Robbed. Angry. Contemptuous

Eagles and Dockers not the only AFL teams 26 June 2006

Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t the arrangement that Channel 9 had rights to broadcast AFL matches on Friday and Sunday and 10 got Saturdays and Public Holidays.

So why wasn’t 10 providing a coverage to Perth viewers of Sydney v Collingwood from the Olympic Stadium last Saturday night?


It was a split round, that doesn’t mean it was a no interest round. The AFL chose to have only two games played last weekend and may have got it right to avoid the World Cup in Germany, correctly guessing that soccer would dominate sporting interests, especially if Australia was in the round of 16.

The split round also gave players a chance to recover from niggling injuries, sound practice at the pace the modern game is played.

But why does 10 have the right to ignore a game between teams running third and sixth on the ladder? With only two games of AFL last weekend, surely the oval-ball fan would be actively searching for TV coverage of the game.

Channel 7 had the Australia v Ireland rugby union test live at the same hour so even countering them ratings-wise with any AFL match (and only one – a blockbuster – was available) would make commercial sense.

By playing the B-grade movie, Johnny English, in its stead was an insult to WA football fans. Whatever, they showed was of little consequence.


10’s contract is to show AFL on Saturdays and they should have shown this game above all others in Round 12.

West Australians are still being treated by a very patronising attitude that says: “No West Coast or Fremantle equals no interest” which is extremely insulting.

If 10 wants to know how to run a sporting coverage they should be glued to SBS’s World Cup coverage.

Of course, they are glorying in Australia’s advance to their highest place in the tournament’s history but they don’t forget the other contestants, be they whales or minnows, which get maximum coverage. The most surprising results and entertainment often spring from a contest which looks lopsided on paper.

There was no such problem for 10 at the weekend. Perhaps Sydney v Collingwood didn’t look much of a fixture when they did their programming pre-season for a Saturday June 24 game but there was plenty of chance to change this as the Magpies contined to win.

Merely the fact that this team was playing the reigning premiers should have been enough to warrant its inclusion. Certainly more than 60,000 fans who attended the game live thought so.

I feel robbed, I feel very pissed off and I feel contempt for the people who make these decisions on behalf of television networks.

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