DISCORD 2013: Edition 13

DiscordBy STEVE MASCORD

IT’S REASSURING to see the NRL exerting some influence over broadcasters, as opposed to the reverse which has been the case since the Super League War.

Radio stations can no longer warehouse matches – buy the rights and not broadcast them – and yesterday we learned that Tom Waterhouse will no longer be allowed to pretend he is part of the Channel Nine commentary team.

There will be some of you who believe the restrictions on Waterhouse do not go far enough, that he and those in his industry shouldn’t be able to spruik odds at all while children are likely to be watching.

But we live in a society where the state government has over the years introduced laws which insist media outlets mention the odds of the state betting agency in preference to others. That’s right – laws with hefty fines to protect their own in-house bookmakers.

And we’re relying on these people to protect us?

The fact is, gambling is an adult pastime. Con Ange, the “porn king” who loves rugby league, has as much right to be on our TV sets on a Friday evening during matches as Tom Waterhouse.

And he knows a lot more about the sport.

What other stipulations, in the interests of the game, would you like the NRL to make in their discussions with broadcasters?

I’d like to see them ban all network cross promotion unless it is truly “cross” – that is, that the programme being promoted also promotes rugby league.

Wouldn’t it be great if, in a scene from the new show The Arrow, the actor turned to the camera and said: “Don’t forget Souths and the Bulldogs on Friday, with Rabs, Sterlo and the boys”?

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I AM told that the absolute power of salary cap commissioner Ian Schubert will be reduced over the next nine months.

Clubs often whinge that Schubert is jury, judge and execution when it comes to cap issues and they have no recourse if they disagree with his decisions.

That’s about to change. An appeals committee and review process is in the works.

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POPULAR Sky Sports sideline eye Bill Arthur has spoken about his battle with prostate cancer. Bill is managing the disease but hopes by taking about it, he will raise awareness and vigilance in league land. “I always hope for the best, but will never be complacent about my health ever again,” he says. Check out prostate.org.au for more information.

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THANKS for the comments last week. Ruger asked what will happy if players refuse to be interviewed by ASADA. That’s an easy one, Ruger: they’ll be suspended as refusing to be interviewed is a breach of the NRL’s doping policy.

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