Written by Alex Goff    Tuesday, 17 July 2012 17:16    PDF Print Write e-mail
Super League Ponders Future
Clubs - Top Club Leagues

The Rugby Super League concluded its summer meetings this past weekend in San Francisco, and questions remain about what’s next for the league after it has been reduced to eight teams.

The Chicago Griffins officially confirmed what was reported earlier on RUGBYMag.com, that they have withdrawn from the league and will play DI.

That leaves the league with eight teams, teams that league president Sean Kelly have committed to a 2013 season starting in March and playing into the first weekend of June.

However, the league has a history of having clubs pull out at the last minute, and there’s reason to believe some are still very concerned about the mounting travel costs required within the league.

Kelly told RUGBYMag.com that clubs are still trying to increase the number of games they play and reduce costs, a marriage he deems “impossible.”

Still lacking sponsorship money, and without any live video coverage save for a webcast project that will return next year, the league is also struggling with the issue that unions and leagues continue to work very hard to prevent players on Super League clubs from playing in DI competition.

“The video streaming was something of a work in progress,” said Kelly. “It’s a good start to do it, but clubs had a lot to learn about making sure the person with the camera knew the mics were live and the coverage was live, and that we needed to continually show the score. Some teams did it well, and others struggled. But it’s a learning process.”

That, in the end, is a smaller issue compared to whether the league is at all viable with eight teams, and whether it can survive the constant undercutting from DI leagues that are trying to prevent Super League subs and fringe players from getting any game time.

And that is a smaller issue to the issue of finances. The Rugby Super League still needs to redraw its business model to help finance its activities.


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