IMG to introduce new event to replace Magic Weekend

There has been talk that IMG are wanting to get rid of the Magic Weekend but according to an update from RL Commercial, this has not been rubber-stamped.

They stated: “It’s part of the loop fixtures, the view is that loop fixtures are disappearing. That was part of the recommendations but they’re not rubber-stamped immediately so we’re going through the process of looking at the calendar in totality.

“That’s including the Challenge Cup, including new events, which was something that IMG had as part of the recommendations. So it might not be Magic, it might be the new event, Magic might be the new event for example but a different type of Magic. It’s all on the table at the moment.”

Naturally the loss of Loop fixtures and the Magic Weekend could see clubs miss out on revenue: “Rather than looking at that in isolation if we look at the whole calendar, then looking at the Challenge Cup and it’s format, in totality it might not necessarily mean that the clubs lose the two home games that they currently get with loop fixtures.

“We can put theory in that we should get rid of the loop fixtures but what’s the consequence of them, well it’s actually X, Y and Z and ‘X’ pounds. So we actually need to refine that in some way and find a solution that means we are playing less, for player welfare that’s key, but actually we’re not taking two home games off the clubs and missing Magic income as well.

“All of that stuff is on the table, by the middle of the year we’ll have to provide an update on the calendar for ’24 because hopefully the broadcast negotiations will have concluded and they’ll want to know what our season looks like.”

As the Magic Weekend comes to a close, RL Commercial confirmed that a new event could replace the Magic Weekend but stressed that it wasn’t going to be rugby league’s version of Cricket’s Hundred:

“It isn’t going to be our Hundred, but it’s being designed to attract new fans and that would probably mean new corporate partners and a new way of broadcasting perspective.”

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