General Winning In The Media

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rugged

1st Grade Fringe
May 1, 2012
1,856
Winning the Media Game

The Warriors released their ambition to become the best sporting franchise in Australasia. To do this we need to return to winning on the park. However winning on the park is not the only factor in becoming a super franchise. One of the areas where improvement is needed is the media coverage that the club has.

As a rugby league franchise the Warriors are competing against other franchises that are regularly seen on “free to air” TV in their target market. The fact that New Zealand sporting coverage is so heavily dominated by pay TV has left a huge gap in the market. In 2008 it was famously reported that a free to air netball test out ranked the pay TV All Blacks in television ratings. This shows that there is a clear gap in the market which needs to be taken advantage of. The Warriors are almost solely the property of pay TV with the broadcast times of “free to air” replays only appealing to those who suffer from insomnia. I am aware that Sky are not about to roll over and put all of the Warriors games on free to air TV, but with the right financial incentive and negotiations I am sure some kind of arrangement could be made.

Off the top of my head one suggestion is that the Warriors Sunday 2pm home games get broadcast on Prime TV with only half an hour delay. If this was well advertised I believe it would open up the warriors to tens of thousands of fans who are starved of sporting action. The quality of the product would open league to a whole new market. I am unsure whether “free to air” Sundays is the right model or not but what is clear is that there is a gap in the market that could see the Warriors skyrocket in popularity

I talked about the quality of the product. The Warriors has done really well getting their players onto Radio Sport. Having both Michael Luck and James Maloney on national radio live for an hour each week is huge. But we need to see large improvements with the coverage on Sky Television. The Warriors need to flex their muscle with Sky and find a way to get better commentators and journalists covering the game. I am aware that there is an issue of journalistic integrity and am not suggesting the Warriors get to choose who comments their games. But like it or not the commentators contribute to how the club is perceived. Commentators are a matter of taste but Costigan, McIvor and Husband have been universally disliked and simply put, we must do better. If the club are looking for a super coach they should be demanding Sky to look for super broadcasters. The broadcasting contributes heavily to the quality of the product so the club must find a way of demanding better from Sky. In line with this the show “40/20” needs to be completely revamped. Again the quality of this show does reflect on the club even if it is exclusively a sky TV production. It is vital that we have a high profile show that is an equal mix of expert opinion and entertainment. Better hosts, guests and production values are need.


The Warriors need to return to winning on the field but we also need to win in the media. What other ideas do you have of changes that could improve the club?
 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,510
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
Sky TV are estimated to pay about NZ$14 million to the NRL with that total likely to rise with the new broadcast deal ( https://tvnz.co.nz/rugby-league-news/sky-yet-secure-nrl-rights-4713382 ). Now a very large percentage of the NZ viewing audience will be Warriors fans for obvious reasons so the question is, how much of that NZ$14 million is recouped primarily from those fans? How much then would Sky have to sell advertising on Prime to make up for lost revenue on Sky Sport and its other channels(remember that you must first buy a basic package then Sky sport) to existing customers or potential? Im no business head but I believe the ramifications of free to air are complex.

I will say though that my love of league and in particular first grade Australian league came from watching the 1991 fairytale season of Penrith and the final with the Goliath Raiders that was free to air on Channel 2. It was unlike any sporting event I had ever seen with Tina Turner doing the halftime show. That glimpse of the 'other' football sport in 1991 and the broadcasting of the Warriors 1995 season on free to air has spawned a love for the game that has lasted to this day. Im all for it and although I think it will take time for Sky and potential sponsors (Owen Glenn and Eric Watson?) to nut out a deal, it will only serve to strengthen and develop rugby league in NZ. Just look at the popularity of free to air Bartercard Cup games when they were on Maori TV.

