Wednesday, May 30, 2007

IRB: Lipstick on a pig

Update to the Open letter to IRB and Rugby Canada vis-a-vie RWC broadcasting rights in Canada.

Longtime poster "Gary" at The Silver Fern is another angry rugby fan annoyed about the greedy RWC tv deal the IRB signed to screw Canadian rugby fans this September.

Gary draws my attention to even more facts that fly in the face of official IRB propaganda, directing me to the IRB's own 2004 Strategic Plan.

An information sheet titled "IRB Invests in Rugby's Future quotes IRB Chair Dr. Syd Millar describing the IRB Council - Interim Meeting of November 2004 as, quote, "the most important Meeting of the IRB Council since 1995 when the game of rugby went open."

The report details the IRB Council as having "unanimously approved a new strategic plan for the IRB incorporating a new governance structure. Rugby has undergone profound change since 1995 and the strategic plan recognises the fact that the game's policy-making and delivery mechanisms required modernising to reflect the changing requirements of the game."

IRB Vice Chairman Bob Tuckey, Chairman of the Governance Working Party established by Council in 2003, added, "In consultations with Member Unions and other stakeholders a common message was prevalent, that the IRB needed to review the way in which it conducts its business to ensure that it remains relevant to the changing needs and imperatives of all Member Unions."

Gary points to the 2004 IRB Strategic Plan that was produced from that Council meeting, highlighting the section titled "IRB Strategies: Appendix 2.5" (scroll down to page 15 of the .pdf document):

Maximize the promotion and marketing of the RWC

We will do this by:

  • Establishing targets for global broadcast audiences and broadcast targets for each key market.
  • Reaching global and specific target audiences levels.
  • Negotiating broadcast contracts to reflect commercial and broadcast targets.
  • Developing a broadcast strategy for each Participating Union.
  • Increasing the brand value of the RWC mark.

  • Gary rightly wonders how this new broadcast deal with Setanta meets any of the above criteria and stated objectives. The underlying reality is that Canadians will see substantially less of the 2007 RWC on television, and at substantially higher Pay-Per-View costs.

    All valid points.

    It's too bad the IRB seems to be much too busy waving their bank account statements around for them to answer any of them.

    My best advice is to write letters to the IRB and Rugby Canada. Light a fire with the facts, and don't be afraid to throw the IRB's own stated propaganda right back in their faces.

    Ask them why their organization is failing to live up to their strategies and objectives.

    Demand to know why they are penalizing Canadian fans after the demonstrable growth of rugby in Canada.

    Go Howard Beale on their arses ~ let them know you're mad as hell and you're not going to take it any more!



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