Spectators lose interest in Super Rugby

Discussion in 'Super Rugby' started by saulan, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. saulan

    saulan Bench Player

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    What a surprise, apparently fans from the Sanzar countries are attending and watching Super Rugby less:
    http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/SuperRugby/super-rugby-tv-fan-viewership-plummets-20160704
    With such a bloated and confusing format, this really can't be too surprising, even coaches and players have been complaining. However, I see this as a positive though as it means that those in charge will see that this format is not the most profitable and we may see a move towards something more straightforward.
     
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  3. Aotearoa_

    Aotearoa_ BANNED!!!

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    Bravo SANZAR, you ruined the integrity of the competition so you could apparently expand the sport and get more money, well it's back firing.. of course ruining the quality of the competition was going to have this impact. You have to wonder how dense some of the management are.
     
  4. Tigs Man

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    The fixture setup is shocking I miss the days of the super 12 if I'm being honest at least it was all so simple.

    It sums it up a bit when the PI can't get a team before Japan.

    But then how do you expand the competition but make the competition easier to follow?

    Just everyone plays eachother once and then reverse the fixtures the next season? With a playoff for the top 6?
    (But you would lose a derby game money somewhere).
     
  5. Aotearoa_

    Aotearoa_ BANNED!!!

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    So do I. Most of the games were competitive, there weren't many weak sides, maybe the Reds in a bad year, or the Cats or Highlanders. But overall it was such a strong competition.

    There needs to be two tiers and a relegation/promotion system, similar to the ITM cup.
     
  6. TobyBeastTeague

    TobyBeastTeague First XV

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    The problem with a relegation system across 4 countries is that, realistically the top tier is just going to be NZ with a few SA and Oz dotted about. Then, because so many Oz & SA teams would be in a tier 2, less money would be invested and they'd fall behind the rest of the pack. All I can see happening is it turning NZ into even more of a super power, as that is where all the Tier 1 money would be going. It would also mean that the top couple of Oz/SA teams that scraped their way in would eventually just poach any decent players from their respective countries meaning that there would be a huge lack of depth to choose from for the National sides.
     
  7. Aotearoa_

    Aotearoa_ BANNED!!!

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    The NZ teams could be watered down by adding a 6th side. This would cause more player spread, we'd likely still be dominant, but it would help close the gap considerably with the SA and OZ teams IMO, we have seen examples of how fragile the Highlanders depth is vs the likes of the Reds, the Sharks and most of the Kings game. I also think adding a P.I team would be a good idea and help weaken the NZ sides. So bump the comp up to 20 and have a 10/10 spread.

    I think the promotion/relegation idea would be exciting and cause more hype for the lower end games and having teams fighting for promotion, I think it would bring more crowds and there would be two sets of play-offs so worse teams can still feel involved in something. It's the way forward and a pathway to restoring integrity back into the competition in my opinion.
     
  8. Bruce_ma_goose

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    As someone new to Super Rugby it's a shame that the format change isn't working, albeit the report focusses on SA and raises other issues that could be contributing to a decline in spectators. I think it could work (but then I'm an NFL fan) but there are a few issues caused by the weakness of the expansion teams in recent years (with only the Rebels currently ahead of any established team in their conference if my rough knowledge of Super Rugby history is correct). There could be issues with the Lions being No.1 seed and also could the Oz conference steal a wildcard from NZ in the next fortnight (if so, I'd argue that isn't on merit).

    The whole point of the change was probably to make current expansion more affordable (in terms of travel) and to make future expansion more straightforward and less disruptive (two new teams could just slot into the African conferences) but they need to put some kind of measures in place to help out expansion teams. For example, stumping up cash so that they can attract a top coach on a long term contract (so they can't do a runner like Hammet has done on the Sunwolves, which probably guarantees they'll make no progress next season).

    I think its highly likely the competition will move to two divisions given the feedback options in the fan consultation exercise, but I don't think that's necessarily a good thing unless the relegation / promotion playoffs involve several teams from both the top and bottom divisions (to prevent it becoming a closed shop). For example, bottom four in Div 1 against top four of Div 2 with seedings that don't massively favour Div 1. The Cheetahs, Rebels and Jaguares are showing some signs of life and hopefully next season if they become more competitive the conference system will work a bit better but if there is still this huge gulf between established clubs and newer ones then I think the call to change the system will become deafening.

