27.11.03

High Price for Jonny's Golden Goal

As today's Guardian reports, those wishing to relish repeats of that Rugby World Cup goal are going to be disappointed - unless they're happy to shelve out £6,500.

Yes, £6,500 is what the International Rugby Board are charging broadcasters per minute shown of the Rugby World Cup.

This represents a dramatic price hike over the previous going rate of £1,100 per minute. Not surprisingly broadcasters have neither the budget nor the willingness to pay such an inflated amount with the result that we won't be seeing that goal in a hurry.

Broadcasters had been allowed a 24 hour news window to show the goal as a news item but with that period over it will only be ITV who get to gloat over the goal - having paid £10million for the privilege -exclusive rights to the tournament. However, even ITV has only 12 months to enjoy such exclusivity, after which they too will have to pay.

Patriotic sports fans will no doubt be outraged that such commercialism is getting in the way of their spectating. It does beg the question of what sporting bodies should be allowed to charge in these circumstances. Complaints have been directed at the Formula 1 monopoly and the Premiership in the past but it seems the IRB is jumping on the bandwagon. It may find it has priced its prized goal out of the market.

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