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On 06/10/2021 at 20:45, rlno1 said:

The NRL have now appeased their masters and are getting rid of their $150 million digital arm. Once again we are at the mercy of NewsLtd they call the shots. Doesn't it feel great.

 

I can understand that you are not a fan of the Murdoch`s, neither am I, and V`landy`s close association with them has tainted your opinion of him. But if you bear with me I`ll attempt to temper your view a little with a few things you mightn`t be aware of.

You are correct that V`landy`s had a reputation as a cost cutter from his time at NSW Racing and in his maiden speech as NRL Chairman in 2019 said that the digital arm, like all aspects of the NRL, would be under review. This was seen by many as code for he was going to take an axe to it.

John Grant had previously lost his job when he tried to strong arm the clubs into increasing their already begrudging $150m/5yr investment. They wanted the money for themselves.

V`landy`s came in promising to review the whole thing, which was also welcomed by the broadcasters, Channel 9 and Foxtel who had both been arguing that in essence the NRL`s digital arm was stealing viewers from them.

A review was set up in late 2019 and the results concluded that the digital arm was developing into a resounding success story. 

As of the end of 2019, NRL Digital Network has 1.4 million registered user accounts, well ahead of the 2022 target of 800,000. It has more than 2.8 million weekly average users a week and its biggest audience are under-18s. Club and state websites and applications also grew 30 per cent last year.

The NRL digital department also provides links with clubs and one source estimated that over $7m of ticket sales to games would not have been realised without this.

It is worth noting here that the NRL conceded that they will continue to work with their broadcast partners to ensure they get the balance right. As V`landy`s said we don`t want to venture into their space.

The announcement yesterday of cut-backs in the NRL digital department should be seen in the light of the current FTA broadcast negotiations.

The cut-backs announced that the 10 NRL accredited journalists will be let go, important to note that`s 10 out of the 80 Digital arm`s staff. The reasoning was that the broadcast partners felt that people were going to NRL.com for NRL news rather than visiting their websites. The NRL agreed on this concession.

Under the plans the NRL will move away from creating news-focused content and work more closely with Nine (which is the owner of this masthead) and News Corp-controlled Foxtel on joint projects. The NRL website will mainly feature highlights and short-form videos that entertain fans instead of breaking news.

“Our digital network will have a renewed focus on driving entertainment and engagement for our fans, rather than breaking news,” a spokesman said in a statement late on Wednesday.

“Our digital assets will play an increasing role in promoting the game not only for the NRL but our clubs. NRL.com will remain a strong and important part of the NRL business structure.”

Just to wrap this all up, I read the other day that the reason that the Sky NZ broadcast deal increased from $20m to $37m was due to increased access to NRL generated digital content, this gives an idea of the value placed on it.

Reports in today`s media that the NRL are close to finalising their broadcast deal with FTA provider with a figure of $200m being bandied about for both broadcast rights and naming rights.

Given the deal before the pandemic with Nine was about $130m and $15m for naming rights with Telstra, there`s is an awful lot of new money coming from somewhere.

It would appear on the surface of it that this latest re-organisation within the Digital arm is a concession to our broadcast partners for either maintaining or increasing their funding. It certainly doesn`t appear to have gutted that part of the business and hopefully this is a win-win -win for the NRL, our broadcast partners and the game.

 

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, rlno1 said:

When will the AFL shut down their digital arm? They won't as their game isn't run by the short sighted clubs like ours.

Despite the ostensible retreat from "breaking news", I suspect the NRL will only forswear producing their own panel shows. I never watch those anyway. The in-house official-line tone renders them utterly banal.

All the usual facts, figures, features, and game footage will remain.

And from what I`ve seen of the AFL site, it`s nowhere near as good as NRL.com.

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On 06/10/2021 at 17:45, rlno1 said:

The NRL have now appeased their masters and are getting rid of their $150 million digital arm. Once again we are at the mercy of NewsLtd they call the shots. Doesn't it feel great.

 

That is such a shame to hear. I find the NRL app is my first go to for NRL news, because there is so much content. 

Contrast that to ABC website where I go for general news. On the iPhone display, when I click “Rugby League” for only RL news, there are 5 stories since Monday. Compare that to the AFL, season finishing a week earlier, 11 stories since Monday. For some reason, AFL seems to be considered so much more newsworthy. 

