* required fields
By The Roar
Fan article originally published on The Roar's sports opinion website. Submit your own Rugby article to The Roar for potential publication on Rugby.com.au/Wallabies.
Network Ten has gotten off to a great start with its handling of Australian rugby as it plans to show all four of the Wallabies’ spring tour Tests live around the country.
Instead of the delayed or reduced coverage that rugby fans have been served by the Nine Network, Ten will show the matches live and on its main channel in all of the major markets. Thank God.
Ten plans to run a 30 minute pre-game show ahead of each Test, starring Matt Burke. English speaking commentary from the international feed will be used for the games.
Live and uninterrupted, quality free-to-air TV coverage is what rugby in Australia desperately needs. The game will wither without it.
Hopefully this tour is a stepping stone for greater things for rugby and Channel Ten. Sydney and Brisbane club rugby coverage would be a decent addition, as well as some Sevens rights leading up to the 2016 Olympics.
Perhaps a weekly rugby analysis/highlights show could be created? Ten lost out in its bid for the NRL, so it may not want to continue its weekly Thursday night rugby league show, ‘The Game Plan’.
Either way, rugby fans should be rejoicing at the news that all Australians can access the national team, not just those who have Pay TV.
If rugby wants to keep growing in Australia, a committed free-to-air partner is essential.
*Disclaimer - Views expressed within this story are not necessarily the views of the ARU or rugby.com.au
Broadcast details for the Qantas Wallabies 2012 Spring Tour matches are below:
Qantas Wallabies v England Sunday, 18 November
LIVE on Network TEN from 1:15am AEDT
LIVE on Fox Sports 3HD & 3 from 1:30am AEDT
Qantas Wallabies v Italy Sunday 25 November
LIVE on Network TEN from 12:45am AEDT
LIVE on Fox Sports 2HD & 2 from 1:00am AEDT
Qantas Wallabies v Wales Sunday 2 December