St Helens centre Ben Davies urges IMG to broadcast Super League in more countries

The 2023 Super League season is just over two weeks away and it’s set to be the first time the competition runs under the watch of IMG who are now overseeing the sport with a keen focus on the commercial side of it.

Rugby league is one of the most intense, exciting and entertaining sports in the world never mind the UK and that’s something that one St Helens player is calling on IMG to capitalise on with the recommendation for the management company to push the sport globally.

Ben Davies is heading into his fourth Super League season having debuted late on in the pandemic affected 2020 season and the 22-year-old is coming off the back of his best campaign yet.

Given his youth it’s potentially the case that he will play the majority of his career in an IMG-ruled Super League and therefore his opinion and voice on the matter is incredibly important and he’s weighed in on what changes could be made to better the game.

“I’d like to see them getting the sport more worldwide. I think the games that we put on and the experience that fans get just needs to be broadcasted more often, so it’s seen by more eyes,” Davies told AceOdds.

“I think people that don’t know Rugby League might think, ‘actually, this is a great sport’. Obviously, I’m personally a bit biased because I’m a player, but I believe this is one of the best sports in this country and around the world, so I’d like more people to get the chance to experience it.”

A major network deal that expands far beyond England and potentially even beyond Europe would be a huge move by IMG but one that could happen as we’ve already begun to see the Sky Sports monopoly weaken slightly with the current Channel 4 deal.

Davies also spoke about his prospects heading into 2023 as well as the lack of respect he feels the current crop of Red Vee players get given their era of dominance.

“I think from inside Saints we do credit ourselves and we know how good we are. But I think from outside, I think it’s like we’re still not in that conversation about being one of the best sides in the Super League era. I think we should be nailed on.

“This is our fourth year in a row, we’re going to go for five. I’m hoping we’re gonna get five, and we’re going the right way to get to five. But yeah, I think they don’t really get the credit they should get.

“Hopefully, I think last year I put myself like forward and this year it’s about cementing my place and that if that’s in halves like I did last year or if that’s in the centre. Predominantly, I want it to be in the centre, that’s my preferred position. But if anywhere else pops up, where I can get the game time, that’s what I’m here for.”

Saints head down under now following Mark Percival’s testimonial and they will contest the World Club Challenge against Penrith before a return to Super League on a sharp turnaround to face Castleford Tigers in round two.

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