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FTA rugby: who won?

Peace has broken out apart from the usual sniping. It’s all over bar any shouting that might come from the IRB, and then it might all be on again. But, if the patchwork bid succeeds, who are the winners and losers?

The losers.

Maori Television. Having come very close to sneaking through on the blindside, they’ve ended up just short of the try-line as the usual suspects walk away with the points. And, as we all know, there are no points for second (or in this case, third) place.

Anybody who likes watching TV but doesn’t like rugby, because it’s now going to be three times as hard to avoid it come September 2011.

The taxpayers. We just forked out an indeterminate sum somewhere in the region of $3 million, and – going off the viewing figures for the last World Cup – less than half of us want to watch it.

RWC. Selling tickets just got a little bit harder as it’s going to be near impossible to avoid seeing the games without leaving the couch, without spending an hour looking for a park, and without forking out exorbitant amounts of hard-earned for a ticket.

The winners.

The Maori Party. They might not be happy to see games spread around channels like confetti, diluting their intention to promote te reo, but they didn’t go down without a fight. Expect concessions from National over upcoming legislation – especially the revisiting of the ‘for sure and see, bud’ legislation.

Advertisers. With viewer numbers more diluted than alcopops, it’s going to be hard to command top dollar for TV spots.

Maternity units. Expect a spike in occupancy rates come June 2012, or May for those who go too early, having considered a victory over Canda something worth celebrating.

‘Lesser’ AB’s. Always overlooked in that oh-so-important post-match analysis in favour of Messrs McCaw and Carter, they’ll be tripping over cameras and microphones at every turn. Practice, practice, practice. “The boys done good … the work we put in on the training ground paid off … the lineout is a work-in-progress.”

Burglars. When is there going to be a better time to collect the five finger discount, except in West Auckland anytime Metallica play Mt Smart?

Wannabe sports commentators. With 5 channels carrying games, there’s never going to be a better chance to get your foot in the door. You’ve got two years to practice, practice, pratice. “They think it’s all over … it is now – hang on viewers, I’ve just been handed a note. Bugger.”