United Kingdom

First established as a group on Facebook on October 29th 2007, it became clear after only one week and over 1,500 members that this was a subject the UK’s rugby lovers felt very strongly about. After 6 weeks, there were over 14,500 members.

What we all want to see is a ‘regular’ terrestrial TV slot dedicated to show highlights from the weekend’s rugby union action across the UK. All too often Rugby Special concentrated on the Guinness Premiership and I like many others, would like to see Magners League coverage as well as other aspects of the game itself.

Football has more than it’s fair share of coverage on Match of the Day, the repeat and Match of the Day 2, not to mention Football Focus and other round up programmes.

Ok, so football has a greater following and it’s all about viewing figures at the end of the day, but how many people are you realistically going to get tuning in to watch Rugby Special at midnight on a Sunday night or some of the other crazy times it was on?

Considering all of our 4 home nations are in the top 10 IRB World Rankings, no real effort is made to try and capture this audience and we need to prove to the BBC via our campaign petition and through your support spreading the word, that the UK rugby lovers have a voice.

The BBC:

  • holds rights to show highlights of the Guinness Premiership.
  • holds exclusive rights to show the Anglo-Welsh EDF Energy Cup.
  • holds joint rights to show the Celtic League, Wales, Ireland and Scotland's top league along with Setanta Sports.
  • BBC Sport produces the Welsh-language S4C's coverage of the Celtic League and EDF Energy Cup under the Y Clwb Rygbi brand.

Seeing as they have the rights to the highlights, the demand is there and we pay our TV licences, I feel we have a public right to make our voice heard.

We, the undersigned, ask the BBC to commit to delivering a rugby highlights programme on one of their channels over the weekend.

We also ask that they give some thought to the programme format and consider some of the following suggestions:

Guest presenters, try of the week, tackle of the week, grass roots rugby coverage, basic ball skills, some of the top Division One teams, other rugby news (player profiles, transfers, Super 14’s etc).

We ask the BBC to appeal to a wider rugby audience and dedicate a regular TV slot at a sociable hour.

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The I Want a Match of the Day for Rugby petition to BBC was written by Ben Cook and is in the category Sports at GoPetition.