You would hope the
AFL TV rights working party is paying attention to tonight’s Nine
Network TV schedule in Sydney and Brisbane where programmers clearly
believe Steven Seagal is more valuable to them than a reasonably
delayed broadcast of the first International Rules Test in Perth.

Naturally Nine’s priority in
those markets tonight is Australia’s critical Tri-Nations clash with New Zealand, yet with that broadcast
finished at 9.40pm, why then the lame Seagal movie Half Past Dead followed by Nightline before the international rules match kicks off at 12.10am (which means if you’re interested in seeing it through
you should know the winner by around 2am)?

It’s this kind of abject disregard for northern AFL fans that
demonstrates that Nine only wants AFL on its own terms. So when push
comes to a shove in the back, any promises it makes regarding AFL up
north is purely lip service.

“It is one of
the most exciting football games you will ever see, and it is the quickest footy
in the world,” Australia’s coach Kevin Sheedy said of tonight’s Subiaco game. “I
think Australian people should have a look and say that’s new and let’s have a
taste of it.” And no doubt Sheedy would query why a reasonable viewing hour in
NSW and Queensland is such a hard ask.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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