Derek Beaumont likens new TV deal to “selling crisps”

Leigh Leopards are fighting against the likes of Wigan Warriors and St Helens at the top of the Super League table and are above the likes of Leeds Rhinos, Hull FC and Warrington Wolves.

Following their current trajectory, they are set to establish themselves as one of the best and biggest teams in the league in the next few years especially on the back of their Challenge Cup Final triumph against Hull KR.

This is perhaps why Adrian Lam suggested that Leigh played their role in earning the new TV deal with Sky Sports and why Derek Beaumont has said Leigh are the league’s biggest attraction at this moment in time.

Beaumont has been championing the league’s new £20 million deal with Sky and has likened it to finding the right market in to sell crisps with the news that every game will be televised in the future.

He said on the club’s Website: “Everybody knows it’s a very difficult landscape at the minute for sports clubs and broadcasters. There’s not massive competition. IMG and RL Commercial managed to engage some competitiveness in there.

“We need to remember that the original valuation of Super League by Sky when they did the last deal for now was to be prepared to go to £17 million, which would have been over 35% decrease and have a significant impact. So to achieve the deal that they have, we can’t be naive and just look at the headline number because it’s more than that.

“What has been done is there’s been a lot of retention of rights that provide the opportunity to achieve far more income than what’s perhaps not in the headline figure. So collectively over time you’ll see the productiveness and the work that’s been done there by RL Commercial and IMG which I think under the circumstances is the best outcome that they could have got and I for one am looking forward to how we can capitalise on that.

“The headline for me is the fact that all games will be live and watchable. And by being on it at largely different times as well, getting games on Saturdays, games on Sundays, I think it takes pressure off the officials department, which is something I think we need to invest more in as a sport. And hopefully we can find a way of doing that within the way things are distributed.

“That gives the opportunity as well for video refs at every game, which I think is absolutely imperative So that’s a real positive direction that we’re traveling in there and I think it opens up the opportunity for captain’s call which is something I think is a good part of the game in the NRL.

“Being able to hit the instances as they come out. I think Rhodri (Jones) referred to it in the meeting, the drop goal by Harry Smith for Wigan in the Hull game from miles out. It’s an instantaneous thing that can get out there.

“Wigan can instantly put that out there and we can capture those moments quickly rather than down the line on a Saturday morning or whatever it may be. So yeah I think there’s lots of good things on it.

“I likened it myself to if you’ve got a business and you’re selling crisps and the area that you’re allowed to sell them to is restricted but your price is higher and then somebody comes along and says listen I’m going to give you less for your crisps but there’s a massive audience you can now go to and I’m taking that option and that’s in a nutshell what I believe has been achieved.

“It’s massive because every game should be the same and fans do get frustrated, so do owners, so do players and so do coaches and so do the officials.

“Let’s not forget there’s a significant cost to having a six or seven camera set up at every game, every Super League game, all six games, that set up and the commentators and the presenters, etc. is a significant cost. So we get a real opportunity there to monetise that, to broaden our horizons, to get the Leopard brand as big as we can to attract fans from outside and make it easy for people to watch.”