So I am angry again. Why the hell aren’t we seeing the Wallabies vs Springbok game live on free to air tv (FTA) on Saturday night?
Could it be because the rights were bought by Channel 9? An organisation that have just paid a record sum for the NRL rights and have more vested interests in keeping Rugby Union further down the pecking order than a….. than a……. than a 90 year old prostitute in a brothel.
Yes I am being crass, but that is how damned pissed off I am at the whole situation. And apologies to any 90 year old prostitutes out there who are still in demand.
My first question is to Channel Nine and the Wide World of Sports Team – Why the f^$% did you buy the rights to the International Rugby Union games if you are not going to give the games the respect they deserve? Could it be because you don’t want the screening of a test match on another channel to eat into the ratings of other programs?
Now some of you may have seen my comments during the June test break when Channel 9 did the same thing with the Scotland test. Then only broadcast the Welsh tests live in QLD & NSW, and again for the New Zealand tests a few weeks ago. Now, for the Springbok game, the broadcast is to be delayed nationally for 1.25 hours. Why? Well the NRL finals series are starting.
The Nine Network has at least five digital channels, along with their analogue channel. You would think that is plenty of room to show the NRL finals on one channel and the Rugby on another.
Now, I went onto the Chanel 9 website to do some research and found that their background reminds me of Castrol. Now, I might be drawing a long bow here, but since it is the Castrol Edge Rugby Championship, wouldn’t it be nice to actually see it when it is being played, not sometime after a domestic completion. Castrol, do you have a comment on this?
I then went to the Wide World of Sports web site. Other than in the menu, on their home page there is not one mention of what is a very important game for the Wallabies this weekend. They have however mentioned the five changes to the All Blacks for their game against Argentina just three hours before the Wallabies v Springbok game. Having said that, their ‘Sports Calendar’ at the bottom of the bottom of the screen only runs to the 13thof August, so perhaps we can’t expect too much.
The next question I have is for the ARU. The organisation that is meant to be looking after the code nationally. How the hell did you sell the FTA broadcasting rights without a stipulation that the games be broadcast live? And truly live to air, not some dodgy Federal Communications Act definition.
We sat through a session of The Rugby Club a couple of weeks ago when our High Performance Coach told us all the good things that the ARU were doing to promote & grow rugby in Australia. What about growing the audience fellas? What about getting the highest level of the game, The Rugby Championships, out to a wider audience so that people can become interested in the game?
At the grassroots we have been struggling to improve the profile of our code, and I see this treatment of the Wallabies as a slap to the face of all who are passionate about rugby. If the ARU does not respect the code enough to battle to have at least the internationals shown live on FTA, what hope have we got?
So, I know I am only one person, but I am starting a campaign – TURN OFF CH9! Any red blooded Aussie should not watch channel nine programing until they decide to do the right thing with the rights they have purchased. I will forgive you for watching the broadcast, delayed or not, of any national representation though. (Even I can see outside of rugby.)
To the ARU, can we please have an explanation for the debacle that has been the broadcasting of our great game for the last eighteen months. My support of the Wallabies will never waver, but my support of the ARU is on a knife edge. Either side is a bloody long drop.