Wallabies vs Scotland: Channel Nine get it wrong again
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Regular viewers of Channel Nine’s sports programs won’t be surprised to see that the Wallabies-Scotland Test will be broadcast on delay at 11.15pm.
Anyone who caught any of Nine’s coverage of last year’s Rugby World Cup knows that rugby is hardly a top priority for the network. Their handling of the World Cup was very poor.
Firstly, commentator Ray Hadley was badly suited to the tournament as he clearly didn’t understand the game. Add to that the showing of matches on delay and hiding them away on digital channels and you understand the frustration of rugby fans.
Nine did want to show the Scotland Test live on their digital channel GEM but was prevented by legislative red tape. But for me, in recent times, there has been a litany of poor decisions made by those in power at Nine sport.
The dumping of Andrew Voss for Hadley for NRL matches was a bad one, as Hadley’s style is better suited to radio, not TV. On TV he comes across as annoying and pedantic, simply describing the action when we can already see what is happening.
Voss has also been relegated from The Sunday Roast, along with Gus Gould, while Mark Geyer has decamped to Fox Sports. The Roast has been merged into The Sunday Footy Show, weakening any distinctive flavour it had. The banter between former Penrith comrades Gould and MG was a highlight, with Voss pulling the strings, but this is no more.
Then we have Brad Fittler appearing across Nine’s NRL coverage. Freddy was a freak on the field, no doubt, but at times you wonder about his mental sanity with his appearances on the small screen. Having a bit of fun is fine, but the occasional bout of seriousness wouldn’t hurt either.
I think it was Beau Ryan the other week that said on The Footy Show: “I want to report a lost person, Brad Fittler. He’s lost his mind.” Ryan was spot on. If it’s not crazy looks, pulling funny faces or something else, Fittler is out of control.
Then you have the likes of Gordon Tallis on TV. Who decided Gordy was TV talent? Again, great player, but this shouldn’t be the only requirement of a media career. The ability to talk eloquently, have informed opinions and engage in entertaining debate should rate far ahead.
Now Gould and Ray Warren are great commentators, the best in the business when it comes to rugby league. There is no more experienced and knowledgeable pair.
But how often do they spend arguing with each other every game?
Friday night and Sunday footy often descends into a kindergarten spat when they quibble over semantics at set points every game, often a video ref awarding a try.
They should be reminded to act their age and sort out their annoying stoushes that are anything but entertaining. Focus on the footy. Focus on Benji’s flick passes and Carney’s kicking game, not on Gus urging Rabs to “press the button” for the video ref.
Anyway who has seen Nine’s promos for its upcoming Olympics coverage and doesn’t have access to the Fox Sports broadcast, should be concerned. With Nine’s track record of late, I’ll be putting a few dollars on the blunders to continue during the Olympic period for the London 2012 broadcaster.
With Fox Sports having eight dedicated Olympics channels that cost no extra to existing Foxtel subscribers, it’s not a hard choice to make.