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Super League club desperate for changes to appease IMG

The futures of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, Hull FC, Hull KR and the rest of Super League is set to be impacted by the TV deal and the changes made by IMG.

The immediate future of Hull KR is up in the air as they take on Salford Red Devils this week on Sky Sports.

Recently CEO Paul Lakin had his say on Sky Sports’ new TV deal:

“The broadcast deal will be Sky and it is a 3-year deal. It is the biggest income generator. IMG were brought in for 12 years to elevate the broadcast deal.

“The original 2022 deal was for 3 years and this was knocked down to 2 years. Next year’s deal (2024-2026) will be lower than this year, another big hit for Clubs to take on.

“The 2027 broadcast rights will be higher as IMG will have longer to show their impact.

“I was asked what I thought of the deal, I commented that it was a good deal for supporters but not financially for clubs.

“Every game will be streamed and every game will have a video ref, that’s great for the sports profile/awareness and consistency of the way the game is officiated.

“You’ll be able to stream any game worldwide. Initial perception from some clubs is that it will see attendance drops, but this has not been proven in other sports, nor from my experience in football, for many supporters coming to a game is about being with friends and family, socially.

“The games will be more spread out from next year, so not every game will be a Friday, Saturday & Sunday games will be added.”

He also revealed stadium changes to appease IMG:

“We’ve bought a big screen for next year, the Club currently rent in a screen for each game, so this will be a permanent structure.

“A new sprinkler system will be installed for watering the grass, it will be more efficient and environmentally beneficial.

“A new website will be launched ahead of next season.

“New dug out’s and flooring for next year too.

“Additional LED’s will be installed in part of the area behind the posts in 2024.

“Any new build would have solar panels.”

“This Club could not have done this investment a couple of years ago.

“The sound system still receives some complaints and comments, it’s on our radar, and we’d like to upgrade it for next season, however it will be dependent on budget with the other projects listed above taking priority for the moment.”

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