NRL on Nine


#1

RUGBY LEAGUE IN 2017

Nine’s Wide World of Sports will once again bring you the biggest rugby league matches exclusively LIVE and FREE in 2017 with State of Origin I, II and III as well as the Telstra Premiership Grand Final – available only on Nine.

Also this year, Nine will broadcast the last five 7.30pm Saturday matches of the regular season, giving fans four matches a week LIVE and FREE as they cheer their team home in the run to the finals.

The season kicks off on Thursday, March 2 when the defending premiers, the Cronulla Sharks, host the competition heavyweight Brisbane Broncos in front of a passionate Sharks home crowd in the Sutherland Shire. The following night Nine broadcasts the grudge match between the Rabbitohs and the Wests Tigers, with Souths’ new recruit Robbie Farah in his first match against his old club. Then on Sunday, Nine has the blockbuster between the Sea Eagles and Eels.

The Wide World of Sports commentary team again will be led by Ray “Rabs” Warren, the only voice rugby league fans have known and loved for over 40 years.

James Bracey will host Thursday Night Football, Friday Night Football, Saturday Night Football, Sunday Afternoon Football and the Sunday Footy Show, and be joined by the biggest names in rugby league including the Immortals Andrew Johns and Wally Lewis, along with Phil Gould, Peter Sterling, Darren Lockyer, Brad Fittler, Ray Hadley and Mat Thompson.

The Wide World of Sports website – wwos.com.au – will keep rugby league fans up to speed online with live scores and statistics, round-the-clock news and expert analysis.

Tom Malone, Nine Network Director of Sport, said:

“We are more excited than we’ve ever been for rugby league in 2017. Last year saw more record ratings for State of Origin and the Grand Final as total rugby league viewership grew, and that will be the case again when Wide World of Sports broadcasts the biggest games exclusively live and free, along with Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and the last five Saturdays of the regular round.”

In a breakthrough collaboration to raise money for brain cancer research, Nine, in combination with the NRL and the Mark Hughes Foundation, officially announced today that Round 11 will exclusively be branded the “Beanies for Brain Cancer Round”. All funds raised will go directly towards brain cancer research. Former Newcastle Knights premiership-winning captain and MHF ambassador, Paul ‘The Chief’ Harragon, spoke at the launch today.

“I’m very proud to be an ambassador for the NRL Round 11 Beanies for Brain Cancer week,” said Harragon.

“Matt Callander and Mark Hughes are very dear friends of mine and both are fighting brain cancer. It’s very endearing that Matt Callander, who came up with the concept, wanted all monies raised to go through the Mark Hughes Foundation.

“This is a very important initiative to raise awareness and funds, which are absolutely vital when it comes to the pursuit of better treatments, remedies and ultimately a cure for brain cancer.

“But they won’t be alone, because the whole rugby league community will be behind them in this Round 11 celebration of mateship.”

2017 NRL TELSTRA PREMIERSHIP – ROUND 1

Cronulla Sharks vs Brisbane Broncos Thursday, March 2, at 7.30pm
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Wests Tigers Friday, March 3, at 7.30pm
Manly Sea Eagles vs Parramatta Eels Sunday, March 5, at 3.30pm

NRL FOOTY SHOW

Returns with the footy on Thursday, March 2, with live action before, during and after the blockbuster season opener at Southern Cross Group Stadium between the Cronulla Sharks and Brisbane Broncos.

SUNDAY NRL FOOTY SHOW

Returns Sunday, March 5, with new host James Bracey and panellists Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer and Brad Fittler.

SPORTS SUNDAY

The Wide World of Sports brand new sports panel program, Sports Sunday, premieres Sunday, March 5, at 10.30am AEDT, LIVE on Nine. Sports Sunday will be a frank and open debate about all the issues in the week of sport, headlined by Australia’s leading sports personalities and opinion-makers including Peter FitzSimons, Liz Ellis, Michael Slater and Neil Breen, with regular appearances from big sports stars – past and present – such as Michael Clarke, John Steffensen, David Warner and Candice Warner.

