Mad Monday


All the good Channel Nine had done recently for Rugby League across the nation has been swiftly killed off by their own stupidity.

Back to square one.

Several weeks ago, after years or complaints from viewers across the nation, mostly by League fans outside of New South Wales and Queensland, for not showing NRL and Representative Rugby League at a reasonable hour, Channel Nine just a few weeks ago finally agreed to show all their League content on the Digital Channel GEM at the same time Nationwide as it is shown on Nine's primary channel in NSW and QLD.

A magnificent coup, long and well overdue. Fans rejoiced and rightfully so. Channel Nine for years had constantly told us all how important the rights to Rugby League was, only for of the country to see the game being snubbed for Rugby Union, Cricket, Hey Hey It's Saturday (on Wednesday) and countless number of crap movies no one ever watched because, as Nine's complaints department told me several times, they couldn't compete outside NSW and QLD with AFL.

So instead of showing the NRL live, they showed rubbish movies and crap American sitcoms with as much humour as 3 week old ham.

They also informed me on a number of occasions that League wouldn't be shown earlier in Victoria because it didn't rate well, which is hard to argue with considering all League content was screened at 11:57pm at the earliest, as there is a clause saying all League related programs must commence airing prior to midnight on the day of broadcast.

So after years of anguish, angst, animosity and being absolutely ignored, Channel Nine finally does the noble thing and gives League fans nationwide live coverage of their beloved game.

Until last weekend.

Back to square one.

The NRL scheduled all clubs to have a week off, and just three games were scheduled for the week. The Australia vs New Zealand Test Match on Friday night. The NYC Under 20's Origin game between NSW and QLD on Saturday night, and the City vs Country game on Sunday night.

Fox Sports showed the Saturday game live. Channel Nine in their wisdom, couldn't even televise the test match live nationwide.

Both the Friday and Sunday games were delayed telecasts.

When no other games were on, with no reason why they couldn't show the games live, they decided to shaft the game and its fans once again.

Back to square one.

We can no longer entrust this network to support Rugby League. They constantly whore the game to advertise its B-Grade programs but do nothing for the game in return.

The NRL needs to be tough on the next TV Rights deal, here are some suggestions:

* 1 live game every Friday night. The second game must be shown directly after the live game. Nationwide.

* 1 live game every Sunday.

* All Origin games will be shown live.

* All Test matches involving Australia, or played in Australia, are to be played live.

* City vs Country will be shown live.

* All Finals matches will be shown live.

* On Grand Final day, NSW Cup, NYC and NRL Grand Finals will be played live.

Every game will also include pre and post match broadcasts.

For every minute the games are delayed, Channel 9 will pay the NRL a fine of $1 million. That's motivation to show the games on time.

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