November 22, 2017

Pokie comments handed to Warren by Channel Nine Management

Yes that is right, Ray got poked in the ribs by management and told to read out a comment about pokies. Simple really.

Channel Nine league commentator, Ray Warren has admitted that comments about poker machine reform that he made during Sundays NRL Grand Final were given to him by Channel Nine Management.

The comments that were attacking proposed poker machine reforms by the Gillard government, sounded ‘off the cuff’ but Warren now says they were provided to him by Channel Nine management.

Warren and fellow commentator Phil Gould have been criticised for statements made just after half-time in the preliminary final between Manly and Brisbane on September 23. “The proposed mandatory pre-commitment that they’ve put forward is a rubbish policy. It won’t work,” Gould said.

“It won’t solve the problem they say they’re going to target, and it will do irreparable damage to the hospitality industry. It won’t work and it will hurt.”

The address of a website running an anti-pokie reform campaign funded by Clubs Australia was also displayed on the screen as they made their remarks.

The pair’s remarks were characterised as their views but on the day after the match Warren co-hosted the Triple M sports show, Dead Set Legends, and revealed that they were more than just off-the-cuff remarks.

“It was a directive from up top that it be read by at least somebody, so I read it,” Warren told his co-host, Dan Ginnane.

Warren said he supported the comments and while he could not be sure, he believed they were a paid message. “I think it was an ad, if you like, it sounded like an ad. I think it was done on behalf of the rugby league, who is fully supportive of the clubs.”

A spokesmen for Clubs Australia, the NRL and Channel Nine denied the comments were paid for. Clubs Australia and the NRL said they had no role in providing any script. A Nine spokesman would not comment on Warren’s claim that the remarks were provided by its management.

Sporting bodies getting involved in politics? Ray’s little infomercial is a step too far. It clearly shows that blended ownership between Channel Nine and the NRL removes Channel Nines ability to be objective in its actions.

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