Opinion: Nine isn’t WINning


For too long now Australians have had to put up with the cringe-worthy coverage of cricket and rugby league courtesy of the Nine Network.

Mitchell Carman

Let’s look at rugby league first.

If you want to watch a game of football that is being broadcast by the Nine Network, the first thing you should do is check the scheduled kick off time and don’t settle in until at least 10 minutes after the apparent ‘kick off’ time.

State of Origin is the best example of this.

The games are starting later and later to the point where, after watching the first game and finding out who was the man of the match, it was nearly midnight!

This is far too late for people who may have to work early the next day and even worse for school kids and young children.

I understand coverage has to drag on and on for financial purposes, but they have even stretched that too far- missing conversions and other portions of the game as they come back from the copious amounts of advertisements.

The commentary team they employ is full of legends of the game that seemingly walk into the job without even a simple English speaking test.

Brad Fittler, a great player in his own right, can barely string a simple sentence together.

While I understand these ex-players have an expert knowledge of the game, their job as a commentator is to convey the game to the general public and provide analysis.

However, all we seem to get is the biased perspectives of retired New South Wales and Queensland players.

One area I will give the rugby league coverage a tick of approval for is their introduction of females into prominent roles.

Both Erin Molan and Yvonne Sampson have given the network a breath of fresh air.

Hopefully these women will be the catalyst for better coverage in the future, and lead the way for an increase of females in this male dominated industry.

This brings us to the cricket side of the spectrum.

WIN’s coverage of the Summer of Cricket is single-handedly the worst coverage of any sport I have seen.

Whilst they do manage to start on time (usually), everyone is sick to death of the same monotonous coverage by the commentators.

How many times have you seen footage of Michael Slater getting caught down the leg side on 99, or jokes about how Mark “Tubby” Taylor was fat and used to stand in the slips all day?

Then we have Ian Chappell, who bores us to tears with his stories from the ‘good ole days’.

Combine this with hundreds of KFC advertisements and you there you have it: your Summer of Cricket.

Conversely we have Network Ten’s brilliant coverage of the Big Bash, which actually saw the network win a Logie for Most Outstanding Sports Coverage.

The network combined a mix of humour and informative analysis that made it possible to watch cricket without muting the television.

The coverage also proves that ex-players can make good commentators, something that WIN has not been able to achieve thus far..

We need more coverage that is enjoyable to watch and need to stop accepting subpar coverage for the purpose of making money.