** Check local guides for details. Times will differ.


#2

NRL Footy Show Is Back Home On Thursday Nights With The Footy

The Logie Award-winning NRL Footy Show will return to its spiritual home of Thursday night in 2017 – beginning March 2 at 7.30pm, forming a formidable combination with Nine’s LIVE and FREE Thursday Night Football.

Footy Show panellists Paul “Fatty” Vautin, Erin Molan, Beau Ryan and Darryl “The Big Marn” Brohman will be there before, during and after the action when the Cronulla Sharks host the Brisbane Broncos to start the 2017 NRL season.

In The Footy Show’s 24th year, rugby league fans will get unprecedented access straight from the get-go, taking you inside the winning team sheds for a post-match insight like never before.

Joining the Footy Show team on a regular basis throughout the season, to provide expert commentary and a few laughs along the way, will be some of the game’s biggest names including Johnathan Thurston, Billy Slater, Sam Thaiday, James Maloney, Matt Moylan, as well as Jillaroos superstar Allana Ferguson and rugby league’s most loveable larrikin, Tommy Raudonikis, who will feature every week.

Everyone’s favourite segments are returning for 2017, headed up by Small Talk with The Big Marn, where Darryl Brohman will again put the footy schoolkids of Australia under the spotlight with more unscripted hilarious moments.

One of the show’s most popular segments, Player Probe, is back with a twist. This year the superstars of the NRL will go one on one with our own Beau Ryan, opening up to The Footy Show on all sorts of topics.

Speaking of Beau, Beau Knows is back, and he will continue to deliver his unique interviews and segments with his Hollywood heavyweight mates. Beau will have some new surprises as he reunites with his old partner in crime, Sharks star and two-time premiership winner, Chris Heighington.

Aussie actor/writer and director Brendan Cowell (now based in London) takes on the role of The Footy Show European and UK Correspondent, filing his first report from Wigan at the World Club Challenge, flying the Sharkies flag and singing “Up, Up, Cronulla.”

There will be more new segments including Between The Sticks, a weekly roundup of the best of country and local footy as well as keeping an eye on the NSW and Queensland Cups. And a new competition will feature the best team victory songs each week performed by any footy team in the land.

The Footy Show will hit the road this year with both State of Origin teams. Origin I will see the full show travelling to join the New South Wales Blues in their pre-game camp, and then it’s off to regional Queensland to capture all the Maroon madness in the build-up to Origin II. The final big outside broadcast will be our Grand Final spectacular, an all ages extravaganza in the sensational new ICC Sydney Theatre at Darling Harbour.

In an exciting and emotional initiative for 2017, Nine, in combination with the NRL and the Mark Hughes Foundation, officially announced today that Round 11 will exclusively be branded Beanies for Brain Cancer Round, with all funds raised going directly towards brain cancer research.

Footy Show favourite Paul “The Chief” Harragon joined his former Newcastle Knights premiership-winning teammate Mark Hughes to speak on the announcement today.

“I’m very proud to be an ambassador for the official Beanies for Brain Cancer Round,” Harragon said.

“Matt Callander and Mark Hughes are very dear friends of mine and both are fighting brain cancer. It’s very endearing that Matt, who came up with the concept, wanted all funds raised to go through the Mark Hughes Foundation.

“This is a very important initiative to raise awareness and funds which are absolutely vital to the pursuit of better treatments, remedies and ultimately a cure for brain cancer.”

Home Timber & Hardware and Sportsbet return to the show as long-running sponsors, joined this year by Chemist Warehouse and Telstra as the four major partners on the NRL Footy Show – the original and the best NRL footy program on Australian television.

JOIN THE FOOTY SHOW ON THURSDAY NIGHTS FROM MARCH 2
AS WE CELEBRATE THE GREATEST GAME OF ALL


#3

https://t.co/uUJCNjeR28


#4

Nine trying to do an NBC Sunday Night Football with Carrie Underwood opener right there :smiley:


#5

https://t.co/Y9PyweGYTW


#6

Six Tackles With Gus: Nine’s New NRL Podcast

On the eve of the 2017 NRL season Nine will premiere Six Tackles, a new weekly podcast with Phil Gould and James Bracey that tackles the six biggest issues in rugby league each and every week.

