sheepshagger wrote:Agree that the CL does have a problem in attracting the crowds. . .the standard of play is not always there, the reffing can be shall I say poor to say the least and the kickoffs are also not ideal (well maybe for TV but not for the walkup crowd).
Another probelm is a lot of the CL games kick off very close to when club games finish - how are you supposed to get from club ground down to Donnybrook in say for example 30 mins??
Am not suprised they cant find a sponsor for it, Sadly, I cant see that changing in the foreseeable future either.
Overall most clubs have the same small attendance problems (not just Leinster and Munster) although I think we pick up on it more given the hugh interest in the two provinves HEC fixtures we have at the moment.
If you look back at the old ZP attendences before the world cup, you'll find a lot of clubs were only getting 5000 supporters in one of the "biggest"/most important world leagues. With the WC win and good marketing the turnstiles in a lot of clubs are letting 15k punters through now.
The quality of the GP games isn't any better than the CL. Half the league is so petrified of relegation that they'll play any way they can not to lose a game. Full of SH players earning a few quid before they retire.
The CL has just as good a product if the participating unions believed in it and marketed it properly. As long as you have a yellowpack broadcaster putting the minimum expenditure into it, unions with nothing innovative in terms of drawing crowds to games and an unpopular/prone-to-be-changed schedule, you won't get a good sponsor who'll force the issues of ref quality etc.
There aren't that many sports out there capable of drawing TV audiences - RTE are losing rights hand-over-fist right now and are going to end up having Sherwin and Hamilton commentating on the Munster road bowls championship soon. The CL a great product that needs a few tweaks. Teams want to win it. Fans want to win it. You'll never get massive away crowds to overseas fixtures but the home derbies are all about bragging rights. You've to be a bloody good team to win it, and that's as good an endorsement as you'll get in any league, in any sport, anywhere.