Strange decision as well considering best practice from the leading sports organisations around the world is to have their own media and digital arm.

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Just to give a rough idea why Channel 9 have a bee in their bonnet about the NRL`s Digital arm.

From 2019: Ch.9 Wide World of Sports website`s NRL page in 2019 recorded 44.5m visits, the NRL website 145m+ visits.

That`s an awful lot of visits 9 feels it should be having a part of to promote its` own shows and generate advertising revenue from.

Just to give a rough idea what the NRL`s digital arm consists of.

The network is currently made up of five parts including NRL.com, and sites and apps for the competition’s 16 teams. As of last year, the digital unit employed about 80 staff, including a product and technology arm with designers, developers and engineers who ensure the digital products work for fans. It has a media services division which handles game archives and images taken at matches, digital marketing and social media, a data and insights team, and employs about eight journalists who cover matches and interview players and coaches.

Even as far back as 2019 there were expectations that eventually the news-reporting side of the Digital arm would eventually be scaled back.

Clubs anticipate some wind-back of money spent on the content the NRL’s journalists are producing, but believe it's really part of a phased growth in the code’s digital investment. Perhaps V’landys' comments around efficiencies point to a reallocation of funds away from content and toward marketing, fan, e-commerce and analytics.

This is exactly what has happened with this weeks announcement.

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

Just to give a rough idea why Channel 9 have a bee in their bonnet about the NRL`s Digital arm.

From 2019: Ch.9 Wide World of Sports website`s NRL page in 2019 recorded 44.5m visits, the NRL website 145m+ visits.

That`s an awful lot of visits 9 feels it should be having a part of to promote its` own shows and generate advertising revenue from.

Fox also have a "bee in their bonnet" about NRL.com. And they contribute two thirds of NRL broadcast revenue. Plus PVL is portrayed by his detractors as Newscorp`s poodle. Could be that Fox influenced this decision more than Nine.

When I go on Fox League (that`s specifically Fox League, not the generic Fox Sports), I get big adverts down both sides of the page inviting me to "Stream AFL overseas". So not sure why NRL would want to send traffic across to there.

Looking just at Nine`s position, as things stand there is nothing in their current contract that requires the NRL to forego competing with their RL coverage. If, for arguments sake, as a result of the changes, the above figures were reversed, and Nine`s page attracted 145m visits against the NRL site`s 44.5, this would entail a substantial indirect ex gratia payment from NRL to Nine. What do the NRL hope to receive in return?

If PVL is as Machiavellian as some suggest, maybe this scaling back of NRL.com is only for the duration of negotiations over the next FTA deal. Once that money is locked in, unless there`s a prohibitive clause in the contract, the NRL can build their digital operation in whatever way they see fit. Exactly as they have during the period of the current deal.

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First paragraph from a SMH article on Saturday -

"The NRL will consider granting existing clubs perpetual licences on the condition that they follow the lead of the new Queensland franchise and agree to spend a mandated amount of money on growing the participation of the sport".

A couple of PVL quotes from the same piece -

"We`re one of the rare sports that has got every category - Touch, Tag, and Contact - so you can satisfy everybody. You don`t have to go and play at the elite levels to participate in our game. But once you participate, you become a rusted-on fan, an avid or engaged fan"

"The more people we get to participate, the more eyeballs we give to our broadcasters and the more revenue that generates. It`s important for us that clubs really focus on promotion and participation, particularly for women".

It says a lot that NRL clubs need cajoling and inducing to protect their future health. Most of the problems the game has are due to the failure to make these investments a generation or two earlier.

Thankfully this is one area PVL has covered.

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7 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

First paragraph from a SMH article on Saturday -

"The NRL will consider granting existing clubs perpetual licences on the condition that they follow the lead of the new Queensland franchise and agree to spend a mandated amount of money on growing the participation of the sport".

A couple of PVL quotes from the same piece -

"We`re one of the rare sports that has got every category - Touch, Tag, and Contact - so you can satisfy everybody. You don`t have to go and play at the elite levels to participate in our game. But once you participate, you become a rusted-on fan, an avid or engaged fan"

"The more people we get to participate, the more eyeballs we give to our broadcasters and the more revenue that generates. It`s important for us that clubs really focus on promotion and participation, particularly for women".

