Tag Archives: Rugby

Rugby Incomes under Threat

Incomes per year:

English premiership?   Salary cap £4 million

Irish Rugby ? 36 million

Leinster ?  4 million

Munster ?  4 million


Albi ? 8.7 million – relegated from Top 14

Montauban ?10.3 million ? relegated from Top 14

Perpignon ?12.4 million

Biarritz ?14.4 million

Racing Metro in Paris 16 million

Brive ?16 million

Toulon ?17 million (Jonny Wilkinson, Filipe Contepomi)

Clermont Auvergne ?19 million

State Francais ?21 million

Toulouse ?28.1 million

According to the IRFU, if Minister Ryan goes ahead and makes the Heineken Cup involving Irish teams free to air the loss to the IRFU will be ?12 million or 18% of income. This will not be replaced by advertising and will destroy the pool arrangement with the other Rugby Unions.

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Thornley – Considerable danger in tinkering with TV coverage – Minister Ryan put in perspective


EAMON RYAN is no fool. In seeking to vastly expand the number of sports events to be screened free-to-air on terrestrial television, the Minister for Communications has done his research. He has also identified a problem regarding the exclusivity of television audiences on pay-per-view. Sport should never become too smug about this and sometimes governments need to keep an eye on them.

Minister Ryan is also on familiar terrain. He attended Gonzaga, played in UCD and his family, including an uncle who played for Munster, is steeped in the game. Thus, when he recently proposed that Ireland?s Six Nations games and Irish Heineken Cup games be ring-fenced on free-to-air television, it was all the more heartfelt.

Minister Ryan cites audience figures for Leinster quarter-finals which were on terrestrial television and then on pay-per-view, which drew audiences of 250,000 and 70,000 respectively. He points to the Munster-Biarritz final of

2006 which drew 500,000 viewers in Ireland, and the 2008 decider which attracted just 100,000, and countless examples from other sports.

He wants his son and a generation of young fans to be able to watch these matches without going to the pub or a clubhouse, not to mention pensioners and others, and these are all valid concerns ? although the spin-off to clubs and pubs shouldn?t be overlooked.

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