Six Tackles will launch today, Wednesday, March 1, in a new initiative for Nine’s Live and Free rugby league coverage.

Hosted by Nine’s new rugby league host, James Bracey, Six Tackles will probe the entertaining, spectacular and often controversial world of rugby league, giving fans even more access to the biggest and best names in the game.

Joining Bracey for the discussion is champion rugby league coach and Nine commentator, Phil Gould, who will offer his expert insight, candid opinion and analysis on the most topical stories each week.

Never far from the action, Bracey, in combination with Gould, one of the most influential minds in the game, will produce a no-holds-barred look at rugby league aimed at encouraging more debate among fans.

Podcast available for download here: http://wwos.nine.com.au/podcasts

SIX TACKLES PODCAST:
PREMIERES TODAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, AT 12.00PM


#7

The 2017 NRL season lifts off when the defending premiers, the Cronulla Sharks, host the Brisbane Broncos in Thursday Night Football, LIVE and FREE tomorrow night on Nine, the home of rugby league.

A passionate and parochial Sharks home crowd is expected in the Sutherland Shire at Southern Cross Group Stadium in a match that is littered with some of the biggest names in the game, including Paul Gallen, Darius Boyd, James Maloney and Anthony Milford.

Nine rugby league expert Brad Fittler said:

“I can’t wait – this is the game of the week by far.

“Both sides are coming off losses in England over the pre-season where I don’t believe they showed the true quality they possess, and there is no doubting they both have fantastic lineups.

“The Sharks’ new hooker, Jayden Brailey, has big shoes to fill with the departure of Michael Ennis but their experienced bench could be the difference at a field built for sealife.”

On Friday Night Football, Nine will present a good old-fashioned grudge match between the Rabbitohs and the Wests Tigers, which will feature Souths’ new recruit Robbie Farah in his first match against his old club.

Then on Sunday, Nine has the blockbuster between the Sea Eagles and Eels at Lottoland. With both clubs having 2016 seasons to forget, they will be eager to get 2017 started in the right fashion. The Sea Eagles have recruited well but the Eels have built a reputation for being a tough team with a potent backline.

The Wide World of Sports commentary team again will be led by Ray “Rabs” Warren, the only voice rugby league fans have known and loved for over 40 years.

James Bracey will host Thursday Night Football, Friday Night Football, Sunday Afternoon Football and the Sunday Footy Show, and will be joined by the biggest names in rugby league including the Immortals Andrew Johns and Wally Lewis, along with Phil Gould, Peter Sterling, Darren Lockyer, Brad Fittler, Ray Hadley and Mat Thompson.

The Wide World of Sports website – wwos.com.au – will keep rugby league fans up to speed online with live scores and statistics, round-the-clock news and expert analysis.

Broadcast Times

Thursday 2 March - Sharks vs Broncos

Sydney 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 6.30pm LIVE on 9GEM, from 7.00pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 7.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 7.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 4.30pm LIVE on 9GEM

Friday 3 March - Rabbitohs vs Tigers

Sydney 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 6.30pm LIVE on 9GEM, from 7.00pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 7.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 7.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 4.30pm LIVE on 9GEM

Sunday 5 March 5 - Sea Eagles vs Eels

Sydney 3.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 2.30pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 3.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 3.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 12.30pm LIVE on 9GEM

• NRL FOOTY SHOW – Returns with the footy on Thursday, March 2, with live action before, during and after the blockbuster season opener between the Sharks and Broncos.

• SUNDAY NRL FOOTY SHOW – Returns Sunday, March 5, with new host James Bracey and panellists Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer and Brad Fittler.

• SPORTS SUNDAY – The Wide World of Sports brand new sports panel program, Sports Sunday, premieres Sunday, March 5, at 10.30am AEDT, LIVE on Nine. Sports Sunday will be a frank and open debate about all the issues in the week of sport, headlined by Australia’s leading sports personalities and opinion-makers including Peter FitzSimons, Liz Ellis, Michael Slater and Neil Breen, with regular appearances from big sports stars – past and present – such as Michael Clarke, John Steffensen, David Warner and Candice Warner.


