Sky Sports have once again missed the mark with their promo video for the new Super League season, after fans berated it on social media.

The video features Leigh’s Josh Charnley, Castleford’s Niall Evalds, Leeds hooker Kruise Leeming and Huddersfield’s Olly Russell – though neither Evalds or Russell had names on their shirts – staring up Scammonden steps.

Close to Scammonden reservoir in Halifax, there are 458 steps and it has been a regular haunt for some club’s pre-season training.

It then pans out to Warrington’s Danny Walker stood in front of the town’s golden gates, before Hull FC’s Brad Fash and Hull KR’s Mikey Lewis are pictured side-by-side. Catalans’ Ben Garcia is in front of the castillet in Perpignan courtesy of some green screen trickery and Sam Powell is at Wigan Pier. Ryan Brierley beats the badge at Salford Quays and Jack Welsby is by the Dream sculpture in St Helens.

There are a few slo-mo fan shots and the odd player celebrating, but no action on the field.

How fans reacted on social media

In our recent feature remembering previous Super League promo videos, we bemoaned the lack of footage which is the primary selling point of the game.

And that’s one of the key reasons fans have not liked this year’s attempt.

Dan tweeted: “Honestly. It’s really bad, Sky are so out of touch with the current consumer. People these days want fast, high impact, small clips. Massive hits, outstanding tries, a brief “this has never been done before” saints going for a 5th title in a row… who will stop them? Done.”

Alex Tyrer Graham said: “Typical Sky Sports. Lazy attempt, no attention to detail and just a box tick exercise as part of their broadcast build up. (Channel 4) efforts are far superior.”

Duke25: “Jeez that was boring.. How hard is it to have highlights of tries scored, big hits etc along with music that gets you pumped up.”

Olivia Robo: “It does everything apart from showing the game it’s meant to be promoting.”

ASViking: “Grim, not a ball, pass, tackle or try. What is it actually promoting?”

David Bolt: “Poor. No footage used. Only mentions rugby league once so people will be forgiven for not knowing what sport it is for. Doesn’t say dates and times of the first games they are showing. Not all the players featured have names on their shirts.”

Shaun Hodgson: “Northern stereotype voice over, no live game footage, and we wonder why we can’t get to new audiences! Really poor from Sky if you ask me.”

Stephen Holmes: “How dire is that??! Get some lads to run up a hill and do some badge kissing next to a canal, while a generic northern accent drones on about local pride and toughness I think Sky might’ve properly thrown in the towel this season.”

Bobby Pye: “How would this attract new support? It demonstrates nothing of the skill, the power, the athleticism of the players. It’s poor.”

Verdict on the Sky Sports rugby league promo

The Sky Sports promo was exactly what we didn’t like about the previous years.

It’s unfortunate too, given how well received the official Super League video released last week was.

The biggest thing rugby league has going for it is (usually) the action on the field – so why not show it?

As suggested in our previous piece on promos, it may hint at politics at play with the current TV deal due to expire at the end of the year.

Super League and IMG will naturally be looking for more money, given the drop of two years ago, while Sky Sports will want to get the rights for as low a price as they can.

But they will no doubt be frustrated at the acclaim Channel 4 receive, given the terrestrial broadcaster doesn’t actually pay for the rights.

Fans wishing to ditch Sky for Channel 4 completely might want to think again – as it would create a £30m hole in the game off the bat, with no real evidence that rugby league boasts the commercial prowess to maximise the exposure of a terrestrial TV deal.

Regardless of all that though, there’s no doubt that the Sky Sports promo should have been better and that was certainly the verdict of the fans and us.

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