Fox Sports’ decision to end its 25-year association with rugby union in Australia has led to fans pointing fingers at what is to blame.
The broadcaster has shown union ever since the game went professional, but now Rugby Australia is seeking a new deal.
This is yet more damaging news for union in Australia after suffering over the past years, and this is indicative of the dwindling popularity of the sport.
RA CEO Raelene Castle and soon departing chairman Cameron Clyne have been singled out by many fans, with waves of criticism for how they have run the organisation.
The entire debacle surrounding Israel Folau proved hugely divisive amongst fans last year and while Castle and Clyne were doomed to face censure for whatever action they chose, it only added to the criticism over how RU has been run.
(Continue reading below…)
Israel Folau’s first interview for Catalans Dragons
Castle is still not looked upon favourably after her stint with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the NRL, and decisions in union have also not helped her cause.
Opting to keep Michael Cheika on as head coach after a poor run of results a couple of years ago was controversial, and this is yet more bad news.
Rugby has self-destructed under a woeful administration
— Rhys John McKenzie (@mckenzie_rhys) February 5, 2020
After Ralene Castle why would anyone want to get on board?
She's killed the sport.
— Lucas Rosas (@Elvatodelasud) February 5, 2020
It’s no surprise that Fox has walked away. Castle and Clyne are poison and effectively are standing over the death of RU in Australia. Such a shame that a game can be destroyed by incompetence of the governing body.
— Cam Williams (@camjohnwilliams) February 5, 2020
Raelene Castle next career move surely must be in demolition.
Seems perfect at imploding organizations.
— The Woodsman (@TheWoodsmanTree) February 5, 2020
How does Raelene have a job? See left Bulldogs in tatters and now RA in tatters… Nearly every pub and club has Fox Sports…How many have Optus? Wont even get the casual viewers watching anymore
— Michael Lennon (@MichaelLennon23) February 5, 2020
However, fans have said that Fox Sports’ decision has to do with performances on the pitch as the Wallabies are not necessarily the force they have been in the past and neither are their Super Rugby teams.
The results of the national team do, however, tie in with Cheika and RA’s decision to retain him. The question is now whether a potential revival under new coach Dave Rennie could reignite some interest across Australia.
Equally, the entire Super Rugby competition has been lambasted, as Australia face similar problems to South Africa in terms of dwindling viewing numbers. The lack of success of their teams is partly to do with that, as well as the multiple time zones.
It's clearly linked to the woeful on-field performances by the Wallabies and Aussie-based Super Rugby teams. Who wants to watch the matches on Fox Sports when the teams consistently lose?
— Johnson Leung (@johnsonleung) February 5, 2020
The death nell of Australian rugby. Optus will kill the code as no one will sign up. The real problem is not the broadcast rights, it’s the poor performance of Australian teams. We are now so poor it’s hardly worth turning up to play any Kiwi sides.
— David Evans (@calledeya2) February 5, 2020
Cause super rugby is a stupid competition, have a national competition in each of the countries that compete would make competition so much better and create rivalries.
— interests (@boxingandstuff) February 5, 2020
Optus has been lined up as a potential broadcaster of union in the future once the current Fox deal ends in 2020.
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