It says a lot that NRL clubs need cajoling and inducing to protect their future health. Most of the problems the game has are due to the failure to make these investments a generation or two earlier.

Thankfully this is one area PVL has covered.

Relying on a handful of pro-clubs to largely administer grassroots football is a totally outdated and ineffective model that leads to patchy results and haves and have not regions. The fact that the NRL feels that it's necessary to incentivise the clubs to make them take it seriously is one of the main reasons why it's a relic of the 70s and 80s in most other sports.

Nationalised systems that are administered by a body/bodies that's soul purpose is to develop the grassroots are much more effective, and pretty much every sport that has one that's been well set up and is well supported (AFL, soccer, Netball, basketball, etc) are kicking RL's ###### in the grassroots as a result.

BTW, in theory the clubs already have perpetual licenses (John Grant gave them to them about 5 years ago), so V'landys isn't offering them anything that they don't already have. Perpetual licenses are a really stupid idea for all sorts of reasons as well.

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On 09/10/2021 at 23:09, unapologetic pedant said:

Fox also have a "bee in their bonnet" about NRL.com. And they contribute two thirds of NRL broadcast revenue. Plus PVL is portrayed by his detractors as Newscorp`s poodle. Could be that Fox influenced this decision more than Nine.

It would appear at this stage they the NRL certainly haven`t relinquished a lot, especially if it is only the `breaking news` aspect of NRL.com.

Personally I have never taken much notice of the NRL journalists seeing them as just predictable mouthpeices. Does make you wonder why Grant saw them as necessary at the inception of the Digital arm, perhaps he saw as an initial way of getting people to start using their sites, perhaps he thought the NRL weren`t getting a fair go in the media.

Interesting though that even back in 2019 they foresaw that it would only have a limited shelf life.

 

On 09/10/2021 at 23:09, unapologetic pedant said:

When I go on Fox League (that`s specifically Fox League, not the generic Fox Sports), I get big adverts down both sides of the page inviting me to "Stream AFL overseas". So not sure why NRL would want to send traffic across to there.

For whatever bizarre reasoning the afl would be paying to have those ads there, perhaps they know a fair bit of traffic comes in from overseas for Fox League and it is their way of tempting a few of those to have a look at the f-ball.

 

On 09/10/2021 at 23:09, unapologetic pedant said:

Looking just at Nine`s position, as things stand there is nothing in their current contract that requires the NRL to forego competing with their RL coverage. If, for arguments sake, as a result of the changes, the above figures were reversed, and Nine`s page attracted 145m visits against the NRL site`s 44.5, this would entail a substantial indirect ex gratia payment from NRL to Nine. What do the NRL hope to receive in return?

It should therefore be reflected in the value of the broadcast deal.

 

On 09/10/2021 at 23:09, unapologetic pedant said:

If PVL is as Machiavellian as some suggest, maybe this scaling back of NRL.com is only for the duration of negotiations over the next FTA deal. Once that money is locked in, unless there`s a prohibitive clause in the contract, the NRL can build their digital operation in whatever way they see fit. Exactly as they have during the period of the current deal.

This crossed my mind as well, but I suppose this is meant to be a symbiotic relationship. 

If it makes Nine happy and they are ready to stump up the money to have have a monopoly on the breaking news aspect of the digital arm and the NRL stick with what they are doing very successfully with highlights etc. then it doesn`t seem to me that V`landy`s hasn`t sold off too much of the families silver to ensure that the money keeps rolling in.

Related to what you are saying, are these things sold in perpetuity or only for the duration of the deal. The NRL very quickly withdrew Telstra`s streaming rights when it thought it would help with the Foxtel negotiations.

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12 minutes ago, The Great Dane said:

Nationalised systems that are administered by a body/bodies that's soul purpose is to develop the grassroots are much more effective, and pretty much every sport that has one that's been well set up and is well supported (AFL, soccer, Netball, basketball, etc) are kicking RL's ###### in the grassroots as a result.

I`m not sure whether "Nationalised" means publicly-owned and funded or privately-owned and funded in the above context.

Either model will have found it hard to attract public funding because of RL`s reputation as a dangerous sport. Politicians assume they`ll get more people active through investment in the sports you list. The NRL has to change that perception with emphasis on non-contact forms of RL, and incentivizing NRL clubs to play their part is perfectly sensible.

