Come on Canberra Raiders fans, admit it. You weren't surprised when you saw the NRL draw on Thursday. You weren't even mad about the same old broadcast schedule story. You were just disappointed, again. Because television money rules the roost, again.
We thought the viking clap would open their eyes to a world outside of Sydney and Brisbane. We thought the grand final appearance would help them realise Jason Crocker isn't the Green Machine captain. We thought being premiership favourites would count for something.
Turns out none of it matters, even though the evidence makes the NRL's free-to-air broadcaster look like a fool. Because Raiders fans will be watching this year, but they won't be watching Channel Nine after the NRL stepped back to a time when broadcasters rule the roost.
So the financial boost the Raiders were hoping for after their best season in 25 years has disappeared thanks to broadcasters, who were supposed have limited input to the draw after the debacles of the past.
The NRL wrestled back control of the broadcast scheduled in 2018, giving clubs like the Raiders hope they would be exposed to a wider audience outside subscription television. It was all going to plan: five Raiders games on free-to-air in 2018, five in 2019 and a jump to eight for 2020.
Enter coronavirus. The NRL needed broadcast money more than ever, so all of a sudden television boffins had control of rugby league again and the Raiders disappeared from the schedule.
So the financial boost the Raiders were hoping for after their best season in 25 years has disappeared thanks to broadcasters. No one watches the Raiders, Channel Nine says. They obviously didn't see the sea of green at the grand final, who have no option other than to watch rugby league on television because of crowd restrictions.
They obviously didn't review the facts and figures that show of the 3.2 million viewers who stream the NRL, the Raiders are the most-watched team to the tune of 45 million combined minutes.
They'll argue there's never a ratings spike when the Raiders are on free-to-air and the Canberra-Roosters grand final was viewed by 2.64 million, down from 3.03 million the previous year.
They'll happily overlook the fact Raiders fans don't watch Channel Nine because they're never on, and let's not blame the Roosters (who have 11 free-to-air games this year) for the downturn in grand final numbers.
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The problem is clearly the Raider. Raiders fans will tell you "everyone wants to watch us" because of their exciting style, which has resulted in yoyo performances for too long that any of them care to remember. Maybe they're right. Maybe they're wrong.
But Channel Nine, who accused the NRL of "mismanagement" a few weeks ago, seems intent on refusing to change their ways.
OK, we get it. Green's a funny colour and you don't like the cost of lugging all of your equipment down the Hume Highway, which is obviously the main reason the Raiders will play home games at Campbelltown this year.
Coronavirus protection ... yeah, yeah. We know. Health and safety first, which is why Canberra would have been the perfect spot to play games given the city of almost 400,000 has been free of recorded coronavirus cases for more than two weeks.
The whole NRL-broadcaster relationship was supposed to have changed from 2018. The draw was handed back to rugby league officials and taken away from the television honchos. Finally, equality! That's what the forgotten teams hoped for.
The Broncos have 13 free-to-air games over the next 18 rounds. Over 20 rounds the Eels have 13, the Storm and Rabbitohs 12 and the Roosters 11. The Raiders have three. The only teams with fewer are the Warriors (1) and Titans (1).
That's why the Raiders are back where Channel Nine will tell you they belong: doing the hard yards on subscription television. That's why the Raiders are one of only two teams forced to travel more than two hours to get to their "home games". The Warriors, of course, have things far worse having moved to Gosford.
There was a time when Raiders fans would have copped the free-to-air snub on the chin. The inconsistent years for 2005-2019 didn't give them a platform to beat their viking drum.
Times have changed. Well, they at least seem to be moving in the right direction after two wins to start this year, a grand final appearance last year and crowd support like the glory years.
The problem is Channel Nine wants to keep living in a time broadcasters tell fans what they want rather than listening to the feedback. And they're not willing to give the Raiders a chance to prove them wrong.
FREE TO AIR EXPOSURE
Rabbitohs, Storm: 12
Panthers, Cowboys: 8
Manly, Tigers: 6
Raiders, Sharks: 3