#8

Nine has secured more sponsors and revenue ahead of this year’s NRL season opener, including the high profile addition of McDonald’s as the official quick service restaurant partner.

The fast food giant, which takes over from KFC, is making its biggest investment in the code.

Maccas will be joined by 13 other brands, including Holden, Telstra, Sportsbet, Harvey Norman and Bunnings.


#9

#10

Nine’s NRL sponsors for 2017

NEW
McDonalds
Steel Blue Boots
Youi Insurance
Village Roadshow Films

RENEWED
Sportsbet
Holden
Telstra
Harvey Norman
Bunnings
Isuzu Utes
Bundy Rum
Ashley & Martin
Jim Beam
CBUS


#11

It’s taken a humble mud crab to do something no mere mortal could ever do on the field – get the better of Darren Lockyer.

The Channel Nine commentator will be on the sideline for the NRL season opener between the Cronulla Sharks and Brisbane Broncos at Southern Cross Group Stadium but it’s a number of nasty-looking gashes on his head that could prove the biggest talking point.

“It’s just a bit of a graze but sometimes they take their time disappearing,’’ Lockyer said.

“I was at the mud crab races up at Gambaro (restaurant) which is always a bit of a big day.

“I was walking back up the stairs and got to the top and slipped and fell over like a speaker, and then went head first into a little garden bed.

“It could have been worse. I could have split my head open and got stitches.”


#12

Nine will significantly overhaul its graphics and statistics offering for the broadcast of the 2017 NRL season.

Speaking at last week’s Nine NRL launch, Tom Malone, Director of Sport, said league fans would notice the major overhaul when it comes to statistics on-screen and the overall quality of the graphics package.

“One of the big innovations for us this year is behind the scenes where we have implemented a package from a whole new graphics and statistical supplier,” Malone said.

“You will see that manifest itself on television with a whole new look and feel to the graphics package. It will change the amount of statistics we are able to bring up at a moment’s notice.

“It will be really exciting for the viewers as they are chasing stats on the leading players on metres gained or tackles made. All of that stuff will be available at the touch of a button.”

Malone said he expected 2017 to be another big year for rugby league, coming on the back of record viewership for the NRL Grand Final and State of Origin matches.

“2016 was a huge year for Channel Nine,” he said. “The State of Origin reached record numbers and it was another record Grand Final as well.

“I think what we are seeing year-on-year with rugby league, especially with the premium events like State of Origin and the Grand Final, is that they are growing because the broader fan base is also growing.”

He cited the intense viewer and commercial interest in events such as State of Origin as an example of how the game was expanding.

“We have had this incredible run with the Queensland/New South Wales rivalry which has manifested in these incredible viewership numbers of four million-plus across Australia,” Malone said.

“If you look at the progression of rugby league, the progression of audiences, we are set for another huge year. As interest and viewership grows, so too does the fan base.”

Glenn Pallister, Executive Producer of The Footy Show, said he was excited about the return of the NRL’s favourite commentary show, noting how the program has been building social buzz around its 2017 return with a new promo parodying Nine’s hit program, Married at First Sight.

“I think it’s clever and subtle, without being sledgehammer, but it’s also very ‘us’ to go there,” Pallister joked, while explaining that The Footy Show regularly uses social media to build its TV audiences.

“Social media is very important to The Footy Show and we try to maintain talkability and relativity on that platform. We are very lucky that two of our hosts – Erin Molan and Beau Ryan – are very social media savvy. They have huge numbers of online followers, they interact well, and are generous in what they give the audience.”

Pallister also commented on how 2017 would be The Footy Show’s 24th year on-air.

“In Fatty Vautin’s words, ‘Who would have thought it?’,” he said. “In 1994 the show launched, and as Fatty and Peter Sterling, ‘Sterlo,’ have both said, there’s no way in the world they thought the show would come back – let alone last 24 seasons.”

Pallister said there would be new Footy Show segments in 2017.

“What can we expect for this year? The show always evolves, and it has to. Twenty-four years is a long time, and if we did the same thing every year we wouldn’t be on,” he said.

