Mediaweek sideline eye Las Vegas: Delany tosses the coin, Lachlan Murdoch walks the boundary

Las Vegas

Media who’s who at the weekend NRL matches at Allegiant Stadium, Sin City

It has been a week in Las Vegas packed with fan events, NRL team launches, season launches, golf days, NRL9s and more. There was finally some NRL action on the ground on Saturday night.

There was a hell of a gale blowing across Las Vegas Valley on game day. But it was all calm inside Allegiant Stadium for the 40,000 customers. They’d come to watch ARL chairman Peter V’landys’ ambitious decision to start the season on another continent. By most measures, he seems to have pulled it off.

There is a gap in the judgement of just how successful it was. People on tour couldn’t get enough of it. Some commentary back in Australia almost begrudgingly acknowledged the success. There were also some sniggers about the dreamers who have got carried away with the NRL goes global narrative.

Drinking the NRL Kool-Aid

Most of the 40,000 crowd seemed to be from Australia – visitors or expats. If there were locals, they were well camouflaged in the jerseys of their favourite NRL team.

The media on hand were drinking the Kool-Aid with good reason. Everywhere you turned in the city this week there was evidence of an NRL presence be it events signage, fans, or players.

Las Vegas

Fox League pre-game show in Las Vegas

Fox takes charge

The Fox League pre-game was hosted by Yvonne Sampson with Matty Johns, Braith Anasta, Michael Ennis and Gorden Tallis. Johns was much in demand across the week on all Fox League shows and he hosted a post-match episode of The Matty Johns Show on the ground.

As the Fox League pre-game wrapped they were visited on the ground by Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch and his wife Sarah. As they walked around the sideline, the Murdochs also caught up with NRL/ARL leaders Andrew Abdo and Peter V’landys.

Lachlan Murdoch with Andrew Abdo and Peter V’landys

On the field before the first match, Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany was given the job of tossing the coin.

He later watched the game from the corporate hospitality area where people famously paid $1m just days before to watch the Super Bowl from the edge of the playing field.

Joining Delany were Foxtel chair Siobhan McKenna, board member Mark Kaner and Kayo Sports’ Julian Ogrin.

It wasn’t all Fox or News Corp in the corporate box. Nine Entertainment CEO Mike Sneesby was at the games as was Nine director of network scheduling Geoff Dyer.

NRL board next steps

The NRL board were omnipresent across the week and they meet today to discuss next steps in the US invasion. Many fans in Australia will be eagerly awaiting two decisions from them. First the date of the next Las Vegas visit. Secondly the names of the clubs that will make the second-year trip.

Patrick Delany tosses the coin as Fox League’s Lara Pitt looks on

NRL board members Kate Jones, Peter Beatty, Prof Megan Davis, Wayne Pearce, Tony Crawford and Dr Gary Weiss were on hand.

All NRL club CEOs were on hand for the games and meetings with the NRL/ARL.

In the stands with the real fans were Foxtel Media’s Nev Hassan and Marty Medcraf who were accompanying several clients.

Other people making the Vegas trip included Beyond founder Mikael Borglund who is also a member of the South Sydney board. Another disappointed Souths fan we bumped into was Tech Guide’s Stephen Fenech. He’d only been back home from his annual Las Vegas CES trip for a few weeks.

Foxtel Media’s Marty Medcraf and Nev Hasan

Kayo Sports’ partners on the trip included several influencers. The most visible were Matty J and Ash Wicks. Better known as Two Doting Dads, the podcasters had every moment filmed which must surely be enough for a long Kayo Sports social media series.

See also:
Postcard from Las Vegas: Patrick Delany, Peter V’landys, Paul Kent, Webby and Weidler

Fox Sports’ Steve Crawley in Las Vegas: Innovation, commentators, Kayo & telling the story

Andrew Voss on calling the Broncos/Roosters clash for Fox League plus Fox Sports 1 USA

Media at the NRL Las Vegas matches

Fox League’s Michael Ennis and Andrew Voss in the call box at Allegiant Stadium

News Corp seemed to have an army of journalists in Las Vegas. Some of them also do double duty for spots on Fox League and/or other media. They included Daily Telegraph editor Ben English plus Phil Rothfield, David Riccio, and Brent Read.

Nine Publishing had fewer people on the ground led by Andrew Webster. On the ground for Nine working the sideline were Johnathan Thurston, Brad Fittler and Danika Mason. Danny Weidler reported across the week for Nine News.

Tech Guide and Two Blokes Talking Tech podcaster Stephen Fenech with Mediaweek’s James Manning

The ABC Radio team was Andrew Moore, John Gibbs and Ryan Hoffman. They pointed out the ABC paid for their trip. They were no less impressed than anyone else by the Las Vegas weekend.

2GB content director Luke Davis led his team of Mark Riddell, Mark Levy, Darryl Brohman and Josh Morris. Working the buttons for them was Continuous Call team producer Andrew Lucas.

2GB Continuous Call team in Las Vegas – 2GB content director Luke Davis (left) with Mark Riddell, Mark Levy, Darryl Brohman and Josh Morris

Photos: NRL Photos and Mediaweek.
Mediaweek visited Las Vegas in partnership with Kayo Sports.

To Top