In order to boost flagging attendance numbers, SANZAR CEO Greg Peters today announced that from 2014 all Super Rugby venues would show re-runs of Game of Thrones on their big screens. The move comes on the back of years of declining match day crowds and failure by local teams to successful boost those numbers on their own.
“We know that Super Rugby just isn’t the bums-on-seats generator that it once was,” Greg Peters said during the announcement, “and that we need to both adapt the entertainment package offered by Super Rugby as well as increase our appeal to a broader audience. Showing re-runs of Game of Thrones ticks both those boxes.”
The Game of Thrones episodes would be shown from start to finish, occasionally being punctuated by score updates and TMO decisions so that fans could pretend they were still paying attention to the rugby.
“When you think about the idea, it’s really a match made in heaven. People like to pretend they support their local rugby team while actually staying at home and watching American produced TV. At least this way they can do both of those things and continue to fill our coffers,” Greg Peters said.
When asked whether he had any concerns about the violent and sexually explicit content in the award-winning HBO series, Greg Peters replied, “Not at all. Unlike Ma’a Nonu’s shoulder charges, the acts of violence in Game of Thrones actually have a point to them and involved some amount of thinking by the characters involved.”
The SANZAR CEO conceded though that showing Game of Thrones could distract the players too, but pointed out, “For teams like the Hurricanes, being distracted by Game of Thrones doesn’t really matter as it’s not like they were playing rugby worth watching to begin with.”