This is a paid presentation by professional proctologists…

By DeusExMacintosh

INDEPENDENT MP Andrew Wilkie and independent senator Nick Xenophon have welcomed the media regulator’s investigation into whether the Nine Network breached its licence conditions after its rugby league commentators attacked proposed poker machine reforms during a broadcast.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority investigation comes amid growing evidence that the supposedly off-the-cuff comments were planned, and with the knowledge of Clubs Australia.

The Australian has learned that Nine advised Clubs Australia of the attack hours before NRL commentators Ray Warren and Phil Gould criticised the federal government’s mandatory precommitment policy on poker machines.

Clubs Australia spokeswoman Carissa Simmons told The Australian: “My understanding is that Channel Nine did let us know late Friday that something would be said. “We didn’t pay for it, we didn’t ask for it and we welcome the comment, but that’s really all we can say.”

During the preliminary final between Manly and Brisbane on September 23, the two commentators described the reforms as a “rubbish policy” that would not help problem gamblers.

Mr Wilkie, the member for Denison, said yesterday the fact that Nine had tipped off Clubs Australia before the broadcast “rounds out a very strong prima facie case”.

Last week, Ray Warren told Triple M that “it was a directive from up top that it be read by at least somebody, so I read it”. His statement undermines Nine’s stated position that the comments were off the cuff.

Last week, Nine’s compliance manager, Shelley Bates, wrote to a complainant that the remarks “were purely the opinions of the commentators”. Nine refused to answer questions yesterday.

The Australian

Despite the leg-pull, we wish Ray all the best in his fight against prostate cancer. Feel free to make a donation to the work of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia at their website

3 Comments

  1. kvd
    Posted October 5, 2011 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Good one DEM! Don’t suppose you’d believe me if I said I gave at the orifice?

  2. Posted October 5, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    The way advertising has seemingly become a part of the commentary during the Rugby League games is something that has put me off watching it regularly. One minute the commentators will be describing the play, the next minute they’re telling you about how the latest channel nine show is the best thing since sliced bread. It’s clear that there a bits of scripted advertisement inserted amongst the game commentary and I find it as distasteful as the advertising pattern they had a year or so ago where they would cut to an ad break immediately after an exciting play was made before any replays/commentary was able to cover it.

    That said, I was watching the game in question and was completely surprised at the blatant political commentary. It was pretty clear at the time that it was organised and scripted, and not an off the cuff comment on the issue (I mean they had a URL linking to a political site at the ready). That said, it was poorly scripted because for the first half of it I thought they were ‘rubbishing’ the carbon tax (“it won’t work”, “it’ll just cost us money”, etc) until they specifically mentioned they were talking about the pokies issue.

  3. Posted October 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Agree re: blurring of advertising and commentary. The on-screen reference the URL to Clubs Australia is hardly subtle. Maybe the rubbishy script leading up to the perfect script on the ‘rubbishy policy’ was a half baked poorly executed attempt to distract the average listener from identifying it as blatantly political. Maybe attributing such credit is a stretch. Could have been just bland commentary rather than people starting to nod off during discussion of the carbon tax?

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