Stan Sport Faces Hurdles On Opening Weekend As Super Rugby AU Viewership Tripled From 2020
n the opening weekend of Super Rugby AU, new broadcaster Stan Sport was unable to show games live in hotels and pubs around the country, but still managed to triple viewership numbers from the 2020 edition.
Stan’s new sports streaming service recently acquired the broadcast rights to Super Rugby AU, offering customers access to every match from the league, along with domestic and international leagues.
The package costs $10 and is an add-on to the standard Stan streaming platform.
Although the season opener between the Reds and Waratahs was broadcasted on Channel 9’s secondary channel, Gem, the following match between the Force and Brumbies was exclusively shown on Stan Sport.
However, with the broadcast not linked to a satellite provider, the vision could not be beamed into pubs and clubs.
As reported by the Herald, this was due to a deal that fell through between Stan and Sky Channel.
Sky Channel’s parent company, Tabcorp, was reportedly not happy with the deal to broadcast games via satellite.
Only Foxtel, Optus, and Sky Channel are able to beam vision into venues.
The Herald’s sources at Stan believe using Smart televisions is a viable option for the future, allowing pubs and clubs to stream directly via the internet.
The time it may take to roll out this new technology will likely mean games will not be shown in live venues next round.
Despite these issues, Nine director of sport, Brent Williams, was thrilled with the viewership numbers from opening night.
“Friday night’s launch of Rugby on both Stan Sport and 9Gem was hugely successful, exceeding all expectations,” Williams said.
“We look forward to growing on this strong base as we continue to work closely with Rugby Australia, the teams and players to build our coverage throughout the season,” he said.
The Herald reported that 200,000 people tuned into the Reds vs Waratahs match, with 50,000 of them watching via Stan Sport.
This overall figure triples the viewership numbers from last year’s opening game.
Stan Sport has also recently added another rugby union competition to their service, buying the rights to the Japan Top League.