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Major League Rugby launched in US

  • 08-11-2017 11:10am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    First National TV Partnership in Domestic Professional Rugby

    Major League Rugby (MLR) and CBS Sports Network today announced an exclusive, multi-year television partnership. CBS Sports Network will televise the inaugural season of the new start-up league beginning in April, 2018, marking the first national television partnership in the history of American professional rugby.

    CBS Sports Network will televise a 13-game package with 10 weeks of regular season coverage – highlighted by a Major League Rugby Game of the Week – and two weeks of postseason coverage in 2018, including the semifinals and the first MLR Championship Game.
    “We look forward to being the television home of Major League Rugby,” said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President of Programming, CBS Sports. “MLR will showcase the speed, power and agility of this exciting sport and we are excited for the launch in April.”

    “Partnering with CBS Sports Network is a great step for Major League Rugby and for the sport of rugby in America,” said Major League Rugby Commissioner, Dean Howes. “There is no question that rugby is growing fast in the U.S. market. A successful professional league is a critical component of that growth. Television partnerships are incredibly important to any professional league, and we are excited to chart a path to success together with CBS Sports Network.”

    Major League Rugby will launch with seven teams in Austin, Houston, Glendale (Colorado), New Orleans, San Diego, Seattle and Salt Lake City (Utah). Each is a key rugby market with a long history of support for the game. The members have strong, local and civic-minded ownership groups with deep ties to their communities and have established grass roots programs, venues in place or in development, and a player pool featuring the best players in North America, reinforced by up to five international signings in the 15-player, Rugby Union format. CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, is widely available through all major cable, satellite and telco distributors as well as via OTT streaming service providers YouTube TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV and Hulu. Additionally, a live CBS Sports Network stream is available through CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App by authenticating with select providers. For more information, including a full programming schedule, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.

    About MLR

    MLR is a professional rugby league that will launch in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR will be the pinnacle of American rugby, and provide a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes.

    https://www.usmlr.com/

    Hopefully this is more successful than the mess PRO Rugby turned into. On the face of it this looks like an exciting tournament with the TV deal in place.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    Has this got backing from USA Rugby?


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,607 ✭✭✭✭ 2smiggy


    surprising no teams from the north east, I thought there might be decent interest in some of the cities there


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,362 ✭✭✭✭ Podge_irl


    What kind of backing do they have from US Rugby?

    Anyway, I'll remain skeptical.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    Apparently USA Rugby still sanctions PRO Rugby until end of Spring 2018 when it can activate a break clause. Odd given PRO Rugby is defunct.
    ww.rugbytoday.com/clubs/major-league-rugby-launch-9-teams

    I imagine unless there's an issue USA Rugby will move to sanction MLR.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    It does not appear to have backing from USA Rugby. So I'll go ahead and suggest they face an uphill battle.

    However, seems they've hit the major markets, excluding North California. Denver, Houston, SoCal, Utah. So that helps... But without NGB backing they'll really struggle IMO. Especially given what a disaster the last attempt was.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    Apparently USA Rugby still sanctions PRO Rugby until end of Spring 2018 when it can activate a break clause. Odd given PRO Rugby is defunct.
    ww.rugbytoday.com/clubs/major-league-rugby-launch-9-teams

    I imagine unless there's an issue USA Rugby will move to sanction MLR.

    That is mad alright...


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    The door is still open for an East Coast Pro14 side then.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,784 ✭✭✭✭ Winters


    I would hazard a guess that they do have US Rugby backing but that it can only be publicly announced once their 'Pro Rugby' term expires in Spring 2018.

    Good news but once again no team from the East Coast.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,367 ✭✭✭ bennyineire


    Winters wrote: »
    I would hazard a guess that they do have US Rugby backing but that it can only be publicly announced once their 'Pro Rugby' term expires in Spring 2018.

    Good news but once again no team from the East Coast.

    Maybe the east coast teams are holding out for Pro14


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 10,577 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Robbo


    The door is still open for an East Coast Pro14 side then.
    If it means an end to "Shipping Up To Boston" at Irish rugby grounds, I'll be the biggest cheerleader for this.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 475 ✭✭ tobdom


    Good article here with subject matter relating to MLR in the US.....

    http://www.the42.ie/tadhg-leader-major-league-rugby-san-diego-3795956-Jan2018/


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,967 ✭✭✭✭ The Lost Sheep


    New York side announced as entering the league for 2019. Will play friendlies throughout this year
    Eddie O Sullivan and Shane Horgan acting as advisers for the New York side.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators, Regional West Moderators Posts: 6,715 Mod ✭✭✭✭ connemara man


    Seems like this try could be the one for American rugby


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,967 ✭✭✭✭ The Lost Sheep


    Seems like this try could be the one for American rugby
    Hopefully.
    Theyve got better set up from looks of things and are now getting a team into the north east which could probably have a few teams down the line.
    Talk that a team based in Dallas could also be ready for 2019.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,967 ✭✭✭✭ The Lost Sheep


    This starts in 3 weeks.
    Few irish involved
    Tadhg Leader with San Diego
    Ben Mitchell, Paddy Ryan with Austin Elite
    Dylan Fawsitt, Marcus Walsh and David Gannon with New York


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,997 ✭✭✭ AbusesToilets


    Definitely more optimistic about this effort. I like what I've read about their financial plans with regards to the initial start up, teams having to front up a set amount to begin with etc. The TV deal should be a big step up over previous efforts too, hopefully that can be allied to a smart digital plan too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,208 ✭✭✭ shotgunmcos


    Major League Rugby will launch with seven teams in Austin, Houston, Glendale (Colorado), New Orleans, San Diego, Seattle and Salt Lake City (Utah


    Is this Sevens or 15s? I love watching the USA Sevens in the HSBC World Series. Anything that grows the Sport over there would be great. The Sevens team poached a few players from NFL and they are stars. Imagine the team they could produce if Rugby was first on the minds of young Perry Bakers!


