Toronto Wolfpack have today announced a new television deal with Setanta Sports which will see their remaining fixtures shown live in Asia.
In a bold move, the club will now see seven of their remaining eight regular season matches screened, giving the club access to a growing number of fans with 55 million households across the continent set to receive access to the footage. Their match against London Broncos this weekend will be the first screened in conjunction with the television company as well as the UK’s Premier Sports.
As it stands, because the club weren’t involved with the RFL before the current TV deal for Super League and Betfred Championship clubs was introduced, the Canadians are allowed to strike their own television deals. That, however, will most likely change next season regardless of which division they are in.
Speaking of the new agreement, Toronto’s general manager Scott Lidbury said that “we are delighted to have Setanta Sports join our portfolio of global broadcast partners. This takes the number of households our games can be viewed in worldwide to 100 Million which is a fantastic landmark.
“Agreements like this are key to the Wolfpack’s aspirations to expand our worldwide fanbase and sponsorship appeal. Setanta Asia broadcasts to more than 55 million homes in a part of the world where rugby is rapidly growing in popularity. We believe that the world is a better place with more rugby balls in kids’ hands and we hope coverage of the Wolfpack inspires youngsters across Asia into the sport.”
While many rugby league traditionalists often express their disdain at Toronto seemingly buying their way into Super League, nobody can question their innovation and ambition; breaking into Asia may well open up new markets which the whole of European rugby league – as well as the sport as a whole – can benefit from in the long run.