Michael Comerford.
Michael Comerford. Peter Holt

Rising see level

THE Mackay Cutters will have at least one home game broadcast live on Channel 9 after the new Intrust Super Cup TV deal was confirmed yesterday.

As predicted in the Daily Mercury yesterday, the QRL has signed a one-year deal for the competition to be broadcast on Nine, parting ways with the ABC.

Queensland Rugby League chief executive Rob Moore said the newly minted Intrust Super Cup-Channel 9 TV deal would result in bigger and better things and the competition being looked at by the game's national decision-makers.

The ISC game of the round will be televised from 2-4pm on Sunday as a lead into Nine's NRL coverage, opening up the statewide competition to a whole new audience.

Moore stopped short of saying it would result in an instant boom for the game, but said it would take its profile to a new level.

The newly created ARL independent commission will in the coming year negotiate a new television rights deal for the NRL and Moore said the ISC should be a part of that negotiation.

He said he hoped any TV rights deal should take in every level of the game for the benefit of all.

"It (the Channel 9 deal) is a great way for us to showcase the game," Moore said.

"I think the future of the second-tier competitions and where they sit is a much bigger debate.

"But I think this deal is a chance for our competition to be considered by those who are involved in the future media rights negotiations."

Moore thanked the ABC for its partnership, pointing out that it had signed with the QRL at a time when no one wanted to televise the competition.

He said there was no guarantee of how many games each side would receive but noted the competition's northern teams - Northern Pride, Rockhampton's CQ Capras and Cutters - would all have at least one of their home games broadcast live.

He said the QRL would try to give each team equal air time but there was no way that could be assured.

Skills Training Mackay Cutters chief executive Glenn Ottaway said the deal was a "pretty massive step" and would be a boost for the club's sponsors.

"I think it's a very positive move for the competition," he said.

Ottaway said the support from the ABC had been outstanding but the clubs had agreed that coverage on a commercial station could only strengthen the competition.

"We certainly backed the decision," he said.

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