Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Winning the RWC: it's complicated

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  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Apparently we could host the Olympics. I’m sure there will be those advocating we should, ’even if we have to eat grass’ to do so.

    Sydney 2000 only just managed to break even. Montreal 1976 took 30 years to do so. Athens 2004 is believed to be a big factor behind Greece’s ongoing fiscal quicksand.

    Furthermore, comparing the Olympics and the RWC is basically comparing a B747 with a Dash-8.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • merc,

    There's nothing like drinking champagne on a beer budget though...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Furthermore, comparing the Olympics and the RWC is basically comparing a B747 with a Dash-8.

    Fortune magazine was claiming the other day that the RWC was the third-biggest sporting event in the world after the Olympics and the football world cup (on an exponential scale, obviously.) It didn't really sound right but then I couldn't think of anything that would be bigger, so. One assumes they did some research before they made the claim. Makes you think, anyway.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report

  • Keir Leslie,

    The `third biggest’ claim comes from the IRB I am pretty sure, so take with a very great deal of scepticism.

    In terms of things that I suspect are bigger than the RWC, I would imagine that most if not all of the Tour, the Superbowl, the Champions League final and the European Championship would be bigger on almost any conceivable metric. (Even the Spanish/Italian/English leagues are probably bigger in some ways, but it is a bit of a nonsense to compare year long leagues to quadrennial tournaments.)

    (not that the RWC isn't a very big thing; it is just it is almost impossible to underestimate the heft of the European Championship, for example.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    The `third biggest’ claim comes from the IRB I am pretty sure, so take with a very great deal of scepticism.

    Others have pondered the same. No one seems to have any actual figures to offer, either way Doesn't seem that complicated to resolve, so maybe the real story is why it hasn't been..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz,

    It's watched by over 4 billion cumulative people, plus all the space aliens who might catch the match in upwards of 4 years time as the signal reaches Alpha Centauri.

    (The fact that 1.4billion people don't have electricity and quite a few others will be at work doesn't seem to affect this. I can imagine Burkinabè peasants will be getting up around now to walk into Ouagadougou to catch the game start at 9am).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • Keir Leslie,

    You don't need figures to know that the European Championship is bigger than the RWC, to be honest. (Just look at the New York Times website; the RWC doesn't rate a mention until the `Global Sports' section. I can't even find the RWC on the Times of India sports page. The Hindu puts it below the fold, roughly. All of those papers have visible coverage of football which would no doubt be even more prominent when it is the European Championship.)

    It's pretty obvious why no one resolves it. It is a nice bit of marketing fluff the IRB sticks in a press release, and journalists don't have the time to check this kind of thing. Also, the IRB is not above producing dodgy viewing figures, so figures are not as reliable as you would hope. (Nor for that matter are FIFA or UEFA, but there's more eyes on them than there are on the IRB.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    The RWC tournament was worth every penny declares McCully. Who needs evidence when you have faith?

    The six-week, 48-game tournament cost taxpayers and the New Zealand Rugby Union $39 million, a loss that was anticipated and has not been downgraded despite organisers surpassing the ticket sales target.

    However, this does not include a direct Government spend of an extra $26m to run the festival and business programmes, host high-level diplomatic guests and extend the Auckland fan facilities.

    Including the $350m spent to upgrade stadiums and provide IRB-approved facilities around the country and millions more pumped into infrastructure and preparations, the bill for the tournament has easily surpassed the $400m mark.

    The tournament had been "absolutely" worth it financially, with a kickback for the economy that would be felt for years to come, Mr McCully said. "I'm very satisfied that we showed very good commercial judgment."

    One group are pretty clear about the event's real importance.

    Economists have generally played down the long-term impact of hosting the Rugby World Cup, although Cameron Bagrie, chief economist at ANZ, said New Zealand consumers had been distracted from a deteriorating world economy, with Europe on the brink of a new financial crisis.

    "For the past month the global scene has been nothing short of awful. If we hadn't had the Rugby World Cup, I'm not sure New Zealand would have shown the same sort of resilience that it has. It's a one-off ... but it's helped deflect attention away from some pretty significant developments."

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    However, Labour's fired comms advisor John Pagani believes it won't help the Nats (naturally).

    Nah, I don't really believe the election outcome will be influenced by the rugby result. To think it does, you have to believe that tens of thousands of us watched Thierry Dusautoir pushing his formidable pack even further in that last 10 minutes, watched the black wall fighting back desperately, and then as the air finally rushed back into our blood and the relief and joy filled our eyes we said to ourselves: "That's it! That's why we need to sell our assets!"

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

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