Is rugby league history about to repeat itself?
Gus Gould - love him or hate him? He doesn't care. Image: Paul Miller / AAP
Rugby league broke away from Channel Nine and went to Channel Ten a couple of years before the Super League war broke out.
Channel 10 paid more than Channel nine and rugby league had finally cast off the ball and chain of Consolidated Press.
News had recently sold Channel Ten and were in full support of rugby league.
Channel Ten went broke, and Kerry Packer offered well under what Channel Ten had paid to get rugby league back. Consolidated Press had rugby league by the balls.
Everyone knows what followed this – absolute chaos, leading to two competitions and a bunch of new teams.
Now, depending on what you read, rugby league finally has a solid media deal. But is it a solid deal?
Reports in The Australian are saying it’s just a matter of time before the receivers are brought in.
The article said, in part, “The potential receivership of Nine Entertainment is now a real threat amid a critical debt covenant test for the group at the end of the month.”
According to sources, CVC Asia Pacific and financiers have been forced to all but abandon hope for a strategic buyer for Nine, Australia’s second-placed free-to-air network.
Sources close to the debt negotiations said yesterday only two distinct possibilities now remained for the company: agreement between lead banker Goldman Sachs and the hedge funds that own Nine’s debt; or receivership if Nine management does not have the confidence to sign off the annual accounts at the end of next month or early November.
Will another channel wait for the collapse? Will a new owner cause a the collapse of existing contracts?
The answer to my second question greatly depends on the new structure of Channel Nine, but if smart they would but the assets of the station.
I wonder aloud if rugby league history is about to repeat itself.