    Where can you watch this and what format will it take?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,454 ✭✭✭✭ salmocab


    Major League Rugby will launch with seven teams in Austin, Houston, Glendale (Colorado), New Orleans, San Diego, Seattle and Salt Lake City (Utah


    Is this Sevens or 15s? I love watching the USA Sevens in the HSBC World Series. Anything that grows the Sport over there would be great. The Sevens team poached a few players from NFL and they are stars. Imagine the team they could produce if Rugby was first on the minds of young Perry Bakers!


    Where can you watch this and what format will it take?

    It’s full 15s. Hopefully it takes a bit of hold this time. Would take years to really build up but it will come down to business in the long run I would think.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,357 ✭✭✭ FACECUTTR


    This starts in 3 weeks.
    Few irish involved
    Tadhg Leader with San Diego
    Paddy Ryan with Austin Elite
    Dylan Fawsitt, Marcus Walsh and David Gannon with New York

    Is that the Dave Gannon that was with Connacht a few moons ago ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,866 ✭✭✭ Wegians89


    FACECUTTR wrote: »
    Is that the Dave Gannon that was with Connacht a few moons ago ?

    It is ya


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,090 ✭✭✭ FellasFellas


    Ross Deacon from Lansdowne also playing with RUNY as is former Irish Schools fullback Jack Fitzpatrick.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,967 ✭✭✭✭ The Lost Sheep


    Definitely more optimistic about this effort. I like what I've read about their financial plans with regards to the initial start up, teams having to front up a set amount to begin with etc. The TV deal should be a big step up over previous efforts too, hopefully that can be allied to a smart digital plan too.
    It should be better. That they already have teams to join next year is good and the ownership structure is far better than previous attempt at league should really help the league
    Major League Rugby will launch with seven teams in Austin, Houston, Glendale (Colorado), New Orleans, San Diego, Seattle and Salt Lake City (Utah
    Is this Sevens or 15s? I love watching the USA Sevens in the HSBC World Series. Anything that grows the Sport over there would be great. The Sevens team poached a few players from NFL and they are stars. Imagine the team they could produce if Rugby was first on the minds of young Perry Bakers!

    Where can you watch this and what format will it take?
    Its 15s. 7s wouldnt be work enough for them and they need 15s. It
    Read through the thread and you can see where you can watch this/where its been shown in US to find streams....
    They play 8 games then there is semis/final


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,997 ✭✭✭ AbusesToilets


    I think if they go about it in a similar vein to MLS, they will succeed long term. Slow, steady growth, with modestly sized stadiums and a dedicated fanbase. Keep tickets reasonably priced so families can go easily, along with smart marketing and some form of tv presence.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,454 ✭✭✭✭ salmocab


    I would think the biggest problem would be exposure, local rugby clubs and ex pats from rugby playing countries will make up the initial fan base but only lots of media exposure will get the next level of sports fan in, universities may be the next logical step for getting fans.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,997 ✭✭✭ AbusesToilets


    Rugby is huge at university level in the US, not sure if it is a NCAA sport though, which would hurt it's ability to gain prominence.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,967 ✭✭✭✭ The Lost Sheep


    I think if they go about it in a similar vein to MLS, they will succeed long term. Slow, steady growth, with modestly sized stadiums and a dedicated fanbase. Keep tickets reasonably priced so families can go easily, along with smart marketing and some form of tv presence.
    Yeah and thats a reason why theyve possibly gone calling it Major League Rugby.
    salmocab wrote: »
    I would think the biggest problem would be exposure, local rugby clubs and ex pats from rugby playing countries will make up the initial fan base but only lots of media exposure will get the next level of sports fan in, universities may be the next logical step for getting fans.
    Possibly but if they can get the rugby club supporters and expats going then thats great and you then can slowly build on new fans.
    Rugby is huge at university level in the US, not sure if it is a NCAA sport though, which would hurt it's ability to gain prominence.
    Its big at university level but not that big below that. Though saying that there is a lot more clubs fielding age grade sides and high schools playing now. Have reffed/played quite a few high schools playing over the years.
    It isnt a full NCAA sport yet. Getting educational institutions playing is fine but creating clubs in long term is way forward


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,997 ✭✭✭ AbusesToilets


    The club game is there, I've played for a few teams over the years. Never quite clear how the levels flowed into each other. The distance is a challenge, always found it difficult having to travel between states for a game.

    All in all, very excited. I'm looking forward to the East coast teams coming online.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    https://www.usmlr.com/schedules/

    Starts this weekend with three games. New Orleans @ Houston is on at 8pm Irish time on Saturday.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,585 ✭✭✭✭ partyjungle




    Decent explanation of it all here


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,016 ✭✭✭✭ Mc Love


    Where can we expect to watch it?


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