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2nd May 2019, 09:15 | rfl

RFL reinvesting broadcast revenues into grassroots sport

RFL reinvesting broadcast revenues into grassroots sport

The Rugby Football League joined five of the country’s other biggest sports bodies in investing a total of £142m from broadcast revenues into the long-term development of sport in the last year.

The commitment forms part of the Voluntary Code of Conduct on the Broadcasting of Major Sporting Events which requires signatories to put a minimum of 30% of net broadcasting revenues back into their respective sports and to make their events available to free-to-air broadcasters in live, recorded or highlights form so that they can be viewed by the vast majority of the population. 

The announcement comes just ahead of the first two of the seven Coral Challenge Cup ties that will be televised live by the BBC this summer – with the Sixth-Round ties between Bradford Bulls and Leeds Rhinos on Saturday May 11, and Warrington versus Wigan on Sunday May 12, both being shown on BBC1 followed by two quarter finals, both semi finals and the Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 24. 

The RFL makes the reinvestment commitment with the Football Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Rugby Football Union, The R&A (Golf) and the Lawn Tennis Association (jointly with the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club). Signatories assessed as compliant with the accessibility principle of the Code are the European Tour, Premier League and UK Athletics. 

This year also sees the appointment of media and communications expert Jon Zeff as the new independent Chair of the Sports Broadcast Monitoring Committee, the body which oversees compliance with the Code.  

Commenting on this year’s review of Code compliance, new Chair Jon Zeff said:

“I am delighted to be taking over as chair of this important committee. As this year’s compliance assessment demonstrates, the Code plays a vital role in ensuring that revenues generated at the top end of sport are reinvested back into the long-term development of the grassroots to create opportunities for all. 

“In addition, the Code provides assurance that, wherever possible, the best sporting events are available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay for a subscription service.”

As set out in the Code, examples of investment in the long-term development of sport include but are not limited to: youth programmes, community sports facilities, education and training, research and development, coach education, volunteer training and communication and engagement programmes.

A number of case studies illustrating how broadcast income is reinvested by Code signatories into the long term development of their sports can be found here.

Further information on the Code and the Committee can be found here.