League turns down Sky's £53m offer

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The Rugby League's board of directors has rejected Sky's offer of £53m to continue screening games for the next five years.

"The decision was reached after due consideration of the interests of the whole sport of Rugby League, including Super League, the international game and the game at all other levels," the League said. It now wants further discussions with both Sky and the BBC.

Super League clubs were split over whether to accept the offer when they met last week. Sticking points include how the money should be divided, and coverage of internationals, National League games and the Challenge Cup.

The League is to launch a campaign aimed at eradicating abuse from the touchline during junior matches. The League has identified the behaviour of parents at games as one of the main reasons why they have had trouble attracting referees.

The League has also announced the launch of a new four way communication system for use in Super League matches. In future, the referee, touch judges and video referee or match commissioner, will be in constant contact during games - the first time a sport in Britain has adopted such a system.