34 minutes ago, The Great Dane said:

BTW, in theory the clubs already have perpetual licenses (John Grant gave them to them about 5 years ago), so V'landys isn't offering them anything that they don't already have. Perpetual licenses are a really stupid idea for all sorts of reasons as well.

A perpetual licence could turn out to be not so perpetual after all. Every club is ultimately at the mercy of circumstances and events.

Nevertheless, mandating clubs (whose owners may be here today, gone tomorrow) to have hypothecated resources to grow the game in their catchment area is the surest way to indefinitely extend the length of their licence.

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4 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

For whatever bizarre reasoning the afl would be paying to have those ads there, perhaps they know a fair bit of traffic comes in from overseas for Fox League and it is their way of tempting a few of those to have a look at the f-ball.

There`s a quote from Oscar to suit most occasions -

"I can resist anything except temptation"

Clearly written in an era when "Stream AFL overseas" adverts were not optimistically dangled before wise and discerning eyes.

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10 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

A couple of PVL quotes from the same piece -

"We`re one of the rare sports that has got every category - Touch, Tag, and Contact - so you can satisfy everybody. You don`t have to go and play at the elite levels to participate in our game. But once you participate, you become a rusted-on fan, an avid or engaged fan"

"The more people we get to participate, the more eyeballs we give to our broadcasters and the more revenue that generates. It`s important for us that clubs really focus on promotion and participation, particularly for women".

It says a lot that NRL clubs need cajoling and inducing to protect their future health. Most of the problems the game has are due to the failure to make these investments a generation or two earlier.

Thankfully this is one area PVL has covered.

Was going to put the same quote up in the TTRL thread, they are really all over it now and it`s great, and as you said elsewhere, would be great to see TTRL clips incorporated in the NRL promos.

Made me smile V`landy`s referring to it as `tip` though, I`m glad to see you`ve corrected him.

10 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

It says a lot that NRL clubs need cajoling and inducing to protect their future health. Most of the problems the game has are due to the failure to make these investments a generation or two earlier

I think the participation figures that came out mid-year for the respective codes gave the NRL a bit of a shock.

 Despite the afl very craftily including any one who looked side ways at an afl ball the figures were stark, three to one, and even though at the end of the day you are probably fooling no-one but yourself if the figures are meaningless, perceptions do count and do make a difference to governments, advertisers and the general populations perception of a dominant, unstoppable and growing game.

But back to your point, I think for so long just being the dominant code, the players just rolling in each year made Rugby League over here complacent. It`s not at a crisis situation, but as you and I have spoken of before, changing demographics and parental attitudes towards the safety of their diminished brood sizes have led to the retraction of children from certain demographics from playing the game, a situation masked in absolute numbers largely by a growing population.

I`m hoping that part of V`landy`s and co.`s logic, apart from boosting `participation number` headline figures, is get the kids in early, even if not playing tackle, some may go over, but hopefully all will become fans.

NRL 2021: TackleReady program, tackling technique, head knock prevention - NRL

After first being trialled throughout south-east Queensland in 2019 - garnering overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents - TackleReady is now being delivered to every under-7s team in Queensland, Victoria, Northern Territory, South Australia and WA.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, The Rocket said:

It should therefore be reflected in the value of the broadcast deal.

If it makes Nine happy and they are ready to stump up the money to have have a monopoly on the breaking news aspect of the digital arm and the NRL stick with what they are doing very successfully with highlights etc. then it doesn`t seem to me that V`landy`s hasn`t sold off too much of the families silver to ensure that the money keeps rolling in.

PVL must be thinking he can use this concession to increase the value of the next FTA deal, if it`s with Nine.

Once that is signed, matters will take their informal course. - you scratch our back, we`ll scratch yours.

How would "breaking NRL news" be defined anyway? As long as they don`t produce panel shows, there couldn`t be any credible complaint if NRL.com beef up their content again.

PVL is probably assuming that NRL.com traffic will continue to grow even if they cut back on some aspects. Like most overseas fans it would never even occur to me to go to Nine`s website for NRL news. And how many Aussies will?

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13 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

I`m not sure whether "Nationalised" means publicly-owned and funded or privately-owned and funded in the above context.

Either model will have found it hard to attract public funding because of RL`s reputation as a dangerous sport. Politicians assume they`ll get more people active through investment in the sports you list. The NRL has to change that perception with emphasis on non-contact forms of RL, and incentivizing NRL clubs to play their part is perfectly sensible.

