The Brisbane Broncos have announced a radical ownership plan that’ll revolutionise the NRL.
Channel Nine will own the Broncos from 2018, rebranding them as the “Channel Nine Broncos”.
The move was inspired by Nine broadcasting five of the last six Broncos games for 2017.
‘Everyone knows we favour the Broncos, they make huge profits and we’d be mad not to capitalise on it,’ said Nine CEO Hugh Marks.
As part of the deal, Nine will schedule all Broncos games on Thursday and Friday nights, followed by a half-hour panel show – hosted by Wally Lewis – analysing how the Broncos are destined to win the premiership. To fill the void when the Broncos aren’t playing, Nine will show classic Broncos games, to be voted by fans on Nine’s social media outlets.
‘No Sunday footy for the Broncos though, there’s no money in that,’ said Marks.
The Footy Show will be feature regular “comedy” skits starring Broncos players.
The big benefit to Brisbane comes at Origin time. The Broncos will have six byes across the three Origin games, giving the Broncos 12 premiership points and keeping them fresh for the run to the grand final, now played at Suncorp Stadium.
‘It’s no coincidence rugby league was at its peak in the nineties when the Broncos dominated,’ said Marks. ‘By buying the Broncos, we’re ensuring the game’s financial future. The other clubs should be grateful, they all get at least one prime time game a year now, I think that’s pretty fair.’
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett was happy with the news, ‘It’s been a while since we’ve won a premiership. Nine are doing everything possible to give us a few more. We deserve it.’
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