Off the Wall

When it comes to broadcasting rugby league fans have to be thankful for small mercies - because the nationwide coverage of the AFL puts our game in the shade.

Readers may recall that a year ago I railed against the appalling decision by Fox Sports to punt its NRL coverage to the Fox Sports 3 channel, a channel that is not available for many regional home viewers or in many club and pub venues.

It was an especially tawdry arrangement because part of the reasoning behind the shift was to force regional viewers to pay extra to get the Fox Sports 3 channel - and help fund the extravagant cost the television rights deal with the AFL which the Fox Sports parent company, PMG (owned by News Ltd and James Packer) have to share the burden of.

At the time the NRL