In no previous year have we ever been this close to the action on and off the field, the saturation of Rugby League across all forms of media has been absolutely sensational for a footy tragic such as myself.
Every aspect of the National Rugby League is covered across a plethora of shows and this year more than ever it’s become evident, in my view as a rugby league tragic, that some do it better than others.
I’ll run a ruler over the broadcasters and the shows to see who is best at bringing all of the action to the fans during the National Rugby League season.
NRL Digital Pass - D -
My personal experience is that this a great concept that is repeatedly frustrating in execution, and this app continually frustrates fans like me that continually frustrates. Perhaps I am asking too much.
Channel 9 - C -
In my view, the “Once were Warriors” of rugby league broadcasters, Channel Nine has hit more than a bump in the road over the past few years. The commentary team looks powerful on paper but in my reality is, as a rugby league tragic, weak in performance than - what had once been. The formula of hiring former greats and State of Origin favourites has not worked for the station, in my view. Top exponents of the game may have all been great once in their generation of players, but as commentators as a rugby league tragic, they lack the speed, guile and poise required to call a game of professional rugby league. That's my view.
ABC Grandstand Radio – B -
You know what you’re getting, and what you are getting is good. There is nothing better than listening to Grandstands rugby league coverage on a long road trip following the long beautiful east coast of Australia. Insightful, informing and always a great unbiased call, these guys have given great service to the fans of sport and rugby league for many generations.
Triple M – B +
The sleeping giant has woken and what a formula they have produced. The coverage these guys provide each week is sensational, their line-up of former players, journalists and experts gives you a real insight into how the NRL and clubs run their day to day business. The calls on the game are always interesting and their post-match coverage has great depth
Fox Sports - A-
The leaders in broadcasting Rugby League, the value and interest they have created in the game inevitably ends up costing themselves more money each time the broadcasting deals comes up for renewal. Fox Sports stepped in where others baulked, and filled the void that rugby league fans had been yearning for. A wide ranging line-up of league shows that meet the needs of all the demographics of fans. These broadcasters who are there because of their skills and experience to call a game well.
Sorry, but in my view there are some former players who seem to struggle to verbally stream sentences together in a pressure time frame. That is the critical factor today.
Josh Hinds is a school chaplain and an experienced international sport writer, now in his 9th year as a Christian Today sport writer.