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Adam Lucius: Packer lives on in Gyngell

Sportal August 22, 2012, 1:48 pm

Who said Kerry Packer was dead?

The big fella is back on our screens in ''Howzat'' and it appears his godson David Gyngell was doing his best to channel the larger-than-life media magnate as he discussed rugby league's record $1.025 billion broadcast deal on Tuesday.

The only thing missing were the cheeseburgers and expletives.

Gyngell, the former surf shop proprietor turned Channel 9 television executive, was talking tough over AFL's push into rugby league heartland, the scheduling of matches and night versus daytime grand finals.

It wasn't quite Packer's 'son, when you get a television station we'll take notice of what you say' line to a journalist over rugby league telecasting 20 years ago.

But it was still the same mix of arrogance and confidence as journalists probed the fine print.

On the proposed move back to a night-time grand final, Gyngell shot back: "I hope so ... paid enough money to go into primetime, don't you think?

"There's a billion dollars on the table.

"What do you want? Go have a barbecue in the afternoon and pay 500 million?

"Let's be fair dinkum."

On the prospect of the two Friday night games being telecast simultaneously on Channel 9's free-to-air and digital channels, he continued: "No. I wouldn't do that. Why would you have two games against each other?

"You don't get as big a ratings. If we put two games against each other you end up shrinking your audience.

"I sit here unapologetically that when you pay this sort of money you have programming into slots that you can commercialise."

What about Brisbane playing on a night other than Friday?

"Why wouldn't they be on every Friday night in Brisbane, mate?" he thundered.

When it was pointed out the Broncos are keen to play on days other than Friday, Gyngell snapped: "I don't care. They're going to do quite well from the money they're going to get out of the game.

"The clubs are all going to get a drink out of this."

Gyngell then turned the cannons on AFL, much to the discomfort of ARLC chiefs sitting at the front desk.

"I look at this as a better deal than the AFL," he declared.

"We stepped up and put as much money into rugby league as we possibly could.

"We are here to fend off AFL in western Sydney and push back in the traditional rugby league areas of Queensland, Gold Coast and Sydney.

"They are the heartland of our games.

"We're in good shape to give AFL a really good run for their money.

"It is the best sporting code on television and it's part of our (Channel 9's) DNA.

"It is part of our heritage and a must-win for us."

KP would have raised a Fanta to that.

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  1. stormrider9803:25pm Wednesday 22nd August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    At least Pay TV gives you a choice of games. Arrogant Nine has thumbed its nose at the viewers as far a Friday Night - take what you get - we actually run the game if you haven't noticed. Two of the best games on Friday night over the past couple of weeks have not been shown until 9.30 in Queensland - stiff s@#t as far as Mr. Gyngell is concerned - maybe he should be running the Commission too.

  2. william02:57pm Wednesday 22nd August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    The sport is becoming far too greedy for words..no i dont live in the past but i want to say money does not buy a better sport..and it has after effects that leaves everyone in a different frame of mind..because there is no equality.. What ever happened to the real sports man mateship?