1995 – The dawning of a new corporate media/organised sports relationship in Australia
In 1995 two things happened: the amateur sport of rugby union officially turned professional and the world wide web was born for broader public consumption. In the southern hemisphere, the rugby union governing bodies of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, formed the business collective, SANZAR self-appointed administers of a new international provincial competition known as the Super 12,
This was a turning point in the world of rugby and was only made possible by an unprecedented corporate media deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited Foxtel and it’s affiliates and Channel 7 in Australia.
Prior to this deal, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation were the dedicated rugby union broadcast channel in Australia. Relationships between broadcaster, journalist, union and players were mutually exclusive and predominately managed by ‘the voice of rugby’ Mr Gordon Bray.
Corporate media and organised sports have enjoyed a unique and co-dependent social, cultural and economically beneficial relationship in Australia ever since, Kerry Packer revolutionised sports broadcasting in the 1970’s with his takeover of the World Series Cricket on his beloved Nine Network.