Due to the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, almost all sports events and tournaments came to a shut-down in an attempt to stop the spread. That has put immense pressure on the future of the game, its competitions and clubs.
So, how has that affected the competitions?
Unlike winter sports such as the rugby union and football, the league season in Australia and Europe is still in the infancy stages. While Australia’s NRL (National Rugby League) has continued behind closed doors, the challenge cup, championship, and the Super League have been closed down. As it stands, fans won’t see any action in these competitions on 3 rd April. That means you can redeem your bet365 bonus code by betting on any of the above competitions.
It’s understood that contingency plans for short seasons have been put in place, though what happens next depends on government guidelines and advice on when it will be safe to bring back the action. However, the issue with Championship and Super League is the international presence of teams like Canada’s Toronto Wolfpack, Toulouse, and the Catalans Dragons from France.
At this point, any compression of the season must consider the travel time for international sides while maintaining the integrity of the competition and player welfare. Currently, teams play one another home and away, servicing the terms of the broadcasting deal. Seven more games, known as loop fixtures, are further added to give the league a room to wriggle to some extent since games can be scrapped regardless of the return-to-play date. However, that will lead to a loss in the budgeted amount for home matches.
The Challenge Cup is planning to stage the final on Saturday, 18 th July, at Wembley. Currently, the season plans to resurface on the sixth round weekend, though some reckon that it might be too soon considering the recent Coronavirus development. However, the main challenge will be trying to schedule the remaining rounds without affecting the date of the final. Scheduled events like Magic Weekend at St James’ Park are also set to happen despite the
current pandemic. Magic Weekend is usually organized at the end of each Premier League season, and the pitch’s resurfacing. However, the postponement of football matches might have a negative effect, with the premier league campaign extended beyond the typical 1 st June cut-off.
On the global stage, England’s productive test series against Australia will be under threat during autumn. That’s because the Australian Rugby League will be expected to move the State Of Origin, the game’s most treasured match series, towards the campaign end to ensure that spectators will be present.
What about Broadcast Deals?
From League 1 up to the Super League, the leagues have their broadcast contracts with Sky Sports, while BBC will be covering the Challenge Cup. At the moment, it’s too early to tell the impact that might be felt from the broadcasting perspective. However, all the parties are having regular dialogues while considering the latest advice from the government.
In terms of coverage, credible sources say that opportunities are being considered surrounding the remote coverage of games should they be allowed to be staged behind closed doors.
However, clubs might struggle to stay afloat due to a lack of cash flow.
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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