After all, the two codes were on a war footing when the NRL scheduled the 2018 Origin series.
The NRL couldn’t trust the AFL not to schedule blockbuster matches in Melbourne over the June 22-24 weekend, leading to the Sunday night Origin match. Instead, the second match will be played at Homebush and the NRL has made it a standalone fixture, with no club games over the weekend.
Greenberg’s comment on Melbourne radio does evoke Talleyrand, who said: “Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts.”
The NRL has given the AFL a major hiding in TV ratings to the halfway mark of the 2018 competition, even before the four million who watched Origin I.
Oztam figures show that the cumulative Australian TV market has declined by 8.9 per cent this year and the fall in AFL ratings is even greater – a 13.9 per cent drop –while NRL ratings are flat at minus 0.6 per cent.
If AFL and NRL games were only on free-to-air TV, this may be so. But consider the Fox figures for both codes this year.
Admittedly, it was also shown on FTA but its 2018 ranking of fourth for both codes demonstrate yet again how much AFL viewership has slipped in a year.