Bradford have issued a statement to supporters following their announcement this afternoon that three home fixtures will move from 3.00pm to 6.15pm kick-offs to accommodate OurLeague TV coverage.
The change has been met with a negative reaction in some quarters, which has prompted the club to clarify the reasoning behind the switch.
In a statment, they have emphasised the importance of the broadcasts and the wider OurLeague concept, while apologising to supporters for the inconvenience caused.
Their statement reads: “At the last Championship clubs meeting, the RFL discussed with clubs the issue that the sport as a whole needs as big a TV presence as possible and that this will be enhanced through the OurLeague platform.
“The clubs agreed that the RFL would choose which fixtures would feature whilst clubs were made aware that some may feature more than others. The clubs agreed unanimously it is essential to have that TV presence.
“It was always going to be a lottery as to which clubs were covered and as a club we appreciate a 6:15pm kick off is not ideal for some.
“At the same time, we feel it is important to be publicising the game and to try raise the Bulls’ profile.
“The more people that join OurLeague, the more funding the club gets from central resources so it is essential we are increasing our TV presence so ahead of the 2020 season.
“The Bulls already have an OurLeague membership higher than many in the Super League but we would request that any Bradford Bulls supporter registers and downloads the App, clearly stating that they are a Bulls Supporter. It will help your club, directly.”
The statement adds: “We do apologise for the inconvenience, but the club has to abide by the decisions made by the broadcasters, which in this case is OurLeague.
We also expect all other affected Betfred Championship clubs to communicate their fixture changes in the coming days and weeks.
“We wanted to issue notice of the changes as soon as possible to help our supporters plan.
“Seasons 2020 and 2021 are very important years for our sport and for our club so we want to give supporters every chance to engage.
“We thank you for your continued support as we prepare for the 2020 Betfred Championship season.”