Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A solution in search of somebody else's problem

211 Responses

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  • Matthew Poole,

    Sacha, there are definitely winners from increased retail and hospitality activity associated with events such as the RWC: the retailers/hospitality providers, and central government. Local government in this country has no power to levy income-related rates, so gains nothing from a one-off event such as the RWC. Rather it's a sodding great money sink, what with all the amenities expenditure and the inevitable clean-up that'll have to be done every time there's a game. If this was a recurrent event, like the 7's, then a targeted rate in the areas that gain most from the increased patronage would make sense. But it's not, so it doesn't, and we also have plenty of business owners who consider it mighty unfair that there's a rating differential between people who can increase their income at will (within reason) and reclaim the GST whenever there's a rates increase, and those who must simply pay the bill and suffer it. You really think people with that mentality will sit meekly by if local government tries a locally-targeted rate? I don't.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    It stuns a lot of people that the RWC is the third-most watched sporting event in the world, after FIFA WC and the summer Olympics.

    Are there any published figures that actually back that up?

    I’ll be staggered if the UEFA Euro Champs aren’t bigger than the RWC.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It's also global marketing for our national businesses including tourism, so there's logic in govt involvement in such large events. Locally, I believe we agree.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I’ll be staggered if the UEFA Euro Champs aren’t bigger than the RWC

    Sitting down? Don't have figures to hand, but they exist.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    It's also global marketing for our national businesses including tourism, so there's logic in govt involvement in such large events.

    Absolutely. I have no problem with "NZ Inc" putting money into events such as the RWC, on the grounds that it's advertising that couldn't be bought for any price. However, such things come from a national level and should be funded as such.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I’ll be staggered if the UEFA Euro Champs aren’t bigger than the RWC.

    Be staggered, then.

    Estimate for the last UEFA season was two billion cumulative viewers.

    Compared with the 2007 RWC's cumulative audience of three billion viewers.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Hannah,

    Heh, not sure that handball counts. Also, an estimate of potential cumulative viewers is very different from actual cumulative viewers.

    Suspect that, like some other sports, they were giving an aggressive positive spin to viewer numbers.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Heh, not sure that handball counts. Also, an estimate of potential cumulative viewers is very different from actual cumulative viewers.

    Suspect that, like some other sports, they were giving an aggressive positive spin to viewer numbers.

    Even if they were spinning it aggressively, even if they were spinning it by 100% of the actual number (I don't know what the actual number was), they still estimated only 2/3 of what the 2007 RWC actually achieved. There's little doubt that 2011's RWC will have even greater viewer numbers, given that Americans have had a lot of exposure to rugby in the intervening years and that the general trend in viewer numbers has been consistently upwards.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Suspect that, like some other sports, they were giving an aggressive positive spin to viewer numbers.

    Of course not. The sponsors aren't interested in those numbers so why would the NZRFU inflate their estimates. It's not as if the number of people watching was important, it's the game that counts and the Sponsors know that. They just want to help out and give something back to the people that buy their products.
    It's not like the guys NZRFU make anything out of it. It's just the love of The Game.
    innit.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    The sponsors aren't interested in those numbers so why would the NZRFU inflate their estimates.

    It wasn't NZRFU that was estimating, it was UEFA. Unless you're suggesting that Reuters was toadying to NZRFU back in 2008 to inflate viewer figures from the 2007 RWC?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    . Unless you're suggesting that Reuters was toadying to NZRFU back in 2008 to inflate viewer figures from the 2007 RWC?

    Of course not. I doubt if they've even heard of each other.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    they were giving an aggressive positive spin to viewer numbers.

    In wake of the Beijing Olympics, there were all kinds of viewing figures being tossed around. I read, variously, of claims of 87% and 94% of the Chinese population tuning into the event. But I couldn't find how such claims were constructed--nor who were the 6% allegedly not tuning in (the deaf, blind and the incarcerated?)

    With all such audience claims, I think you need to add a whole bag of salt!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    With all such audience claims, I think you need to add a whole bag of salt!

    So does the WSJ's numbers guy.

    As you might expect the big numbers always turn out to actually refer to the number of people with access to the broadcast.

    And Deloitte's impact report for the IRB managed to find 238 countries where the 2007 tournament was screened. Which is odd, because there are only 195 independent countries in the world. Just what was Deloitte counting as a country?

