Nine’s rugby league coverage is set to be bigger and better than ever this season with a refreshed commentary team and State of Origin heading to Perth for the first time.
“Rugby league on Nine in 2019 is all about the best games every single week: Thursday night football, Friday night football, Sunday afternoon football, and heading into the finals in September we give fans an extra game each week on Saturday night,” Nine’s head of NRL, Simon Fordham, said.
In 2019, Nine will be providing viewers with a brand-new, fresh look that takes rugby league into the future.
“Players like Johnathan Thurston, Billy Slater and Sam Thaiday step off the field into the Nine commentary team, along with Allana Ferguson and Ruan Simms who were part of the team last year and will take a more prominent role this season. They’ll take our coverage of rugby league into the next phase and into the future,” Fordham said.
To bring fans even closer to the action, Nine will launch two new post-game entertainment programs on Thursday and Friday nights.
“Both programs will be produced live from the ground, on the field,” Fordham said, “to get player reaction, coach reaction, injury reaction and judiciary reaction straight away, right there in the thick of the action.
“These programs will feature our new lineup and our regular team of experts, Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler, Wally Lewis, Peter Sterling and Darren Lockyer.”
While the NRL season culminates in the Grand Final on the first weekend of October, rugby league’s crowning jewel remains the State of Origin series, Fordham says.
“State of Origin is such a unique and established franchise, and an extremely important part of our rugby league offering on Nine every year.
“In 2018, the three State of Origin games were three of the top six programs across Australia, which we’re extremely proud of, and 2019 is going to be no different. The Queenslanders will be out for revenge after the New South Wales Blues knocked them off for the first time in many years in such a dominant way in 2018.
“The most exciting development for 2019 is State of Origin Game Two in Perth, which is a first. There’ll be over 60,000 screaming fans at Optus Stadium and all the action will be live and exclusive on Nine.
“Rugby league is in for an enormous year on Nine and we’re going to take the viewers along for every part of the ride.”