Sky TV deal key to growth of the Pro12
Published 02/09/2016 | 02:30
It's the crowds and supporters that create the buzz in a competition like the Pro12, and it's crucial that the stadiums fill up in order for more sponsorship to become available and the brand to grow, writes Johnny O'Connor.
We saw what happened when Connacht turned on the style at the end of last season and the Sportsground began to sell-out in their march towards Pro12 glory.
But this still isn't enough to compete with the English and French leagues and it's crucial the Pro12 continue to find new ways to innovate.
Saying all that these things are cyclical, and the league wasn't in a great state either when Munster and Leinster were winning European Cups a decade ago.
Potential investors from the USA could provide a huge cash injection to the league, but the logistics of anything like that could be too difficult to sustain.
The big saving grace for the Pro12 at the moment is amount of quality TV coverage of the matches this season.
Sky Sports are great for the league and always have a brilliant finished product.
If they stay on board, the Pro12 will continue to compete, and with more innovation anything is possible.