Origin blow: Bennett bans Stefanovic doco

 

Wayne Bennett and the Queensland Rugby League have banned a Michael Jordan-style documentary on this year's State of Origin series that would have taken the game to a new audience of hundreds of thousands.

Channel 9 star Karl Stefanovic had hired film crews to spend the month-long series inside both the Blues and Maroons camps to produce a documentary following the approval of Blues coach Brad Fittler and the QRL.

Stan and other streaming outlets were bidding for the rights.

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Wayne Bennett has banned a documentary idea planned by Channel 9’s Karl Stefanovic.
Wayne Bennett has banned a documentary idea planned by Channel 9’s Karl Stefanovic.

 

The benefit for sponsors and Channel 9 was significant, considering Origin TV ratings have been on a steep decline for several years.

Not even a phone call from NRL boss Peter V'landys to Bennett could persuade him to change his mind.

Bennett was even given the right to veto parts of the documentary that could be considered embarrassing or damaging but declined.

This is seen as a huge lost opportunity for rugby league to take the game to a new audience across Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

 

Wayne Bennett and Mal Meninga will team up for this year’s State of Origin series.
Wayne Bennett and Mal Meninga will team up for this year’s State of Origin series.

It was to be similar to the Australian cricket team's documentary on Amazon last year about their recovery from the ball-tampering scandal in the last Ashes series in the UK.

Michael Jordan's The Last Dance documentary - a 10-part series - smashed ratings records in the United States and on Netflix in Australia.

Originally published as Origin blow: Bennett bans Stefanovic doco


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