A bombshell of rugby league arrived recently as the news of Ray Warren signs 5 year contract with the national FTA broadcaster who brings you the NRL aka Channel Nein began circulating.
Channel Nein management gave themselves a nice press release and plenty of pats on the back, saying it is a win for rugby league fans. And they couldn’t be more right.
Ray Warren and his team are at the cutting edge of broadcasting, and many rugby league fans can’t wait for another five years based on the outstanding work of the past decade and more on Channel Nein.
Cynical people will talk down the fact that Ray Warren signs 5 year contract as a bad thing, but we say it couldn’t offer more to rugby league, and explain some of the plusses below.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON WILL REMAIN AN ALL SYDNEY AFFAIR
Given Channel Nein only get three games a week, and Ray Warren hates flying, that should guarantee the Sunday 4pm kick off will remain in Sydney for at least the next five years.
Fans of the all Sydney clash, of which we are one of millions across the nation,
It belongs in Sydney, to be played in Sydney, between Sydney teams, not far from either Rabs’ or Gus’ place. But you already knew that after we provided the Guide to Sunday afternoon NRL football.
RAY HADLEY WON’T BE FIRST CHOICE CALLER FOR SOME TIME
Although we are a Fox League snob, that doesn’t mean we don’t feel for our brothers and sisters who still have to persist with Channel Nein.
And there is no one who evokes feelings like Ray Hadley. Usually from mild dissatisfaction, to medium annoyance to pure unexplainable hate.
Ray Warren hanging around for another five years means the inferior Ray has to wait five more years, or it gives time to groom the excellent Mat Thompson or poach Warren Smith from Fox Sports. If they are truly serious about broadcasting rugby league that is. Perhaps they’d rather the boof head filled, blabbering rubbish that wins Logies and that true League fans hate. Actually it sounds like the Cricket, although Channel Nein’s League will never sink that low.
FANS OF TWO OLD MEN ARGUING WILL GET EVEN MORE POINTLESS BICKERING
One feature of the Channel Nein coverage that people can’t seem to get enough of is Ray Warren and Gus Gould arguing throughout the broadcast.
Picturing two relatives who have secretly hated each other for a lifetime, fans at home settle in during a Nein broadcast waiting for the trigger of the argument, and then settle back in satisfaction as the next five minutes of the coverage is taken up by the bickering from either side. Broken up sometimes by actually on field action. If it was important that is.
But very rarely is anything more important, or funny, than the Rabs v Gus slinging match.
EVERYONE USED TO LIKE MURRAY WALKER BECAUSE HE MADE MISTAKES
Without doubt, Murray Walker is the greatest commentator of all time of any sport. But unfortunately the greatest had his off moments as his enthusiasm got in the way of accuracy, but people loved it.
So if people love commentators who make mistakes, then the news of Ray Warren signs 5 year extension with Channel Nein will have those licking their lips.
The beauty of the five year contract is that his best work was well over 10 years ago, arguably, and that adding another five years means guaranteed quality for each Channel Nein broadcast.
WHO GIVES A F***, I’VE GOT FOX LEAGUE AND ONLY HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THESE CLOWNS A FEW TIMES A YEAR FOR ORIGIN AND GRAND FINALS.
It is a position that will no doubt become more popular, and after sampling the Test match, there is no doubt that Channel Nein will sink lower and lower.
Soon they will have half time interviews with their reality “stars” (not Social Experiment participants), more Delta Goodrem, and a bookmaker that is part of the coverage.
CHANNEL NEIN WILL ALWAYS PUT LEAGUE FANS FIRST
Now that we know that Ray Warren signs 5 year contract, we can hopefully expect to see more of Channel Nein’s tremendous scheduling.
Case in point was this weekend’s Womens Test between Australia and NZ.
As Channel Nein have always been a market leader in women in sport broadcasting, you would have expected no less than Channel Nein holding onto the rights of the Women’s Test on Friday night and playing it after the Men’s Test in Canberra on TV.
It’s simple, show it live, or let someone who will do it.
So despite having extra channels and the rights to show it, they chose to put it on delay to a timeslot that would cover Friday night drunkards or shift workers. Perhaps Channel Nein are scared of the abuse they would get from fans for stopping Antiques Roadshow or Seinfeld on their secondary channels.
But given Gus’ recent comments about how much women like rugby league, who would be surprised.