    It's a bit of a catch 22 though. Super Rugby seems to be losing loads of players to the English & French leagues, presumably because they can pay more. So Super Rugby needs more TV money (e.g. Japan and to a lesser extent Argentina) to compete on salaries and retain top SA (and possibly Oz?) talent. If you went back to a smaller league with less territories and still let players playing in Europe also play in the national side then you'd probably see an even quicker dilution / loss of talent.
     
  9. Aotearoa_

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    The format I would generally like to see is;

    Division 1, 10 teams. Top 4 play-offs. Bottom side relegated, 2nd bottom side plays loser of Division 2 final, in a play-off.

    Division 2, 10 teams. Top 4 play-offs. Grand final, winner gets promoted, loser plays off vs 2nd bottom division 1 team.

    Each team plays each other twice in their division, home and away. Or to make way for the June internationals, just make the competition shorter and play each other once, in a 12 week tournament.
     
  10. TobyBeastTeague

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    I'm guessing that if the 2nd worst of D1 loses to 2nd place in D2 then the 2nd place D2 gets promoted? You're right that that would make the lesser games a hell of a lot more interesting. I'd love to see this, but it will never happen.
     
  11. Aotearoa_

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    Yeah, it would be a promotion/relegation game and if 9th place wins from Div 1, they stay in Div 1.

    It's just a few thoughts of the top of my head on how this competition could restore some credibility. Also it means teams in Div 2 would be likely to win more games and attract more crowds for the lower teams that are struggling.

    Fans are lobbying for the divisions, so here's hoping they reshape it to something along these lines in the next few years and return interest back into the competition.
     
  12. themole25

    themole25 First XV

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    well it's a glorified all star competition, and now they've expanded enough so that there a couple of teams that aren't very good
    it just doesn't have a league feeling to it, all the teams are less than 20 years old so there isn't long standing rivalries like there is with ireland, england, and france

    i just don't see super rugby lasting much longer*... hopefully the players will all go to france or england so we can see the best in the world play each other week in week out

    *efficiency almost always wins, and club rugby right now is not efficient what so ever, we have too many competitions that are too spread out
     
  13. Aotearoa_

    Aotearoa_ BANNED!!!

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    glorified all star competition

    No it's not. 98% of players are playing in their country or origin and a lot in their region of origin.

    The top 14 is a "glorified all star competition". Paying literally millions for retired All Blacks and fringe All Blacks as well as Australians and South Africans.


    i just don't see super rugby lasting much longer*... hopefully the players will all go to france or england so we can see the best in the world play each other week in week out


    If I'm going to be brutally honest with you here, this is a really moronic and uneducated comment. You would be better off not sharing your opinion about this matter as it had the value of used toilet paper.
     
  14. themole25

    themole25 First XV

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    which is exactly what an all-star competition is, it's players playing based off of where they happen to be from or where they played club rugby. I guess this is an American view on sports.

    Do I need to send you links to millions of pages of literature about how efficiency always wins. and I'm gonna be completely honest with you, you sound like an asshole who is trying to hold onto the fact that club rugby in their country might actually mean something

    the players want to leave as soon as possible, the games even though they are incredibly high in rugby talent are boring to watch, and the Australian sides are bleeding money

    i really think you misread my meaning of "all star competition" by all star i meant the teams are composed of players who are selected based off of their regional affiliations, the way all star teams are chose in the USA... these teams have no natural rivalries and there is no inherent connection between club and its surrounding areas

    Toulon may have all star talent on their team but they are not an all star team, they are an actual club with over a 100 years of history and regional pride, you don't get that in Super Rugby

    I am pretty confident to say that my vision of rugby's future will be more accurate than yours in 10 years
     
  15. Aotearoa_

    Aotearoa_ BANNED!!!

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    We have the ITM Cup, which is our regional unions and the greatest grassroots rugby infrastructure in the world along with extremely historical High School sides with rich rivalry and culture like no other found in the world. This is why we do and always will produce the greatest teams and players the game will see. These all have history well over 100 years old.

    I will acknowledge your point about Super Rugby being young, but the franchises are still heavily linked to our regional unions.

