Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008...12:05 pm

International Playing Window with Revenue Sharing

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The IRB should:

1)      Put aside two months in the calendar year and call it the ‘The Rugby International Playing Series’. The series would include international games no matter of the playing rank of the teams. (eg England vs All Blacks, Kenya vs Sri Lanka, etc). Does not include regular yearly competitions. (ie Tri Nations and Six Nations).

2)      Sell this playing series to all the broadcasters around the world. Just like the RWC. It has been proved via the RWC that some of the lesser ranked games punched above there weight in TV ratings and rugby excitement. Remember Georgia vs Ireland RWC 2008.

3)      A vehicle like this would also attract international sponsorship, but I concede not to the same extent as the RWC. However, it could be the ‘Coca Cola Rugby International Playing Series 20XX’.

4)      Gate fees should be split 75% to home union, 25% to visitor to union.

5)      Total world wide broadcasting revenue from the playing series should be split on a similar formula used for RWC revenues.

6)      Internationals outside this window are private affairs between unions.

7)      My guess is that Oct/Nov as the best suited months.

As the playing series will included more internationals I would think the world wide revenue would greater than individually negotiated tours. For example All Blacks vs Japan may provide a larger contribution to total series revenues than All Blacks vs England. Even the revenue rich England could expect bumper profits, plus smaller unions secure funding outside the RWC cup year.

Capitalism does not work in sport, as the rich get richer. A more socialist approach will produce a very secure funding foundation for world rugby development.

 The financial model the international window must look at is the American Football model (gridion) where the TV revenues are split evenly between all teams (The 52 states within the USA are basically 52 countries). The international playing window should be used to balance out the wealth, in a professional sport this is the only way to foster a very sparse field of competitive international rugby teams. Currently and for possible the next 25 years the RWC trophy is only really likely to be won by 5 teams (France, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand). But as the administrators of these countries are the power of the IRB, well I guess nothing will happen !