North Queensland fans are furious at the scheduling of their round four Monday night 6pm start against the Melbourne Storm.
Broadcaster Fox Sports had the final say on kick-off with the 7pm start in New South Wales going ahead despite the logistical nightmare for Townsville locals getting to the venue.
Supporters hit social media to vent with comments like, “Cheers for the 6pm game @NRL” from @11_Karrie while @ozyscott didn’t miss saying “@nrl @nthqldcowboys what a stupid kick off time for a Monday night game.”
Canberra Times journalist Jon Tuxworth even joined the chatter saying, “6pm local time kickoff on a work day. TV is, and always will be, the biggest priority for @nrl, not crowds. #nrl.
This is another example of everyone but the fans getting their fill. Broadcasters have total control of the product and will continue to be an endightment on Dave Smith and the NRL.
The next broadcast deal can’t come quick enough for the NRL. The big question is however, will Smith and company stand up to the almighty broadcasters?
It’s a 30 minute drive from Townsville to 1300Smiles Stadium at Kirwan.
As expected, a smaller crowd showed up for the match which the Cowboys won 18-17.
It’s also been revealed since that there were lines of fans still trying to get into the ground long after kickoff.
All clubs must seriously look at this problem which only recently became headlines when the Wests Tigers left hundreds of fans stranded outside the ground, missing the first thirty minutes of their victory over St George Illawarra.