    I'm pretty confident you're just an over-opinionated Yank who watches his spoon fed European stuff on ESPN.

    Super Rugby does have a lot of garbage fixtures, but the NZ games are always scintillating and high scoring and the best rugby you will find in the world.
     
  16. themole25

    themole25 First XV

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    and ITM cup is one of my favorite competitions to watch (even though a lot of sides are missing All Blacks), I just don't see how Super Rugby can compete when they are losing 46 players to Europe next year.

    It's just too big of a competition geographically wise that I don't think that it can continue to run in the long run because of efficiency problems.

    I don't know how you feel about ITM trying to recruit foreign players and really become a competition featuring the best of the best while still developing mostly New Zealand players.

    Super Rugby does have a lot of garbage fixtures, but the NZ games are always scintillating and high scoring and the best rugby you will find in the world.
    and what % of the games is that?

    over-opinionated Yank who watches his spoon fed European stuff on ESPN.
    I mean yeah, like 100% correct, but we currently all Super Rugby games on ESPN while only two Top 14 games a week plus European competition, next year NBC will have Premiership but right now Super Rugby is the most rugby we get in the states

    Mainly I just want to see competitions featuring the best players playing against each other , I don't care where it happens but it is going to happen. Unions can try to keep players in their domestic leagues but restraints on labour always lose in the longrun and right now it looks like Europe is winning the battle when it comes to securing the best players in the world.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  17. Aotearoa_

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    First and foremost South Africa need to step up their player retention. The All Blacks have it right and will always have it right by not selecting players signed long term overseas. Fortunately the All Blacks is such a huge brand and honour to play for, this 9 times out of 10 keeps them in the country. Australia and the Spring Boks have more difficulty keeping the players in the country.

    I think the problem lies with South Africa personally, SARU seems to have a lot of problems and their leverage being a big source of income for the Super Rugby has allowed them to jeopardize the strength of the competition without looking after their players first and Unions first, I'm not entirely educated on the situation, but I'm sure some of the SA users would have some good insight in to why and what is happening with them.
     
  18. themole25

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    what do you think the best path for New Zealand would be, focus solely on improving their Provincial competition or trying to improve Super Rugby. I think it would be much cheaper to make the ITM Cup an even better competition (I was gonna say one of the world's best but I think it is already up threre) than it would be to try and continue their relationship with SANZAAR which involves flying all around the southern hemisphere for games no better than the ones they can find in their own backyard.

    Also I believe that 35 or so of the 46 players confirmed to be leaving Super Rugby are from South Africa, so yeah they are really weighing you down.
     
  19. Aotearoa_

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    Honestly, I love the Super Rugby and think it's important for our players to play in it given the traveling aspect, it gives future All Blacks the taste of the venues they become so familiar with in the RC. It also gives them a taste of what it's like to play vs other Nationalities, so it's very important development step for our Internationals IMO. So I think the future is to make this Super Rugby competition work, it may take some time, but it's worth it for sure.

    If the South African teams become too weak as a result of the player exodus, then I wouldn't be completely opposed to cutting them out until they can sort their issues out. But I don't think that will ever happen due to the money aspect and there is always enough depth in SA to field a few strong teams.

    ITM could be repackaged and marketed more I believe, I think they could sell the TV rights for more to overseas if marketed correctly, it really is such a quality competition. I think they should shorten the Super Rugby competition with the Divisions and work out the ITM Cup side to be able to have the All Blacks available.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  20. Pampas

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    The reason why many fans are losing interest, is not the expansion itself but how weak teams from SA and Australia hace become in comparisson with NZ teams. If the more traditional teams of those two (bulls, stormers, sharks, reds, brumbies and tahs) were puting more competitive performances against new zealanders this debate wouldnt be taking place.
    I do agree that the format is complicated and unfair, but given the distance between different countries we have to recognise that there is no clear better format. I believe that a relegation format would not work, because fans of teams in tier 2 would lose any interest in the competition, except may be for the last rounds for the teams fighting to get to the playoffs.
     
  21. Aotearoa_

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    It's also a point to make SANZAR fans can be generally quite bandwagon.

    Auckland Blues has by far the worst turnouts of any NZ side and it's by far the largest city in NZ.

    Success breeds fans. In their hay day Eden Park used to be packed to the rafters.
     
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