PRO14 TV Deal Set For Radical Changes Next Season

Big changes coming.

PRO14 matches could end up exclusively on paid satellite subscriptions next season. At the moment, games are currently shared across Sky Sports, regional BBC channels, S4C and TG4 in a deal that brought in around £11.6 million last season. The current TV deal is up at the end of this season

The addition of two South African teams has boosted the competition’s revenue by around £6 million, but that still falls short of the massive deals that are currently in place with England and France.

The Aviva Premiership brings in around £42 million a season with BT Sport, while Canal + are paying around £75 million for Top 14 rights. PRO14 chief Martin Anayi says radical changes are coming.

“I already know there is (going to be a radical change to the TV deal),” Anayi said.
“It’s working. What we’ve created is a tournament that has a renewed vigour, has teams from five tier one nations in it to ensure that more international players come through. The broadcasters and the sponsors and so on have reacted well to that.
“All options are on the table because the most important thing is that we allow our clubs to be competitive on the pitch and that means you have to generate as much revenue as possible off it.
“That’s both from fans coming through the gate and also from television or sponsorship and all other revenue streams that we are producing centrally for them.
“There’s an argument either way. If you put more games exclusively on paid TV, you might see more fans coming through the gate, arguably.”

In relation to moving to pay tv, Anayi says it’s an option they are exploring.

 “There is a tipping point where that makes it easier to watch on TV than to actually go to the game itself.” Anayi added.
“There might be a re-balancing of that.
“I would never rule out exclusively going to pay (satellite TV) because it has worked for other sports that are at the point we are in our life cycle.”


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