NRL TV Rights: A raw deal for rugby union
By Rothers, 22 Aug 2012 The Crowd is a Roar Guru
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The news that Channel 9 and the Wide World of Sports have once again secured the television rights to broadcast the NRL is an unqualified disaster for the Australian Rugby Union, the Wallabies and rugby union fans.
We are now facing a situation where rugby will continue to receive second-class treatment until at least the 2015 Rugby World Cup, at which time we must hope that the ARU will show some leadership to ensure that rugby free-to-air coverage is the pride of the network holding the rights.
Channel Nine have unfortunately quite obviously considered rugby to be only a second tier sport.
Their lack of commitment to the Rugby World Cup last year was disgraceful for what is the third biggest sporting event in the world, behind only the Olympic Games and Football (soccer) World Cup.
It is simply not good enough that rugby Test matches are not shown live on Channel Nine throughout the country. One wonders why they bought the rights to rugby in the first place.
It now appears conceivable that Nine had no intention of providing decent coverage and simply wanted to minimise the competition to its own NRL broadcasts in the eastern states.
Channel Nine’s treatment of rugby is a far cry from the great tradition of broadcasts harking back to the days of Norman May and Gordon Bray at the ABC.
I call on the ARU and Channel Nine to renegotiate their current arrangement or immediately place the rights to broadcast free-to-air rugby to tender, effective immediately.
Do you agree, roarers?