“This year you’ll still see all your favourite segments but with little twists and nuances to make them different. We’ll also introduce some new segments that you’ll see when we progress into the season.”

Malone predicted that with the breadth of the Nine NRL audience, 2017 would be another strong year, helped by the fact that come finals season, Nine will be broadcasting games on Thursday through to Sunday.

“The audience for NRL is quite a huge and diverse profile,” he said. “Being a broadcaster by definition, we want to reach as many homes and demographics as possible.

“One of the big things for us this year is that, as your team is making its run toward the finals, we will have football on Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday afternoon – it will be a huge season for us.”


#13

NRL ROUND TWO ON NINE

The biggest and best NRL games are on Nine and this week it doesn’t get much better than the always epic Broncos vs Cowboys encounter headlining three massive match-ups in round two on Nine’s Wide World of Sports.

Friday Night Football promises to be action-packed as another dramatic chapter in the Broncos and Cowboys rivalry is set to be written. Revenge is on the minds of the Broncos after a magical Johnathan Thurston flick pass for a Michael Morgan try in extra time ended their 2016 season.

Nine’s rugby league expert, Darren Lockyer, says: “This match has a huge build-up with an Origin-type feel in Queensland and a packed-out Suncorp Stadium expected.

“High temperatures are also expected and this game will be played at a frantic pace, so Broncos bench forwards Tevita Pangai Junior and Herman Ese’ese can really make an impact when they come on.”

Lockyer’s player to watch is Jason Taumalolo: “Everyone talks about Thurston but trying to stop Taumalolo is the key. The Broncos will need to minimise his impact if they’re any chance of winning.”

But first, league fans will whet their appetite with Thursday Night Football when the colossal forward packs of the Roosters and Bulldogs collide at Allianz Stadium.

The Roosters started the 2017 season with an impressive round one display against the Titans that has many experts tipping them to be right in contention come finals time. The Bulldogs, with a very aggressive forward pack, will be hungry for their first win of the season against their more favoured rivals after losing to the Storm last week.

On Sunday Afternoon Football the claws will be out when the Tigers host the Panthers at Campbelltown Stadium where some of the most entertaining players in rugby league go on display.

With the star Tigers trio of James Tedesco, Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses going up against exciting Panthers Matt Moylan, Te Maire Martin and Waqa Blake, viewers are in for a treat of scintillating attacking play.

Broadcast Times

Thursday 9 March - Roosters vs Bulldogs

Sydney 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 6.30pm LIVE on 9GEM; from 7.00pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 7.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 7.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 4.30pm LIVE on 9GEM

Friday 10 March - Broncos vs Cowboys

Sydney 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 6.30pm LIVE on 9GEM; from 7.00pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 7.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 7.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 4.30pm LIVE on 9GEM

Sunday 12 March - Tigers vs Panthers

Sydney 3.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 2.30pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 3.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 3.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 12.30pm LIVE on 9GEM

RUGBY LEAGUE ACTION THIS WEEK ON NINE

• SIX TACKLES WITH GUS – Nine’s James Bracey talks the biggest rugby league issues of the week with NRL legend and expert commentator Phil Gould on Six Tackles with Gus.
This week: Golden Point, penalties, and will Bryce Cartwright play this weekend?
Podcast available for download here: http://wwos.nine.com.au/podcasts

• THE NRL FOOTY SHOW – Fatty, Erin, Beau and Darryl are back this week with the footy on Thursday night. Two-time premiership winners James Maloney and Chris Heighington join the panel live. Now available LIVE in every city across the country on 9NOW.

• SPORTS SUNDAY – Sunday, March 12, at 10.30am AEDT, LIVE on Nine. Frank and open debate about all the issues in the week of sport. This week Peter FitzSimons, Scott Sattler, Candice Falzon and Neil Breen join Emma Freedman.

**Check local guides for details. Times will differ.


#14

Although Channel Nine’s NRL coverage has much to be desired, it’s pleasing to still hear Ray Warren commentate on the matches. Even though, I thought he was planning on retiring from commentating at the end of last season? I seem to recall reading one or two articles last year about Ray Warren planning on retiring at the end of the 2016 NRL season, but he must of only considered it.


