Broadcasters Affected Most by England’s Rugby World Cup Failure, According to iSportconnect Discussion

October 12, 2015

Broadcasters, sponsors and the RFU will be affected the most by England’s early exit from the 2015 Rugby World Cup, according to the latest discussion on iSportconnect.

With the host nation crashing out earlier than expected, viewing figures for the tournament in England are due to decrease dramatically, which will significantly affect the broadcasters for the tournament, ITV.

The channel will have been hoping for England to get as far in the tournament as possible, in order to capitalise on ratings and advertising opportunities, which is one of the reasons why Rupert Pratt, managing partner at UK marketing consultant Generate Sponsorship, believes ITV will be affected the most.

“The biggest impact will be on ITV but and indeed the press who would have been counting on the bandwagon advertisers seeking to capitalise on the increased interest as the England team progressed,” he said.

Pratt also believes the RFU will suffer as England’s group stage exit will not leave a positive legacy on the sport in England in terms of participation and he also predicts that sponsors will limit their sponsorship activations for the next year or so.

“The RFU was counting on a good performance to ensure an uplift in interest and participation in the sport as well as increased commercial investment,” he added.

“England Rugby sponsors are likely to drop their leverage around the tournament and possibly down weight any increased sponsorship activation plans for 2016 and beyond.”

Steven Falk, director of Star Sports Marketing, said that experience of behaviour following England’s exit from previous Rugby World Cups suggests that it will have huge impact in numerous areas, including media interest and merchandise sales.

“Media interest in the competition will decline substantially until the final matches. Wales, Ireland and Scotland rarely get much attention from the English press,” said Falk.

“You would think only one team plays in the Six Nations!”

“Merchandise sales will be affected. Don’t forget, stock was ordered months ago based on the expectation of success, so expect to see some heavily discounted England shirts on sale soon.”


Due to the huge popularity of sport in Britain and the sheer spectacle it causes when the nation hosts a major sporting event, businesses are always lining up to be a part of it.

Tom Mitchell, Director of Sportsrisq, a specialist sports finance firm based in London, says that companies who choose to get involved with sporting events must do so in a sensible manner as some have lost out over England’s failure at the Rugby World Cup.

“From Twickenham to Twitter, aggrieved fans nationwide have aired their woes on every platform but the potential cost to business hasn’t gone unnoticed,” he said.

“Citing exact sums is as speculative as the Pool of Death predictions proved to be. Figures range from £6m to £3bn, with advertisers, publicans and listed businesses all mentioned as those affected.

“Major sporting events have become an innate part of British culture and, as such, more and more companies are building them into their business plans.

“However the problem with sport is that it can go as wrong as often as it goes right; that’s why it is such a compelling spectacle but also why businesses choosing to leverage it need to do so sensibly.”

Check out our latest discussion: Who is affected most by England’s Rugby World Cup Exit?