It is a move that will not please the NRL fans that were looking forward to live games – but Channel Nine has made the decision to show both the ANZAC Test Match, as well as the annual City v Country game on delay – as to not disrupt their previous scheduling commitments.
“Fair dinkum, it’s not good enough,” said Garry Jack, who played 20 Tests for Australia.
Not having the game live, will mean that many fans will be forced to abandon any technology that may give away the result, before watching it on delay.
The Test Match, due to kick-off at 6:15pm, will only be shown on Channel Nine at 7:30pm, when the game is nearly finished – whilst the City v Country clash, will be delayed by an hour, screening at 4pm.
In a sign as to who cares more about League, Fox Sports will show the inaugural U20’s State of Origin live, on Saturday night.
Former Balmain Tiger Garry Jack, cannot believe Nine’s decision to show the games on delay.
“Nine are treating the fans with very little respect. How come AFL can show every game live and have done so for a few years now?
“Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
“There is something wrong if the AFL can do it and we can’t. Everyone wants to see live footy.
“Aren’t the TV rights up next year? Maybe Nine should be seen to promote the game more and show the games live.”
Although NRL CEO David Gallop would prefer the games live, he did not go as far as to force Nine to show the games live.
“Both the league and Nine recognise the appetite for live footy but there are practical limitations around the time difference with New Zealand for the Friday night game and there’s a need to give people the opportunity to be in their lounge room for the game from work,” Gallop said.
“In relation to Sunday, the game is in the normal timeslot for Sunday afternoon footy and that was an important part of changing this match to a Sunday game.”
Fans are not the only ones affected, with TAB Sportsbet spokesman Glen Munsie, saying that with the option for live betting gone, betting markets and sales will suffer.
“It affects the live component of our betting, most definitely so,” Munsie said.