Off the Wall


Phil Rothfield wrote in the Telegraph this week that the 16 NRL clubs were getting "restless" with the inaction from the ARLC.

Even though the story was denied where there is smoke there is fire.
And frankly I agree with it.

Two instances this week have simply added to my concern about the "direction" the ARLC is taking, or not taking.

There has rightly been media discussion over the "golden point" issue.

Many clubs coaches want to get rid of it. So do I.

What was the response from the ARLC?

A statement that the television rights holders, Channel Nine, (and I presume Fox Sports) will be consulted before any decision is made!

That is the way it always has been - put Channel Nine first and bugger the fans!

Nothing has changed!

The second instance is reported today.

One absolutely non-negotiable clause in the new television rights agreement must be that the ARLC takes control of match scheduling - just as the AFL has done for years.

Today the Acting CEO of the ARLC, rather than re-enforcing that, sets out the reasons why Channel Nine does not like the idea - and claims that taking control of scheduling away from the TV rights holders may lead to a significantly reduced deal.

It is though they have thrown in the towel already!

Not good enough. And a very poor "strategy".

If the ARLC takes up the negatives, rather than focussing on the positives, the end result will be same poor arrangement.

And then there is a suggestion today that the deal over five years might be $850 million in cash and $150 million in contra arrangements - television advertising etc.

That would represent a failed deal in my view.

And if we remain beholden to the television rights holders for scheduling then it will be an even bigger dud deal!

It is time for the ARLC to toughen up!