Aussie Broadcasters Not Pleased With SANZAR's Proposed New Format
Broadcasters "are reportedly aghast at the complicated 18-team, four-conference Super 18 model" SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby) is proposing to introduce in '16, according to Wayne Smith of THE AUSTRALIAN. On the eve of a meeting on Thursday, Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver "released details of how the planned expanded and restructured competition might look once the new broadcast deal comes into effect." Australian broadcasters "also have serious reservations about the 18-team model, believing it has taken from 1996 for Southern Hemisphere fans to get their heads around who makes up Super Rugby" -- even now many would not know where the Cheetahs or the Lions are based -- and now another three new clubs are being proposed. There "is angst, too, over Argentina’s introduction." Each new expansion team in recent times "has finished last in its debut season." What concerns broadcasters "is that the Pumas might struggle with the travel schedule and finish down the table in Super 18, making it hard to promote Argentina’s Rugby Championship Tests later in the year against the Wallabies, All Blacks and Springboks" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/1).