I have always wanted Sky TV to have a League channel that replays all NRL games and not just at 2am, replay Sunday Roast, Xtra, etc, ..., show some college games, ALL Vulcans and U20s games. If they start doing this then the standard of the commentary, production, etc will naturally lift.
 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,510
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
PS all this will only work if the Warriors become a 'winning team' along the lines of a Broncos or Storm outfit that are always competitive and more often than not top 8 contenders. We kiwis are, lets face it, only into winners (unless of course your a leaguey!) You only have to see Mt. Smart when the Warriors do good or bad to know that. Think its called the 'bandwagon' lol...
 

eamon

1st Grade Fringe
May 24, 2012
420
Wellington
PS all this will only work if the Warriors become a 'winning team' along the lines of a Broncos or Storm outfit that are always competitive and more often than not top 8 contenders. We kiwis are, lets face it, only into winners (unless of course your a leaguey!) You only have to see Mt. Smart when the Warriors do good or bad to know that. Think its called the 'bandwagon' lol...
agreed. Sponsors are hardlygoing to rush to pay money for the knid of performances handed up this season. Kiwi's do like winners, and an even better example than the warriors (who can still get 10-12,000 people even this year) are the Blues
 
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rugged

1st Grade Fringe
May 1, 2012
1,856
I agree it is a complex situation but I am not suggesting that all games go live free to air. Maybe just a handful go on a slight delay. This way people like me would still keep their sky membership as I want to watch all of the games live. But you would open the market to people who have a bit of interest in sport but don't bother with sky. The Warriors owners could contribute financially towards making this happen as the pay off for the club could be huge. With proper promotion around the games being on Prime I think we would be surprised just how big the market could be.
 

eamon

1st Grade Fringe
May 24, 2012
420
Wellington
I agree it is a complex situation but I am not suggesting that all games go live free to air. Maybe just a handful go on a slight delay. This way people like me would still keep their sky membership as I want to watch all of the games live. But you would open the market to people who have a bit of interest in sport but don't bother with sky. The Warriors owners could contribute financially towards making this happen as the pay off for the club could be huge. With proper promotion around the games being on Prime I think we would be surprised just how big the market could be.
I think a factor that is sometimes forgotten regards to free to air, is that it very much driven by ratings and advertising revenue. Unfortunately league is still very much little brother, and so does not attract the audience the networks would require for it to be shown at a more reasonable hour (ie; prime time). I have once or twice through necessity sat up til 11.30pm to watch the boys on Prime, and then proceeded to be bombarded by ad's every 5 minutes or so. hair puliing out stuff!!! I agree it would be great for the growth oif the game, but as I alluded to earlier that is not the main thing the network is looking for. It is after revenue, and given the past season, it's surprising that Prime wasted any time broadcasting them at all. Except for the fact that their major shareholder is SKY, I doubt very much whether they would have continued. They would probably have been more than happy showing re runs of Dallas!!
 

rugged

1st Grade Fringe
May 1, 2012
1,856
The thing is Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm is not prime time tv viewing. I don't believe that the Warriors would rate worse then what is normally shown on a Sunday afternoon and if promoted properly I think they could end up being a ratings winner (in regards to that time slot). Not because the country is league mad but simply because if you don't have SKY you don't get to watch sport. I think the Warriors could quickly win over many passive union fans who don't have sky because the product is good and league would be the only soprt these people are able to see.

If netball can rate higher then the allblacks then it shows me their is a demand for free to air sport. The Warriors management should throw some money at it and see if they can meet this demand.
 

esoj

U20's Player
Apr 14, 2012
120
there will most likely unless things change some warriors games next year live on igloo for $15 a match.
 
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rugged

1st Grade Fringe
May 1, 2012
1,856
Wow interesting - my initial thought on that is that it is way over priced. I pay $17 per week to get sky sport and that gives access to everything. I would think a better price point would be somewhere between $5 - $10 of course Sky woudln't allow that price point as some people who mainly suscribe for the warriors may ditch the subscription and just ppv instead
 

eamon

1st Grade Fringe
May 24, 2012
420
Wellington
Wow interesting - my initial thought on that is that it is way over priced. I pay $17 per week to get sky sport and that gives access to everything. I would think a better price point would be somewhere between $5 - $10 of course Sky woudln't allow that price point as some people who mainly suscribe for the warriors may ditch the subscription and just ppv instead
what? You mean competition? Heaven forbid
 
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