    But even taking all that into account, the RWC is a very big deal on television, and it will be bigger than ever in the US next year.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    The exciting news of huge rugby audiences in previously unknown countries is contained in Chart 2.6 of the report, on page 11. Funnily enough, the source for this information was the IRB.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Clint Eastwood's timing was good

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Matthew; your link is for a handball tournament. I’m talking football.

    I’m not saying the RWC audience isn’t big (although not such a favourable time-zone in 2011), I just think the 3rd Biggest in the World line gets thrown around a bit casually.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    You mean the waterfront stadium idea?

    You miss my point. Having had the opportunity to build a new stadium, not owned by the Eden Park Trust, it's a bit rich to now complain about putting the money into the stadium that they own. The opportunity to do something different was there, Auckland chose otherwise.

    The sponsors aren't interested in those numbers so why would the NZRFU inflate their estimates.

    All sporting events inflate their estimates about number of people watching. Why the IRB does it more than UEFA I have no idea.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Alien Lizard (anag),

    Distill Life...

    If from lemons you can make lemonade, it stands to reason that from Pears you can make Pear Brandy ;)

    and make it Schnappy...

    The Arrrgh Complex • Since Jan 2010 • 158 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    Look: let's try and put all this RWC stuff aside, and see if we can get a slice of the really big pie. Yes, I'm talking about seeing if we can host (some of) the action from the world's 3rd most watched sporting event[1].

    Yup: the Tour de France.

    Think about it.

    Loads of spectators - mountaintop finishes at Alpe d'Huez or Ventoux regularly have over a million spectators beside the road.

    No single huge demand load on one place - the whole point of the tour is that it moves around, spreading the demand across the country in a thick layer of accommodation and food cash.

    Awesome uniforms. One for Haydn there.

    Now, I know that someone's going to be a spoilsport and point out the obvious: this isn't France. But! the TdF regularly leaves France. True, mainly it pops into Spain or Germany for short periods, but 3 years out of each 5 it starts out in a different country. For example, 2007 started with two stages in England , 2009 started in Monaco. We're not that far from New Caledonia. I'm sure we could make an argument for a prologue stage around Auckland, then a couple of other stages around the North Island.

    Ask yourself: how often do you see swooping helicopter shots of gorgeous scenery as the RWC passes through town at 50kph? And when was the last time you saw someone at the RWC wipe out after hitting a dog? Never, that's when.



    [1] There's a citation for this on Wikipedia, but I won't insult your intelligence with the link. As mentioned, these figures are largely made up anyway.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Alien Lizard (anag),

    Tour de France

    Point Chevalier sounds French!
    Vive la RWC! (Round Waitakere Cycle?)
    and we have all those cycleways to promote...

    The Arrrgh Complex • Since Jan 2010 • 158 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Wait, you want us to pay for our stadia, and all of yours too? That didn't seem a bit greedy when you typed it?

    Given that Auckland contributes 1/3 of the national tax take, I think we'd be doing a fair bit of funding of our own stadium, don't you? I see nothing greedy about Central Government paying for all the stadium work required to get facilities up to scratch, anywhere in the country. This is supposed to be good for the country, isn't it?
    Don't pretend that all the local bodies south of the Bombays have been stumping up entirely from their own funds to improve their game facilities, either. Everyone's getting taxpayer pork for the RWC.

    So no, it didn't seem at all greedy when I typed it. Auckland City is paying a hell of a lot to do up the area around a private facility that's being used for some rugby games that were bid for by the nation. Why should ratepayer money go into the stadium when the council gets no capital benefit for the expense?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    You miss my point. Having had the opportunity to build a new stadium, not owned by the Eden Park Trust, it's a bit rich to now complain about putting the money into the stadium that they own.

    Ah, but. According to the IRB

    potential economic benefits of up to £2.1 billion for Rugby World Cup, combined with low construction expenditure due to a policy of utilising existing stadiums,

    As for those 238 countries. I can only account for 219 and that is including disputed states such as, Abkhazia, Kosovo. Palestine, Taiwan , Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and who could ever forget, Transnistria – Transnistrian Moldovan Republic who are, no doubt, Rugby Union fans above all else.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    And...
    What if the Guy in the Vatican wants to watch Americas Top Model instead?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Yup: the Tour de France.

    We're practically half-way there already.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And when was the last time you saw someone at the RWC wipe out after hitting a dog?

    rofflenui

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

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