Nationalised as in it's run by the national body (the NRL or a body they create to administer it) and has standardised practices and pathways across the nation...

In other words, not a bunch of little fiefdoms all acting independently and in competition with each other like we currently have.

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On 11/10/2021 at 12:58, unapologetic pedant said:

As long as they don`t produce panel shows, there couldn`t be any credible complaint if NRL.com beef up their content again.

You`ve mentioned panel shows before. I`m not sure if you were aware that there was an NRL panel show that was scrapped as part of the Foxtel extension last year. Obviously to give a leg up to shows like the Matty Johns show or League 360, two shows I`ve never seen but believe are on Foxtel.

I`m not a big fan of League panel shows no matter who`s producing them, I find they rarely have anything new or interesting to say, just trotting out the usual predictable guff.

From what I read about the cut back in NRL journalism it was mainly pushed by Ch.9 who felt it encroached on their newspapers.

Bloody shame though if it leads to less stories like this one, which I thoroughly enjoyed, although I do wonder if it falls under the category of breaking news.

NRL 2021: Catalans Dragons, Toulouse Olympique, FFRXIII, super coaches backing French revival and 2025 World Cup bid - NRL

Will these type of stories still get written if the NRL aren`t writing them themselves.

On 11/10/2021 at 12:58, unapologetic pedant said:

PVL is probably assuming that NRL.com traffic will continue to grow even if they cut back on some aspects. Like most overseas fans it would never even occur to me to go to Nine`s website for NRL news. And how many Aussies will?

Couldn`t agree more with that, it would never had occurred to me to visit the WWOS site either or though ironically it has popped up on my news feed more often the last few days, maybe I`m just noticing it more now.

Interesting point about overseas visitors though.

 

 

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Bit of NRL gossip:

* James Warburton, Channel 7`s boss, has approached Foxtel about a possible joint bid for the NRL        broadcast rights.

   This is interesting in that it resembles much more the way that Ch.7 negotiates broadcast deals    with the afl.

   NRL juggles News Corp, Nine as Seven waits in the wings (watoday.com.au)

*  Alexai Baker head of the NRL Digital department was formerly employed by Ch.9 and was part of their negotiating team for the last NRL broadcasting rights deal.

   Smart move by the NRL to bring her over, good to have someone on board who was on the other sides team last time. She would definitely have been privy to knowledge unavailable to the NRL negotiating team last time.

*  Rumours are the NRL want $600m minimum for the 5 year rights deal this time.

 *  Also that the NRL want a far greater say in how the game is presented to the public by the chosen      broadcaster. Interesting and certainly open for interpretation. Dare I dream. Let`s hope they can line up the left hand side of a page better than I can.🥴

 

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Caught up on a lot of chat on this thread. Some very interesting events unfolding. Fingers crossed channel 7 get stuck in for a good run at free to air rights.

Did anyone see 7.30 Report tonight (a respectable national current affairs style program on ABC)? A powerful piece about GWS Giants delivering freshly cooked meals to residents in the west that can’t get out due to restrictions. Part prepped by women and academy players, delivered by non-white development staff, all with Giants branding on the food boxes. They are certainly working well in their community. Any ideas on what their competitors Wests, Parra, Canterbury and Penrith have been running to assist their communities in these difficult times?

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5 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Did anyone see 7.30 Report tonight (a respectable national current affairs style program on ABC)? A powerful piece about GWS Giants delivering freshly cooked meals to residents in the west that can’t get out due to restrictions. Part prepped by women and academy players, delivered by non-white development staff, all with Giants branding on the food boxes. They are certainly working well in their community. Any ideas on what their competitors Wests, Parra, Canterbury and Penrith have been running to assist their communities in these difficult times?

GWS have found the recipe for future prosperity - give up on the "Football" and launch their own Fumbleroo food delivery business.

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6 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Caught up on a lot of chat on this thread. Some very interesting events unfolding. Fingers crossed channel 7 get stuck in for a good run at free to air rights.

According to Mediaweek, Seven have pulled out of negotiations and were after a deal that involved SOO and two NRL games a week.

