Coming in off the long run: Warriors need wins off the field

Last updated 14:16 16/09/2012
Michael Luck
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DISMAL FAREWELL: Michael Luck of the Warriors reflects on their dismal performance during their match against the Raiders.

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The Warriors have released their ambition to become the best sporting franchise in Australasia. To do this, they need to return to winning on the park.

However, winning on the park is not the only factor in becoming a super franchise. One of the areas where improvement is needed is the club's media coverage.

As a rugby league franchise the Warriors are competing against other franchises that are regularly seen on free-to-air TV in their target market.

The fact that New Zealand sporting coverage is so heavily dominated by pay TV has left a huge gap in the market.

In 2008 it was famously reported that a free-to-air netball test out ranked the pay TV All Blacks in television ratings. This shows that there is a clear gap in the market, which needs to be taken advantage of.

The Warriors are almost solely the property of pay TV, with the broadcast times of free-to-air replays only appealing to those who suffer from insomnia.

I am aware that Sky are not about to roll over and put all of the Warriors games on free-to-air TV, but with the right financial incentive and negotiations I am sure some kind of arrangement could be reached.

Off the top of my head, one suggestion is that the Warriors' Sunday 2pm home games get broadcast on Prime TV with only half an hour delay.

If this was well advertised I believe it would help the franchise attract tens of thousands of fans who are starved of sporting action.

The quality of the product would open league to a whole new market.

The Warriors have done really well getting their players on to Radio Sport. Having both Michael Luck and James Maloney on a national radio station for an hour each week is huge.

But we need to see large improvements with Sky's coverage too.

The Warriors need to flex their muscle with Sky and find a way to get better commentators and journalists covering the game.

I am aware that there is an issue of journalistic integrity, and I 'm not suggesting the Warriors get to choose who comments their games, but, like it or not, the commentators contribute to how the club is perceived.

Commentators are a matter of taste but, with all due respect to Jason Costigan, Stephen McIvor and Dale Husband, none of them have been well received.

If the club are looking for a super coach they should demand Sky look for super broadcasters.

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The broadcasting contributes heavily to the quality of the product, so the club must find a way to demand better.

In line with this the show 40/20 needs to be completely revamped.

Again, the quality of this show does reflect on the club even if it is exclusively a Sky TV production.

It is vital that we have a high profile show that is an equal mix of expert opinion and entertainment. Better hosts, guests and production values are needed.

The Warriors need to return to winning on the field but they also need to win in the media.

What other ideas do you have for changes that could improve the club?

Coming in off the long run is an ongoing Stuff Nation assignment. To contribute hit the green button.

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