9’s Wide World Of Sports

Posted: August 5, 2008 in Australian TV, Hall Of The Lame, Media Watch, Sport
Tags: , , ,

A couple of weeks ago I was watching Channel 9’s Wide World of Sport. I remembered this show from the 80s and 90s and wanted to see how much it had been revamped since its return. Unfortunately the show is still as Sydney-centric as it was back then, devoting 90% of the show to Sonny Bill Williams’ defection to Rugby Union. Even though there were other big sporting stories such as Cadel Evans’ second placing in the Tour de France or the Australian teams’ preparation for the Beijing Olympics, all Michael Slater and Ken Sutcliffe wanted to talk about was Sonny Bill.

It was almost like the bad old days when 9 would show some Group Z race from Randwick or Rosehill whilst the Cox Plate or Caulfield Cup was being run in Melbourne. While I understand that other stations had the exclusive coverage of the Melbourne races, 9 should not have completely ignored them in an effort to make it look like the Sydney races actually meant anything.

As for this Sonny Boy Williams thing, does anyone outside of Sydney or Brisbane really care? Sure Melbourne has a team in the NRL, the Melbourne Storm, yet I don’t think that there are too many Victorians who actually follow the Rugby League all that carefully. I am even more certain that there are less South Australians, Western Australians and Tasmanians who care about Rugby League.

As you can probably tell I am not a big Rugby League fan. It’s one of those sports that I just don’t get. They call it football but they only kick the ball a handful of times a game. Many Victorians call it Thugby League, due to the fact that the sport seems to resemble professional wrestling more than it does football. Watching a typical game you can see players body slam, clothes line and pile drive each other, although I think that the spear has been outlawed. In the WWE a heel wrestler may try to get an advantage over his opponent by thumbing them in the eyes, while I understand that in Rugby League they stick their thumb in their opponent’s brown eye. The image of Rugby League took another hit in my eyes the other day when South Dragons’ coach Nathan Brown said that Jason Nightingale should have headbutted Storm player Billy Slater even harder than he did. I could never imagine an AFL coach saying such a thing and if he did he would be heavily penalised.

Anyway I won’t watch Wide World of Sports again until they become less biased towards Sydney and try to have equal focus on the whole of Australia. We do have sports played in other states of this big country. I think this is the problem of having a sports/news show coming out of Sydney as it becomes irrelevant over the rest of Australia.


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