#15

he always said he’d see how he felt before committing. Overzealous media took that to mean he was retiring.


#16

ROUND 5

Battling Bulldogs up against Bennett’s Broncos, Cowboys riding through the destruction of Debbie with the return of Taumalolo and the Dragons in fire-breathing form: it shapes as another huge week of rugby league on Nine.

It starts with the Bulldogs versus Broncos on Thursday Night Football. Nine’s Wide World of Sports will deliver its live and free coverage from ANZ Stadium in a game where tempers are tipped to boil over.

The Bulldogs failed to score a point last week against the Sea Eagles and coach Des Hasler will need to draw on all of his experience and tactical nous to put the bite back into the “Dogs of War”.

Broncos mastermind Wayne Bennett will make sure his squad is ready for an ambush from a Bulldogs side boasting one of the biggest forward packs in the competition.

Nine’s rugby league expert, Darren Lockyer, says: “All the criticism of the Bulldogs this week will only make the assignment harder for the Broncos. The Bulldogs need to start well to boost their confidence, and they can do this via their big forward pack. So expect the early exchanges to be fiery.

“The key for the Broncos is to put pressure on them with the scoreboard. Wayne would be reminding his players about how much flak the Bulldogs have copped this week.”

Lockyer’s player to watch is David Klemmer: “He’ll be the one to spark the aggression the Bulldogs need to get away to a good start – I imagine there’ll be a few melees early and he’ll be front and centre.”

Friday Night Football takes us to Townsville where the Cowboys will be out to lift the spirits of the locals after Cyclone Debbie ravaged much of Far North Queensland.

The Rabbitohs are flying into the eye of their own storm. Can they weather a Cowboys attack with Johnathan Thurston, Jason Taumalolo, Michael Morgan, Coen Hess and exciting speedster Gideon Gela-Mosby plotting their very own path of destruction?

On Sunday Afternoon Football, the Tigers will look to rediscover their roar against a Dragons outfit that has gone marching into the top four after a strong and unexpected start to the season.

A win at ANZ Stadium would ease the pressure on the Tigers who have failed to deliver on the potential of their young stars, while the Dragons have built success through their forwards Paul Vaughan, Jack de Belin and Tyson Frizell, combined with backline dangermen Josh Dugan and Gareth Widdop.

Broadcast Times

Thursday 30 March
Bulldogs vs Broncos

Sydney 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 6.30pm LIVE on 9GEM; from 7.00pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 7.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 7.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 4.30pm LIVE on 9GEM

Friday 31 March
Cowboys vs Rabbitohs

Sydney 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 6.30pm LIVE on 9GEM; from 7.00pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 7.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 7.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 4.30pm LIVE on 9GEM

Sunday, 2 April
Tigers vs Dragons

Sydney 3.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 3.30pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 3.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 3.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 1.30pm LIVE on 9GEM

RUGBY LEAGUE ACTION THIS WEEK ON NINE

SIX TACKLES WITH GUS – Today. Nine’s James Bracey talks the biggest rugby league issues of the week with NRL legend and expert commentator Phil Gould on Six Tackles with Gus.

This week: Unfair criticism of Des Hasler, the latest at the Tigers, and Keiran Foran

THE NRL FOOTY SHOW – Thursday, March 30. Fatty, Erin, Beau and Darryl are back with the footy on Thursday night. George Burgess and Scott Sattler join the panel LIVE. Beau knows Korea, Erin is there when Rugby League Week closes forever, and we launch the new segment Between the Sticks. Available LIVE in every city across the country on 9NOW

SPORTS SUNDAY – Sunday, April 2, at 10.30am AEDT, LIVE on Nine. Frank and open debate on all the issues in the week of sport. This week GWS Giants star Steve Johnson, Peter FitzSimons, Richard Freedman and Liz Ellis join Emma Freedman.

THE SUNDAY FOOTY SHOW – Sunday, April 2, at 11.30am AEDT, LIVE on Nine. Our experts dissect all the action so far in round four with host James Bracey and panellists Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler and Paul Gallen.


