Friday, 10 May 2013

NRL & Channel Nineteen Ninety Nine (2013)

Late in August 2012, the Australian Rugby League Commission secured a $1.025 billion TV rights deal over 5 years.

In a time where people don’t ask questions, they go to Google; where people don’t buy DVD’s or CD’s, they download them from a multitude of platforms; where radio stations are online, you would think that the NRL and it’s accomplices would do what it can to maximise it’s exposure and reach by utilising the wonderful technology known to roughly 99.9% of the world.

The Internet.

Sadly though, it seems those involved in making decisions regarding the exposure of Rugby League across the internet are part of 0.01% who have no idea what an internet is.

Last year the NRL introduced an amazing concept whereby anyone overseas could log onto the NRL official site and get a live stream of any NRL game.

Oddly though, people outside NSW and QLD were unable to watch any NRL content on Channel 9 until, at best, midnight or after.

The TV rights deal in August ensured that the game must be shown live nationwide.

And league fans nationwide rejoiced.

In NSW and QLD on Friday nights, fans could watch the games in the order scheduled for Nine’s main channel, or they could watch their digital channel GEM and watch the second game live there (instead of after the other game had finished).


Alas, outside NSW and QLD there are still issues. The main channel does not telecast NRL games live, only the GEM channel does. Which means if you want to watch the second game live, you can’t.

People in Papua New Guinea, Kazakhstan, Peru, Tonga, Hawaii, anywhere, you can watch any game live.

But if you live in Perth, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide etc, you have no option.

You’d even be lucky if you can tune in to listen to the game on the radio. The only radio you could hear it on is via the internet.

The Internet.

The place which also has live streaming, most of it illegal, of sports events from around the world.

The NRL’s inept vision and completely inept ability to think with any logic whatsoever regarding such simple, obvious and basic things means that those passionate fans who want to see their team play live on Friday nights have to resort to illegal measures.

A game that strives to have their players and administrators behaving with utmost respect and professionalism is the same game that forces its own fans to break the law just to watch a game that they are already streaming live around the world.

What exactly is the NRL going to lose by allowing people in Australia who live outside QLD and NSW, to watch the game on the same live stream that they allow people in Reykjavik to view?

There’s no reasonable or rational explanation for this obscene oversight. One person running the NRL Live streaming site could rectify this issue in a few hours.

If the NRL won’t do anything regarding live streaming for those Australians not living in NSW or QLD, then the NRL should make Channel 9 broadcast the game nationwide on it’s two channels the exact same way as it does in NSW and QLD.

This is not complicated stuff to do in today’s technological age.