Re: Tokyo 2021
Reply #20 –
Have you read the article footnoted in the Wikipedia page? If you do, you’ll see it doesn’t help to tie the AFL to C7. yeah no thanks.
The email it refers to is a retrospective assertion that it had helped the AFL in an unsuccessful bid to stop the AFL stripping it of the media rights. There’s no evidence that it did anything to “sufficate” soccer rather than merely giving a failing competition the level of coverage it warranted. As Masters noted, in the litigation in which the email emerged, “News Ltd's chief general counsel, Ian Philip, a member of the NRL Partnership Board, told the Federal Court last Monday he had lied to Telstra when he urged it to contribute up to $14 million to help beat a C7 bid for NRL pay TV rights”. In other words, media guys lie in order to manipulate others in negotiations. This is a truly shocking notion, isn’t it?
Nothing suggests any complicity in the suggested move. And you’d imagine if there had been, there would have been a quid pro quo arrangement to reward C7. The fact the AFL cut 7’s throat instead suggests there was nothing there.
Let’s also look at the suggestion C7 buried the NSL. As Masters notes, at the time of signing with C7 David Hill trumpeted the Channel Seven-C7 deal as an absolute lifeline for mass entertainment soccer.
Wikipedia says this of the NSL’s demise:The $2.5 million a year was a lifeline for the NSL. Surely, Soccer Australia knew when signing with C7 that it was unlikely the channel with AFL rights was going to put much NSL on FTA, but Wikipedia notes it did put it on FTA to some degree. I’d say the fact Soccer Australia signed with C7 was either an act of desperation of an organisation that was already on its knees or an indication that it was deluded when it came to assessing its place in the sporting landscape (as was the NBL, as I’ll note later on).
Pay TV is content-hungry. C7 needed as much as it could get to dominate, and it was never going to cut off its own nose by warehousing NSL. Towards its demise in 2002, Wikipedia notes “C7 continued to provide its service to Optus and Austar, but its programming lineup near the end of its run was extremely weak. C7 was reduced to showing XFL games (on several weeks' delay) and live woodchopping in prime time”. After 7 lost the AFL rights in late 2000, surely it would have elevated the NSL to prime time if it thought it could put lipstick on that pig. That it didn’t tells you all you need to know, doesn’t it?
The NBL is an interesting comparison. In the 90s, it profited a lot from its association with a Channel 7. Its games played 2nd fiddle to AFL coverage but the broadcasts helped make the NBL a big drawcard. The NBL believed its own hype and decided it could become the number 1 sport by breaking away from 7. Reality then hit it in the face and it lost popularity and then collapsed. The revived NBL has been more realistic about its place in the sporting landscape.
I suggest you confine your animosity to C7 unless you find some compelling evidence. Moreover, you should blame Frank Loewe and Football Australia for killing off the NSL teams. IIRC, you were a South Melbourne Hellas fan. It was Football Australia which killed it off on the basis that it and the other power teams were too parochial to appeal to a national audience. Just as South Melbourne & Fitzroy supporters have a right to hold a grudge against the AFL, you have a right to hold a grudge against the FA.
The point being that you asserted something against soccer and have been caught out with the inverse being true.
I expect no support on an AFL football forum for any of this and your version of events is a patchwork of absolution that doesn't fit. The media coverage wasn't there and the game going from sbs to c7 sports relegated Australian footage to Wednesday nights at midnight. Midnight!!
Exactly like I told you.
This isn't creative history. You won't find an accurate recount of events that caused the issues from tart to finish. The fact that back in the 90's the game was regarded as one that was for Sheila's wogs, and poofters tells the story better than one written with the switch to the A league front and centre of its revisionist approach to what happened.
Find the fans and they'll tell you the story.