#17

ROUND 6

NRL action on Nine goes up another gear this week with two NRL powerhouses colliding at Suncorp Stadium, the Panthers hunting the Rabbitohs, and the 2016 Grand Final rematch to top it off.

It starts with the Broncos versus Roosters on Thursday Night Football. Nine’s Wide World of Sports will deliver its live and free coverage with exclusive access inside Suncorp Stadium when two of the toughest defensive teams shape up for a bruising display.

The Broncos are battle-hardened after playing all of last season’s top four teams already in 2017, but they need a quality attack from Ben Hunt, Anthony Milford and Darius Boyd to beat the Roosters, who are one of the competition favourites with gun players like Mitchell Pearce and Boyd Cordner in top form.

Nine’s rugby league expert, Wally Lewis, says: “Two very talented rosters are on display so I expect this one to be a tight game with the home-ground advantage spurring the Broncos home.

“It seems strange that the Broncos let the win against the Bulldogs slip last weekend after being in control for most of the game. This week they’ll need their playmakers to step up if they’re going to beat the Roosters.”

Lewis’s player to watch is Anthony Milford: “Over the last couple of weeks his defence has been questioned and the Roosters will exploit that. His attack is yet to reach its potential this season too, but don’t be surprised if he does produce his best tomorrow night. Never underestimate a great player.”

Friday Night Football pits the Panthers against the Rabbitohs at Pepper Stadium where the visitors must disarm Panthers’ attack weapons Nathan Cleary, Te Maire Martin and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

The Panthers have proven their attacking capability with some big wins already in 2017 but are coming off a loss and will be without their captain, Matt Moylan. The up-and-down Rabbitohs remain competitive and will be confident of scoring an away win in what shapes as an intriguing contest.

On Sunday Afternoon Football, all current form will be thrown out the window when the Sharks travel to AAMI Park in Melbourne to take on the unbeaten Storm in the 2016 Grand Final rematch.

The Storm have been unstoppable this season, and even more lethal with the return of Billy Slater and the addition of speedster Josh Addo-Carr. The Sharks will bring their uncompromising style of play to AAMI Park and the same winning ingredients that broke their premiership drought last season.

The announcement of Cooper Cronk’s departure from the Storm at season’s end will only add to the drama, so be ready for an enthralling match-up on Sunday Afternoon Football – LIVE and FREE on Nine.

Broadcast Times

Thursday 6 April
Broncos vs Roosters

Sydney 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 7.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 7.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 5.30pm LIVE on 9GEM

Friday 7 April
Panthers vs Rabbitohs

Sydney 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 7.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 7.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 5.30pm LIVE on 9GEM

Sunday 9 April
Storm vs Sharks

Sydney 3.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 3.30pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 3.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 3.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 1.30pm LIVE on 9GEM

RUGBY LEAGUE ACTION THIS WEEK ON NINE

SIX TACKLES WITH GUS – Today. Nine’s James Bracey talks the biggest rugby league issues of the week with NRL legend and expert commentator Phil Gould on Six Tackles with Gus. This week: Cooper Cronk, New contracts for coaches, and What does Ivan Cleary do with the Tigers?

THE NRL FOOTY SHOW – Thursday, April 6. Fatty Vautin, Erin Molan, Beau Ryan and Darryl Brohman are back with the footy on Thursday night. Paul Gallen and Tommy Raudonikis join the panel LIVE. James Bracey has a special story from the launch of the Stuart Kelly remembrance game, plus last week’s wrap-up from rugby league locally and abroad in Between the Sticks. Available LIVE in every city across the country on 9NOW

SPORTS SUNDAY – Sunday, April 9, at 10.30am AEDT, LIVE on Nine. Frank and open debate on all the big issues in the week of sport. This week Collingwood netball’s Sharni Layton and Candice Warner join the show alongside Peter FitzSimons, Neil Breen and Emma Freedman.

THE SUNDAY FOOTY SHOW – Sunday, April 9, at 11.30am AEDT, LIVE on Nine. Our experts dissect all the action so far in round six, with Brad Fittler, Wally Lewis and Glenn Lazarus joining Peter Sterling.

