PRO 12 in North America - July 2017 Update

July 10 2017

South African Teams Purported To Be Added to 2017-18 PRO 14

posted July 10 2017
[ed. comments below]

More information continues to come in from European media but no official announcement has been made yet.

The latest info from the Irish Times is that each PRO 12 team will receive half a million Euros to compensate for extra costs. That's 6 million Euros that the existing clubs will receive for the expansion and that's based on 12 million Euros in projected increased television revenue. It's not clear where the other 6 million in projected revenue will go, to the league or the South African clubs.

The two new clubs would be the Southern Kings and the Cheetahs, both being turfed by Super Rugby.

It puts into perspective what PRO 12/14 would want in terms of money to accept a North American franchise. Start the bidding at 12 million Euros which is $18 million CAD or roughly $14 million USD. Would TSN or CBC come up with that money, unlikely, would NBC, maybe. They have been more active in exploring the rugby waters south of the border.

If indeed a USA west coast franchise was part of the deal, not likely this season, then there's the hope that Vancouver could come in on the coat tails. Without an established television market for rugby in North America, unlike South Africa, someone with deep pockets would likely have to step in to make it happen.

Pemberton Holmes
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