In a huge development for Championship rugby, it was announced by the RFL that the second tier of European rugby league would again feature weekly on television. Premier Sports, who have produced superb coverage of the sport in the past, agreed a deal to show one Championship game per week on Monday nights. The deal also sees them receive the right to show two Challenge Cup quarter-final ties. It’s a major positive for the sport as a whole, especially if the brilliant Championship play-offs are anything to go by. That’s my view anyway, but what was yours? How did social media react to the news?
The vast majority were excited by the prospect, believing that it’s exactly what both the Championship and the game as a whole need moving forward.
Fantastic news! Can't wait to see some excellent games from the Championship AND Challenge Cup on TV for the next two years! ⚔️ #RugbyLeague
— Gavin Wilson (@GavWilson) October 6, 2021
This is great news. https://t.co/CeQa72jmuK
— Rugby League Dinosaur (@DinosaurLeague) October 6, 2021
Others shared this opinion but also turned their attentions to Sky, voicing their disappointment at how little they did with the rights to the Championship. Some even suggested that Premier Sports should attempt to take on Super League as a whole.
Excellent news 😁😁
It was a stupid decision to give Sky the rights to show no games when @PremierSportsTV where doing a great job showcasing the Championship
— Stephen Rushton (@StephenRushton2) October 6, 2021
Sky don't care about rugby league wake up
— Lee Mitchell #ExLabour (@LeeMitche1l) October 6, 2021
That said, not everyone was happy. Plenty of people pointed out the logistical drawbacks of asking part-time players to travel across the country on a Monday night.
The outrage when they send Haven to London on a Monday night…… https://t.co/EhzzEx5Grw
— Jordan Walker (@jordanwalker89) October 6, 2021
Sending part time players across the country on a Monday night
Why do we have to constantly shoot our selves in the foot for a channel that averages 4,000 people. Previously they had the NRL which made the subscription worth it but currently £12 per month for 1 game a week 🙈 https://t.co/Mac7rNTTeB
— Jordan Weir (@jordan_weir14) October 6, 2021
Even one of the players weighed in on the difficulties Championship stars could face.
Over the moon with a Monday night game i mean what else would you want to do on a Monday night after work hope we get barrow away be ace
— James Brown (@brownields) October 6, 2021
Meanwhile one supporter noted the struggles the coverage will have when up against Sky Sports’ famed Monday Night Football.
Monday night RL going against the greatest brand of live football on the planet for 5 months a year…. what a great decision https://t.co/INsB1ErAvp
— Steven Hall (@TipsterSte) October 6, 2021
Inevitably, others suggested that crowd sizes would be damaged. This simply seemed to infuriate others.
— Pad (@YorkshirePad) October 6, 2021
One fan argued that some people simply like to moan about the game even when they’ve taken a positive step forward like this. It’s true that the positive news has left a few feathers ruffled.
Jesus Wept. New TV deal for a fantastic comp and it's 90% whinging immediately. RL fans don't deserve RL sometimes
— Anthony Porter (@TheAntPorter) October 6, 2021