**Check local guides for details. Times will differ.


#18

RAY WARREN AGREES TO NEW FIVE-YEAR DEAL WITH NINE

Wide World of Sports today announced a new five-year agreement with the voice of rugby league, Ray “Rabs” Warren. This will see Warren staying with the Nine Network until the end of the current rugby league rights deal in 2022.

Announcing the agreement, Nine’s Director of Sport, Tom Malone, said:

“Ray Warren is an icon of sports broadcasting. He has brought us some of the greatest moments in sport for more than 50 years, and his contribution to the profile of rugby league and swimming in Australia cannot be overstated.”

Ray will provide his inimitable voice for promos and production, and contribute content across WWOS mobile platforms including columns and podcasts.

“While Rabs is yet to decide for how long he will continue to commentate, this new deal is recognition of his special place at Channel Nine and Wide World of Sports,” Malone said. “At a network that invented the star system Rabs is one of our greatest, and sits alongside people like Ken Sutcliffe and Richie Benaud as someone who is synonymous with WWOS and Nine.”

Warren said:

“This is a wonderful opportunity for me remain a part of Nine even though I am undecided about the calling aspect. It was always my dream to work for Nine. I called greyhounds for them back in the 70s and then came the swimming for a decade or more, but it was rugby league where they gave me a second chance to cover the sport I love so much.

“I have been part of that coverage since 1989 and they have been good to me. For them to want me to remain a part of WWOS for another five years is very humbling.”

In typical understated Rabs style the new contract was sealed over a sausage sanga this week.


#19

Nine To Debut GPS Tracking In State Of Origin 2017

Nine’s Wide World of Sports, in conjunction with the NRL, today announced the exciting addition of a state-of the-art GPS player tracking system, the Telstra Tracker, to deliver in-match technology to viewers in State of Origin I on Wednesday, May 31 - Exclusively LIVE and FREE on Nine.

Live information including speed, distance covered, heat maps of where players have been on the field will all be incorporated into this Australian-first technology – and a first for rugby league broadcasting.

The Telstra Tracker is made possible through a collaboration between Nine, the NRL, NSWRL, the QRL along with a global leader in GPS player tracking, Catapult. Together they will unveil a system that NRL clubs and coaches have been using to measure players’ key performance indicators.

Executive Producer of Nine NRL Ben Clark says: “We’re really excited to add the Telstra Tracker to our State of Origin broadcast. It has been a massive effort by all parties to make this happen, with viewers the big winners.
“The data we’ll display will take the audience deeper into the inner sanctum of what’s available to players and coaches during a match and give everyone watching a greater understanding of what it takes to play rugby league at the ultimate level.”

Telstra Tracker is the biggest innovation in a rugby league broadcasts since Spidercam was introduced over a decade ago.

Nine Wide World of Sports Head of Creative Alex Rolls, says: “There are reasons all 16 clubs have been using this information to analyse players’ performances game in, game out. We are excited that the Wide World of Sports NRL is partnering with the NRL to bring viewers closer to the action.”

“We’re going to compare hookers, who’s doing the work, who’s covering the most metres, who’s the fastest winger, and heat maps showing comparing the all the big Origin player match-ups.”

The technology, known as LPS or Local Positioning System, is even more accurate than GPS as it relies on 20 beacons placed around Suncorp Stadium. The data is accurate to within 15 centimetres.

NRL Head of Strategy David Silverton says: “This is a very exciting initiative for the game which will have significant benefits not only for our fans but for players as well.”

“With this advanced technology, viewers will be able to access new insights into how the game is played and it will no doubt further highlight the unbelievable athletic qualities of the best of the best in rugby league. We have been working on this for some time and also thank the NSWRL, QRL and the players for supporting this initiative.”

2017 HOLDEN STATE OF ORIGIN GAMES:

**SOO Game 1 – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Wednesday, May 31, at 7.30pm **
**SOO Game 2 – ANZ Stadium, Sydney Wednesday, June 21, at 7.30pm **
SOO Game 3 – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Wednesday, July 12, at 7.30pm

**** Check local guides for details.**


#20

I’m genuinely surprised by the length of the new deal. Rabs isn’t getting any younger. I was honestly expecting him to retire from the television industry in the next year or two.