Carnegie Challenge Cup and televised fixtures
The RFL is delighted that after being drawn at home in the quarter-finals to their biggest rivals St Helens, Carnegie Challenge Cup holders Wigan Warriors have been given permission to continue their defence of the sport’s most coveted trophy at the DW Stadium.
Carnegie Challenge Cup ties on television provide Rugby League with valuable and significant exposure to national and international audiences and everyone is aware of the benefits increased visibility and profile bring to the sport.
The Cup has a long and proud association with the BBC, who televised their first final in 1948, and there is a great tradition of Challenge Cup action live on the BBC on Saturday afternoons, when the biggest matches have always been screened to the biggest audiences.
The schedule for the 2012 Carnegie Challenge Cup was circulated last year and all clubs have had ample time to put in place contingencies should a tie in which they are involved be selected for televising.
It is the draw which decides the make-up of individual rounds, not the RFL, and whilst clubs must trust to fate, they are also aware of their responsibilities with regard to broadcast agreements.
Whilst the RFL were informed by Wigan Warriors of the potential difficulty they faced as a consequence of their unique tenancy agreement were they to be drawn at home in the quarter-finals, the club were aware that should their tie be selected for broadcast, the onus was on them to find a solution.
Wigan are to be congratulated on having found a solution which will see their match against St Helens played at the right venue on what will prove to be a compelling weekend of Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter-final action for all eight teams involved.