SO, the NRL’s new digital deal looks set to partially fund a salary cap of around $5.8 million – with each club’s marquee player allowance to be increased.
Sometimes the Independent Commission gives the impression of being the proud curator of a domino show. You walk in and the room is dark, you have a whinge about doing your cash at the turnstile, and then the lights come on and someone flicks the first bit of square plastic.
All around, there’s that sound falling dominos make as thousands of the blighters go down, colours changing, little bridges crossed and balls tossed in the air. There’s a toy train set involved…
There was a glimpse of this management style recently when the Commission needed some extra cash for the club grants and a fifth Thursday night game for Channel Nine materialised out of nowhere, generating a handy $30 million upfront payment.
It seems if the Commission has added expenses, it wants to pay for it with added earnings without touching central funds.
We should all be happy we can watch games live on our mobile devices – like sports fans elsewhere in the world. We should all be pleased that players are not going to boycott the All Stars game.
And rumours that the NRL is about to take on at least two – maybe more – fulltime journalists for its digital division will be greeted by tears of joy by those of us in a terminally ill industry.
One aspect in the slew of announcements over the past 48 hours intrigues me, however. NRL.com and Testra will have “exclusive” rights to post-match media conferences.
I dearly hope they mean “exclusive live” rights. After all, who’s going to ask questions at a post-match media conference if you can’t use the answers?
Last year, when North Queensland coach Neil Henry erupted about refereeing decisions in the preliminary semi-final loss to Manly, Telstra lodged a copyright complaint about my press conference video on YouTube (WhiteLineFeverTV, since you asked)
There were almost 200 other press conference videos on my channel they had no concern over. I can only deduce their concern was that 4000 people had watched this one.
I lodged a counter claim – stating I shot the video myself and was an accreditted journalist – and the video was restored more than a week later when the drama had died down.
A press conference is an open forum for all media – although under the NRL’s rather generous television contracts, only rights-holders can broadcast live from inside a venue.
That said, I just hope the NRL hasn’t sold Telstra something that isn’t its to sell.
SEAN Long is right: the silence from the Salford City Reds in the wake of their most recent setback is extremely disappointing.
In case you missed it, Salford City Council has refused to loan the Reds Stg750,000. The club is already the subject of a winding-up petition, of which former NRL stars Vinnie Anderson and Luke Patten are a part.
The club also owes Stg50,000 in unpaid tax.
The memory of Crusaders officials withdrawing their franchise application and then going abroad will still be fresh in the minds of players, coaches and staff.
Salford’s new administration needs to make a comment and make one fast. Could the contrasts between the financial fortunes of the NRL and Super League be any more stark?
PS: The new album from Shinobi – Eric Grothe Junior’s Band – Against The Brave gets a proper release this week on itunes. Congrats Eric.
THANKS for all last week’s comments, most of which were supportive of my belief that there is a kind of thought police permeating the game and forcing conservative values on many of us.
Mark talked about journalism and scandal. From my side of the fence, I have found that stories with a clear “goodie” and “baddy” do tend to get a better run…
From CarlT: “The last time I looked, the court convictions showed that a child was at least 400 times safer in the care of a porn performer, prostitute, pimp, or pornographer than they were in the company of a member of the Christian clergy.”
Morality questioned said porn is there to “degrade women and exploit weakness in men”. Aren’t females also consumers of porn? Thoughts?
Tiredoftalking called me out on saying “to the best of my knowledge”. It’s about time. I hate saying that. But this column is a comment piece – I quite simply am not being paid enough for it to spend hours chasing up someone’s criminal record.
That may be an uncomfortable fact but it’s true. And since I have spent most of my career as a sportswriter, I wouldn’t know how to find someone’s US criminal record anyway. Any ‘real’ journalists out there who can help me with that? But I said “to the best of my knowledge” to signify what’s on the public record. It means: “I might be wrong”. By the way, I have no interest in working for 60 Minutes or Four Corners – happy just where I am.
Chris said last week’s column was the media feeding the media and there to get me a pay packet. See above. I get $75 for this column unless it goes in the paper, then I get wordage. I wrote about the subject of rugby league and morality because
it interests me, that’s all.
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Filed for: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD