I know that we are currently in the throes of a negotiation with Sky for a new broadcast deal from 2022.
And I know that the negotiations are proving to be difficult, with the money being offered being significantly less than the sum that is currently being paid.
Some people therefore suggest that we should think carefully before criticising Sky.
But I’m afraid that doesn’t wash with me.
Ever since Sky won the rights to broadcast matches from the NRL, I have regularly tuned in to NRL matches on the Sky platform.
And very often I’ve been left highly frustrated by Sky coming to the game just seconds before the kick-off, with absolutely no build up, and then cutting away from games almost immediately on the final whistle.
On Saturday I felt as though I was pushed over the edge.
Anyone who tuned in to watch the All Stars game between the Australian Indigenous team and the New Zealand Maoris discovered that they had missed the Maori Haka.
We did see the Indigenous reply, but if we wanted to see the Maori throwing down the gauntlet to their hosts, then we had to find it on the Internet, which I did by going to the NRL website.
The whole point of this game was that it was a celebration of the indigenous culture of both Australia and New Zealand.
The challenge thrown down by both teams prior to the start of the game was a vital part of the whole experience, which the crowd of more than 20,000 in Townsville absolutely lapped up and thoroughly enjoyed. You could see that from their response.
Meanwhile, Sky was showing for probably the hundredth time a repeat of the highlights of the 2014 Grand Final.
The All Stars game was scheduled to start on Sky at 9.05 am, but if the programme had started at, say, 8.30am then we could have got the complete buildup with an explanation of the significance of the game to the communities that were represented in it.
It’s slightly ironic that Sky persuaded Super League to place Black Lives Matter banners in the stands at Super League games last year, but when it comes to actually covering an event at which black lives are clearly being celebrated, they can’t be bothered covering it properly and doing it justice.
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