Channel Ten to take over Australian rugby coverage
It should be music to the ears of Australian rugby fans: Network Ten has claimed the free-to-air TV rights for the Wallabies from the Nine Network.
Ten, under-fire and with little top-class sport on its books, will broadcast all of the Wallabies southern hemisphere matches, including next year’s Lions tour, for the next three years.
Ten has been handed the rights by Fox Sports and the ARU, which were previously held by Nine. Many rugby fans believe Nine’s job with rugby was woeful.
Starting with last year’s Rugby World Cup, Nine’s handling of the game they play in heaven was often found wanting.
Early on it was clear the NRL was their top priority and World Cup games were shown on long delays. They also served up a commentator, Ray Hadley, who appeared to have little idea on the rules and laws of rugby.
They continued that train wreck this year, showing a telecast of the Wallabies versus Scotland Test at 11.15pm.
And then there was their coverage of the London Olympics, which was a disaster
For me, Nine’s coverage of sport has gone off the boil a while ago. Many of their commentators are outdated and need freshening up, and Nine remains a massive boy’s club.
The network may have been an innovator of the sports broadcasting back in the World Series cricket days, but it has fallen behind the pack.
Rugby goes to a place – Ten – that is in desperate need of some live sport. Ten should hopefully give rugby the respect it deserves, promote the hell out of it and help the sport grow.
It would make sense for Ten to bid for the Australian club rugby rights as well, which the ABC seems keen to offload, to make the station a real home for union.
Getting the game live on free-to-air commercial television, on a network that is a partner and not just out to make a quick buck, can only be good for Australian rugby.
The Roar needs an editor! Tristan is off to tackle a new role with us over on Techly.com.au, which means we're looking for someone to fill his boots. Love sport, know digital publishing (yes, that does mean being a bit of computer guru) and keen to work with the team in Newcastle? If you're a proven superstar, or someone on the rise with a record to back it up, we want to hear from you. Apply now!
We're also looking for freelance writers who know tech, gadgets, games and trends inside and out to join us on this new adventure. Get in touch if you've got the goods.
The Roar is giving you the chance to win 1 of 19 prize packs to Australian Open 2014! Each lucky winner will receive four evening tickets to Rod Laver Arena, plus access to 3 hours in the Heineken VIP Bar. Enter here.