Friday, September 30, 2016

2016 Grand Final weekend in Australia

If you know anyone in Australia or know any Australian expats, please don’t ask them to do anything this weekend.  This is Grand Final weekend.  It is their equivalent of the Super Bowl.  It is not just one sporting event but two.  One each for separate sports.  Australian rules football has its Australian Football League Grand Final on Saturdays in Melbourne.  On Sundays, it is the National Rugby League Grand Final in Sydney.  It turned out that this year both Grand Finals will include one team each from Melbourne and Sydney, the two largest cities in Australia.  The opportunity exists for either city to claim supremacy if both hometown teams win their respective sporting championship.  Near 100,000 people will attend each game.

The AFL Grand Final will have the Sydney Swans versus the Western (Melbourne) Bulldogs.  The Bulldogs have only ever won a single Grand Final back in 1954.  The last time they played and lost a Grand Final was 1961.  In two years the Bulldogs have become a winning team and their efforts have taken them this far.  A victory by this team would possibly be greater than if the Sydney Swans win in light of the Swans’ superb performances for many years.

The NRL Grand Final will pit the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks from southern Sydney versus the Melbourne Storm.

The NRL Grand Final will be seen on television in the U. S. on Fox Sports 2 which is now widely available as a basic cable channel.  The AFL’s typical self-destructive decision making has limited the U. S. viewing of their Grand Final to Fox Soccer Plus which costs extra each month to view only on those cable/satellite companies that offer it and online which also has a pay wall.  And on both viewing sources Americans are likely to see the game only and none of the pre- or post-game coverage due to expensive royalties owed if copyrighted background music gets heard, something that has been a problem for years.  Those curious or eager enough to watch the games will penetrate any media barriers.