More than ever before Rugby League finds itself in a battle for peoples time and entertainment dollar. Some people tend to get drawn into the old idea that Rugby League is in competition with other sports for your attention. This simply overlooks the fact that we are all people that are easily distracted by other things that we might just finds more interesting at any point in time.
The point that people will stay at home or head to the beach on a nice sunny day still holds true, but the opposite is also in effect on a cold day when people find they would rather stay at home and rug up rather than go to a game.
To combat this, Rugby League needs to look at upgrading its game day experience in a big way. Talk of building an indoor stadium in Sydney is nice, but simple things such as a lack of parking or poorly maintained facilities at a ground can put many people off attending a game, and that is before you look at the price of tickets, food, drinks, and many times, parking.
Rugby League is also fighting against the entertainment industry. People playing video games, playing online games, watching television, browsing the internet, going to the movies…all of these industries compete with Rugby League every single day for our attention. As such, Rugby League needs to make sure it stays a relevant entertainment product in the face of all these exciting options.
That is why Rugby League needs to look forwards and drop many of the restrictive content policies that have been put in place during previous broadcasting agreements. If you are in competition for eyeballs, make sure your product is easier to watch than anyone elses.
That is the best part of the next broadcasting agreement. With four live games a week to be shown on Free To Air TV, Rugby League will get good exposure over the entire weekend. That can only be a good thing for the sport in such a crowded entertainment market.
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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