News, Culture & Society

NRL Grand Final kick-off moved back 15 minutes for adverts

The highly-anticipated 2017 NRL Grand Final has been delayed by Channel Nine, just hours before its scheduled kick off.

Those wanting to watch the North Queensland Cowboys take on the Melbourne Storm in the premiership clash will now have to wait an additional 15 minutes, with the start time moved to 7.30pm.

The change is said to ensure the network has a chance to run lucrative commercials with up to four million viewers watching, according to The Daily Telegraph. 

The highly-anticipated 2017 NRL Grand Final has been delayed by Channel Nine, just hours before its scheduled kick off

Those wanting to watch the North Queensland Cowboys take on the Melbourne Storm (pictured) in the premiership clash will now have to wait an additional 15 minutes, with the start time moved to 7.30pm

Those wanting to watch the North Queensland Cowboys take on the Melbourne Storm (pictured) in the premiership clash will now have to wait an additional 15 minutes, with the start time moved to 7.30pm

Channel Nine reportedly said an agreed upon kick off was made six weeks prior for 7.30pm, with the NRL publishing an incorrect start time.

The network began airing sports-related programming on Sunday from as early as 9am, with shows including Sports Sunday, The Sunday Footy Show and the n the NRL Grand Final Day from 1pm. 

NRL spokesman Glenn Jackson told the publication that games such as the final are often delayed to provide time for nearly 80,000 fans to get into the ground.

However, when matches begin is actually decided by the broadcaster, with a later allotment allowing more ‘prime time’ viewing for adverts.

Angered fans flocked to social media following the announcement, calling the time change ‘a joke’ and asking for it to return to ‘a family friendly’ 3pm slot.

‘How much did the NRL accept to roll over like this? As much as they got to have night time kick off? What a joke,’ one person wrote.

While another upset fan added:  ‘Gf will have a 15 min delay to kick off, thanks Channel Nine, bring on 2018 when the NRL has control.

A new TV agreement from next season will see a change to proceedings however, with he NRL given control of schedules.

While many have argued the change is to ensure the network has a chance to run lucrative commercials, Channel Nine reportedly said an agreed upon kick off was made six weeks prior for 7.30pm

While many have argued the change is to ensure the network has a chance to run lucrative commercials, Channel Nine reportedly said an agreed upon kick off was made six weeks prior for 7.30pm

Upsets viewers took to Twitter (above) to express their frustration at the delay, calling it 'a joke'

Upsets viewers took to Twitter (above) to express their frustration at the delay, calling it ‘a joke’

 A new TV agreement from next season will see a change to proceedings however, with he NRL given control of schedules.

 A new TV agreement from next season will see a change to proceedings however, with he NRL given control of schedules.

It is not the first upset the NRL Grand Final has been involved in, with the game steeped in controversy this week.

On Saturday reports emerged that rainbow pride flags would not be allowed at the match after claims they may ‘upset other patrons’.

The NRL slammed the suggestion however, instead stating that only oversized flags and those emblazoned with ‘content deemed offensive’ would be denied. 

Meanwhile outrage also ensued after American rapper Macklemore announced his song and gay marriage anthem ‘Same Love’ would be part of his setlist.

The 34-year-old was booked as part of the game’s entertainment, with his song choice angering some from the ‘No’ campaign. 

Thousands of football fans, including former prime minister Tony Abbott, backed a Change.org petition demanding Macklemore omit the song.

But the songwriter hit back at critics, pledging to donate the Australian earnings of the song to the ‘Yes’ campaigners.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk