‘We’ve all had to have a hair cut’ - Ken Davy defends new TV deal

Super League interim chairman Ken Davy has defended their new reduced broadcast deal saying everyone has to “take a pay cut” in the present climate – but insists it will bring exciting possibilities.

Exciting future: Super League interim chairman Keny Davy. Picture James Hardisty.

In a media briefing yesterday, he refused to say just how much the two-year deal with Sky Sports is worth as it is “commercially sensitive.”

However, it has been reported to be worth around £25m a year.

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The current deal – which runs out at the end of this season – is worth around £40m a year.

Davy said: “We’re all having to take a hair cut because it’s common knowledge deals have been south of what they have been previously.”

Clearly, there are concerns from the RFL – who no longer have the right to negotiate the broadcast deal since Super League broke away in 2018 – about what share they will get of the new contract.

But Davy revealed the governing body will get a share and it will be then up to them to decide how much is handed on to the Championship and League 1 clubs.

“We haven’t started any discussions of consequence yet because we wanted to complete the Sky arrangements first,” he added.

“Now that has been completed, I’m looking forward to meeting with the RFL and to sorting out a mutually satisfactory arrangement.

“We are at the top of the pyramid and the pyramid doesn’t amount to all that much if you take everything else away from underneath it.

“Super League is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of the game but not at the expense of the game.”

And Davy confirmed that, as part of the deal, 10 games per season are now set to be aired away from Sky on free-to-air channels.

He did not rule out the BBC showing live games on Saturday afternoons and added: “We are in discussions with a number of broadcast parties.

“And one of the really exciting things about the new Sky deal is that there is going to be enhanced production coverage in 2022 and 2023 of every match so there is going to be a big screen and video referee potentially at every match going forward.

“That gives us the opportunity for some free-to-air matches with other broadcasters and also the opportunity to beam every game direct to supporters and the wider public.”

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