MPs call on Virgin Media to show RLWC13 on Premier Sports
The Parliamentary Group has today made public on its website (www.apprlg.org.uk) a letter to the Chief Executive of Virgin Media calling on the broadcaster to enable Premier Sports to be shown on the platform in time for RLWC2013.
Premier Sports broadcast Championship and Championship One games and is broadcasting all World Cup matches, but despite three years of negotiation, the channel is still unable to be seen on Virgin Media meaning rugby league supporters and sports fans generally will miss the sport’s showpiece event and one of the biggest multinational sporting events this decade.
The letter from Group Chairman, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, calls for the decision to be addressed as a matter of urgency, in time for the tournament’s opening ceremony on October 26.
It makes note of the market Virgin Media enjoys in the north of England, rugby league’s heartland, and states “rugby league is one of the UK’s biggest sports, and to not have its world championships available to as wide an audience as possible in the host nation is lamentable.”
Speaking about the issue, Mulholland said, “this has been going on for too long. There are calls on Virgin Media’s own online forums to show Premier Sports but it simply must be rectified before the World Cup starts. We know there are commercial aspects, but it is appalling that such an important event such as the Rugby League World Cup is simply not available as broadly as possible – particularly in the host nation.”
The letter ends by calling on both parties to come to an agreement as soon as possible, in good time to show RLWC2013.
Mulholland added: “this is a hugely important issue for Members within the Group and one we will continue to address in any way we can.”
A copy of the letter is shown below.