Off the Wall

Today's financial media contains some more good news for the NRL, and the future of the game.

 

Channel Ten has joined Channel Seven in expressing an "interest" in bidding for the NRL broadcast rights post 2012.

 

I say - the more the merrier!

 

And that is why the Matthew Johns programme on Channel Seven should be applauded as well.

 

As it enters the most critical period in its short history, the NRL needs all the media exposure it can muster.

 

The Matthew Johns show trounced Nine's Footy Show by a margin of two to one...but the latter was shown at 9.30 while the Johns show was shown in the prime time 7.30 slot.

 

I was in Perth on Thursday night so I cannot comment on the quality of the programme. The reviews have been generally positive, especially when compared with the Footy Show.

 

Seven will be very happy with the ratings - and we should be happy that there is more than one free to air network interested in the game, and prepared to invest in it.

 

Later today we will see for the first time the comparative ratings for the NRL and the AFL.

 

Given the fact that the Dragons and the Bulldogs were on the free to air coverage - and both recorded impressive victories- the Sydney ratings should be very good.

 

But it is not just the free to air coverage that is important.

 

Fox Sports coverage of Monday night football is about to get a boost with the NRL and Fox injecting $1 million for the rest of the season - $40,000 a match - into promoting Monday night football and helping clubs meet the added costs associated with Monday night games.

 

The clubs are not keen on Monday night football full stop.

 

But it is an important, and very successful, part of the NRL's media package.

 

And, as David Gallop pointed out in announcing the extra $1 million Monday night football is attracting a different audience for the game.

 

And the simple reality is that if we give up Monday night football, the AFL will almost certainly take up the spot when it expands it competition next year.

 

The game is getting more coverage than ever - and so far this season it has been overwhelmingly positive.

 

Long may it continue - Monday night football included!

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