Warrington Wolves CEO has claimed that rugby league needs to become more relevant as a sport if it wants to be successful and grow as IMG intend.
He said on BBC 5 Live last week: “We need to become more relevant. We need to become more relevant as a sport.
“We need to be appearing in media publications, we need to be on platforms speaking a language that those people understand and that’s what we need to be.”
This is certainly something IMG will look to address as will the TV deal. Rugby league’s TV deals with Sky Sports, Viaplay and Channel 4 all expiring at the end of this season.
Fitzpatrick gave his assessment of what the sport needs to do to secure a favourable TV deal:
“Once we starting ticking those boxes on the criteria and we have a number of teams in that class A category, then we’ll become more appealing as a sport and a more attractive proposition.
“If you compare ourselves to football then it’s pretty difficult. But compare us to rugby union, I would say our figures stand up or in fact surpass rugby union and if you go back 10 years there figures may have been bigger.
“What you’ve got now though is kids have more things to do in terms of gaming and things of that nature so the market is a lot more competitive than say 10 years ago.”