Dispiritingly, it`s looking like Nine will get exclusive FTA rights again. Hard to believe, some reports suggest the NRL want "The Footy Show" to return.:kolobok_suicide:

On 13/10/2021 at 03:10, The Rocket said:

I`m not a big fan of League panel shows no matter who`s producing them, I find they rarely have anything new or interesting to say, just trotting out the usual predictable guff.

Does @Sports Prophet or @The Rocket ever see "The Front Bar"? Is this a Fumble panel show or just light entertainment in keeping with the subject matter?

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The Front Bar is a very popular panel show, but includes one Mick Malloy, who I simply cannot stand.

I gave the show one shot but found it typically Melbourne-esque. Much like other Melbourne based topic shows with lashing of “comedy” (The Project comes to mind), the show is actually not funny, really weak/childish jokes and I never returned to watching it.

I think there is room for a panel footy show, but there does need to be fun in there too. It’s a fine line between being a forty show or a comedy show. I wasn’t really a fan of the footy show, but found even when 9 tried to make it more about the footy with the axeing of Fatty, I found Erin Molan terribly fake and contrived, so I don’t have the answer.

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2 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Dispiritingly, it`s looking like Nine will get exclusive FTA rights again. Hard to believe, some reports suggest the NRL want "The Footy Show" to return.

It won`t be like the Footy Show. I`ll be fascinated to see what plans V`landy`s has for this but I`ll guarantee he`s got something cooking.

 

2 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Does @Sports Prophet or @The Rocket ever see "The Front Bar"? Is this a Fumble panel show or just light entertainment in keeping with the subject matter?

I don`t think that is the only show that combines humour and f-ball coverage. Once again an example of where the afl leave us in the dust by promoting their game to a wider demographic. 

I was watching `Have You Be Paying Attention ` recently, a comedy show where several comedians answer questions on current affairs. The host asked what Sydney sporting team wears the famous white jumper with a red V, one of the contestants immediately said " the swans". I felt like shooting the ####, thankfully Marty Sheargold said St. George. He`s a genuinely funny bloke, the NRL ought to approach him. In their ham-fisted way Nine did have Roy and HG on every week a couple of years ago, they were hilarious 30 years ago but are way too dated now . It was a disaster Freddy and co. had no idea what they were talking about, in fact Freddy unwittingly was doing a bloody good impersonation of Alan Partridge he was so befuddled.

 

3 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

GWS have found the recipe for future prosperity - give up on the "Football" and launch their own Fumbleroo food delivery business.

Spill the food all the way up your footpath and onto the frontsteps.

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3 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

The Front Bar is a very popular panel show, but includes one Mick Malloy, who I simply cannot stand.

I think there is room for a panel footy show, but there does need to be fun in there too. It’s a fine line between being a forty show or a comedy show. I wasn’t really a fan of the footy show, but found even when 9 tried to make it more about the footy with the axeing of Fatty, I found Erin Molan terribly fake and contrived, so I don’t have the answer.

The reason for asking about "The Front Bar" is that I`ve noticed it rates very well, particularly in Melbourne, but not bad either in WA and SA.

Two great Soccer players of the 50s and 60s Ian St. John and Jimmy Greaves died this year. In the 80s, the show they did together on UK TV was the best example of fruitfully treading the fine line you allude to. Both men were genuinely funny, but they also knew their subject. So there were insights alongside the humour.

4 hours ago, The Rocket said:

I don`t think that is the only show that combines humour and f-ball coverage. Once again an example of where the afl leave us in the dust by promoting their game to a wider demographic. 

Whatever format a panel or magazine show has, ultimately it`s the personalities who make or break it.

3 hours ago, The Rocket said:

Spill the food all the way up your footpath and onto the frontsteps.

According to our trusted informant, these Good Samaritans are GWS "development staff".

I`m imagining them as developing umpires, who stand at the garden fence like it`s the boundary line, and "deliver" the meal. Let`s hope the trapped and starving residents of Western Sydney can catch better than the Fumblers.

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After lamenting on another thread the lack of NRL players on Channel 9 reality programmes caught a glimpse tonight of Sam Thaiday and his wife on an advert for a prime time series about parenting.

I like him, he`s funny, articulate and intelligent and he and his family are very photogenic. 

The show`s called Parental Guidance and looks bloody awful, the trailer starts with the host asking " Have you ever smacked your child ? " but it will probably rate and Sam and his lovely wife and kids are on there and that`s all I care about.

More please Channel 9.

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