As you may or may not know, there is not an official push to remove the Challenge Cup from a list of protected sporting matches so that it does not have to be shown on free to air TV in the United Kingdom.
The Challenge Cup may have its critics, but the fact is it is one of the highest profile competitions played in Rugby League in the UK and the Final is one of the few occasions the game is able to reach a wider audience as it is shown on the BBC.
That means money in the pocket for clubs as sponsors see a chance for that wider coverage.
Now, I’m not sure why this push is coming about, quite honestly I don’t think there is enough soccer and billiards shown on free to air TV is England, and hell, you only want to show the public that two or three sports even exist, but its happening.
So how can you help?
I received this in my Facebook Inbox today. Read it and take action:
Firstly, thanks for joining this group. It’s great to know there is so much support for the campaign. If you’ve joined the group but haven’t taken any other action yet, then get clicking. Simply joining the group, won’t make a difference (but is very much welcomed!) but signing the petition or writing a letter could make a real difference to the campaign. In the mean time, here’s a quick update for you:
Rugby League legend, Martin Offiah has given his backing to the Supporters Direct Keep it Free for All campaign to keep the Rugby League Challenge Cup on the list of protected free-to-air TV events. The recommendation to remove the event has come from the Government commissioned Davies Report and could see the Challenge Cup disappear from free-to-air TV altogether.
Offiah, who scored a record-breaking 501 tries throughout his career and is often remembered for his own 90 metre effort in the 1994 Cup Final, has now compiled the best tries from across the game into his new book, 50 of The Best. He took time out to comment on the recommendation to remove the Challenge Cup from the list:
“The Challenge Cup is the competition players and supporters alike want to win. It has provided some of the great moments in this country’s sporting history and some of my favourites from my career. It’s also vital for the development of the game creating new supporters every year. Removing the Challenge Cup from the protected list could see it move away from free-to-air TV completely which would dramatically reduce the number of people able to see the game. How can our great sport be expected to grow if nobody can see it?”
Supporters Direct are working in partnership with the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group (APPRLG) on the campaign and a 12 week consultation period is now open during which you can add your support to the campaign in a number of ways:
Sign the Petition: An online petition has been set up by Laura Harrison, Rugby League Development Officer for Supporters Direct athttp://www.gopetition.com/petitions/rugby-league-challenge-cup.html Be sure to add your name.
Respond to the Consultation directly: Further details of the consultation can be found at http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/6496.aspx giving you the chance to respond directly with your comments.
We’ve drafted a letter you can use at http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0ATd7byPUmVzIZGRkdDV2cDVfMjdjbW5weGprbQ&hl=en
Write to your MP: Almost 100 MPs have already signed Early Day Motion 48, a petition for politicians, supporting the campaign. You can write to your MP quickly and easily at www.writetothem.com using the handy draft letter we’ve prepared for you at https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0ATd7byPUmVzIZGRkdDV2cDVfMjhnM3Ric2ZoZg&hl=en
Pass it on: Email details of this campaign to your fellow fans, friends, family. Tweet it, Facebook it, email it and text it. Let everyone know that they can do something to Keep the Cup Free for All but make sure you sign the petition at least.
We’re all proud of the Challenge Cup as a celebration of the game of Rugby League. Let’s make sure future generations have the same chance as us to celebrate.
To get more information on Supporters Direct, please visit www.supporters-direct.org. For more information on Martin Offiah, please visit www.martinoffiah.co.uk
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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