Nine switched off as Maroon anger grows
THE Maroons have united behind Cameron Smith to deny Channel 9 access to the team as the Queensland captain’s dispute with Aussie rugby league’s free- to- air broadcaster deepens.
Smith even declined to be interviewed by Queensland assistant Kevin Walters for the Maroon Zone program on Nine tomorrow afternoon.
Smith also brushed off his former captain Darren Lockyer, who requested a halftime interview during the Origin decider on Wednesday night.
Despite Smith’s increasing frustration with Nine, 60 Minutes has made a second approach to the hooker to do an interview.
The approach was quickly rejected and Smith would prefer to never talk to the Nine Network again after it failed to contact him for his reaction to Alex McKinnon’s comments on Sunday night’s 60 Minutes.
It is believed the Maroons made a pact on the bus on the way to Suncorp Stadium for Game Three to refuse all Nine interviews at halftime, with five- eighth Johnathan Thurston leading the boycott movement.
The game’s broadcast deal stipulates at least one player from each team must be interviewed at halftime.
There was a push from players to also deny Nine postgame access, but Queensland Rugby League officials quickly intervened to ensure there was content for the broadcaster.
Fox Sports is trying to secure a Smith interview and it is expected he will speak to Matthew Johns or Peter Sterling for an exclusive with the pay television network next week.
Nine yesterday declined to comment on the saga.