Are the Yanks desperate enough for live sports to embrace the NRL?
The Canadians are not an issue. They will take anything and while the players will be playing football out on the ground, the Canucks at home will be watching as though it were Stanley Cup hockey.
There is a lot of recreational club rugby played in the U.S., but it would take something along of the NFL and the NBA entirely disbanding to get some of that audience for professional rugby.
Many would tune in if former New England quarterback Tom Brady were to hop to rugby football. The issue with that is that he would crumble to dust the first time he was touched.
Toronto Wolfpack owner David Argyle seems to think rugby has always had a good chance to grow in North America.
“Now is the time, because of the dearth of live sport, for the NRL to present rugby league to North America,” Argyle said.
How long the dearth lasts is exactly how long Yanks would watch professional rugby, whether it was one of the premier northern hemisphere leagues of an NRL franchise is Sacramento.
Another voice in the chorus was that of interim NRL CEO Andrew Abdo to a senior reporter for the official NRL website.
“We believe rugby league is a great entertainment product – it is fast, unpredictable and intense,” said Abdo.
Deadly worldwide pandemic for some, business opportunities for others, eh?
The NRL will be the first contact sport to resume in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. The NRL will play again in just over a week.
The NBA is trying to get back to salvage a small piece of the season, including the playoffs, which are normally in full swing during May.
The NFL is planning on business as usual, from the scheduling perspective, at least.
Pre-season games begin in early August, so rugby would have two months to establish a beachhead, when it would seem that anything under two years would be quickly forgotten.