Nine boss denies Origin bias

Nine Entertainment boss David Gyngell has defended the commentary team for the State of Origin, who have been accused of bias in the last broadcast.

Queensland media note Andrew Johns and Phil Gould having unashamedly “cheered” for the Blues in their 18-8 win over the Maroons in Sydney on June 15.

NRL devotee Gyngell, who is head of the “Blues Brothers” supporter group, contributes about $30,000 to the NSW team each year.

“Yes, I’m happy to put my hand up as a Blues supporter – but just one of many,” he tells News Limited.

“Always have been, always will be, just like everyone born and bred in Queensland is so passionate about the Maroons.

He says he makes no apology for taking sides. 

“As to the commentary team, I support them absolutely because they are the best in the business – you cannot say fairer than that,” Gyngell said.

“And let’s not forget the best Origin player ever, Wally Lewis, is part of that team, along with (Paul) Fatty Vautin.”

The State of Origin decider will be screened on Nine on July 6.


  1. If you want biased commentating then you can’t go past the NZ commentators at a Warriors home game!
    I get it’s their home town (country) team but c’mon guys at least pretend the other team’s any good especially when the Warriors are losing!

  2. @IRT – 100% right.
    I don’t think 9 realises just how damaging this issue is for their image.
    If Origin is indeed their “flagship product” they shouldn’t be alienating half their audience. What a happy day it will be if 10 gets the NRL rights.

  3. ha ha this is so funny of course they are biased…but gee if Wally and co were calling it …do you think they wouldnt be biased towards QLD…its like the AFL commentators everyone used to bag Eddie Collingwood…and others…. its just football people…sport… geez….

  4. I wonder if 9 realise how much they are despised in Queensland. Lucky it is exclusive. Given a choice pretty much all of Queensland would choose another channel. People watch because they have no choice and hate every minute of it – it does 9’s image no good. Lots have the sound off and use radio commentary. This has received a lot of media coverage in Queensland and 99% are against 9. The arrogant “get over it – we’re not changing anything” attitude of management has been extensively reported and makes the situation even worse.

  5. The nine call of the eels / dragons game a few weeks ago was an absolute disgrace. Warren and Sterling are so biased toward the eels it is pathetic. I had to end up turning the volume down and listening to the call on 2gb with its second or 2 delay.

  6. deedeedragons

    @Jason: Completely agree about Sterling. Would be the only one from Nine i wouldn’t actually mind Ten stealing if they get any games.

  7. I’m not a NRL fan – but couldn’t the baracking be because they wanted the series to be decided in the third game – which would increase the ratings.

  8. The 9 commentary team has gone from the best in the business to being sadly self-indulgent and biased. An example of each:
    – ‘Rabs” will wander off babbling about an 20yo anecdote while actual live action is going uncalled on the field. This happens many times in a game.
    – An attacking raid by Qld stopped by NSW is called as “brilliant try-saving defence by NSW”, while a brilliant try-saving tackle by Qld is called as an “excellent NSW bust of the Qld line”.
    Never is the ‘mute’ button more used in my household than in an Origin game.
    Now there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the call team being biased, except that half the viewing audience (at least) will be put off side.
    Bring back the Roy & HG radio call – cheerfully biased but at least funny and insightful. Can anyone recommend a decent simulcast radio call we can tune in to?

  9. Come off it! This isn’t objective journalism, it’s commentary from ex-stars who make no secret about their affiliations. Go to youtube and watch the famous “miracle” try by Mark Coyne in the 90s classic Origin series. Fatty sounds like he’s just about having an orgasm by the end of it….but that’s what makes the commentary good. Do we really want boring, objective statement of play? Commentary is just that – comments about the game!

  10. deedeedragons

    Oh for god’s sake! For anyone who knows nothing about State Of Origin.
    Rule no.1: Queensland are paranoid about anything & everything.

  11. My God all you people are crying stupid little girls i swear you people are!!!

    You people complain seriously about stupid little things. I dont see anything wrong about this. I bet all of you people whenever your team scores or wins a match or even win the grand final you guys go crazy all day. So Shut Up!!! you people are even worse than them. Where all Fanatics for different teams thats what makes rivalry so Good!!! So Stop criticising people, Its a free world so anybody can like anything and say whatever they want because there Crazy Fanatics. And you cant do anything about it or take that passion away from them!!!!!!

  12. There was a time when QLD and NSW viewers used to have separate state based commentary teams for Origin. And Nine Brisbane used to have its own Thursday night Footy Show.

  13. Gould is by far the worst commentator in a general sense, and is awfully bias. Every time he speaks, my dad curses and walks out of the room.
    Yes, I live in QLD.
    Go maroons.

  14. Wally Lewis is on the sideline and is relatively unbiased compared to the other two. Was Fatty on the last broadcast? I don’t remember hearing anything from him. They could at least put Fatty as an equal commentator with Gould so that there is a biased commentator for each side.

  15. On July 5th you say? That’s some cool technology nine have that they can screen it a day before I see it at Lang Park!

    Maybe nine will screen last years game three. Same result – Go maroons!

  16. Kind of a non-issue in my opinion; the commentators are ex-football players and fans of the game; they have their teams and I think it is ok to show your support on air if your team takes the win; if the commentary is very one sided then I could see a problem but I didn’t have a problem with the way the commentary played out during Origin Game 2.

  17. Of course they are biased, but for years NSW fans had to put up with Paul Vautin in the box next to Ray Warren. It speaks for how much Origin means for them that they will get excited instead of when Johns is watching Newcastle, or Gould watching the Roosters. Peter Sterling is the only unbiased guy there really.

  18. David Gyngell sounded a little bias in his comments. If your going to put that clown Gould in who was a former Blues coach your asking for trouble.

  19. I’m generally ok with the commentary, but I think Phil Gould should shut his mouth. He never has anything positive to say about QLD teams, or plays. In my mind, he’s the only biased member of the commentary. Wally and Fatty come across as quite objective.

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