One spherical into the 2023 AFL season and the gloves are off between Channel 7 and Channel 9.
Sport presenter Tony Jones on Sunday took a surprisingly heated swipe at his Channel 7 rival Tim Watson — re-igniting a grudge that has simmered for a few years.
Jones slammed Watson — and Channel 7 for its AFL season promotions — throughout a rant on the Sunday Footy Present that left panellists Kane Cornes, Nathan Brown, Matthew Lloyd and Damien Barrett in stitches.
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Jones and Watson, the Essendon legend who has transitioned into a well-liked sport presenter on 7News’ 6pm bulletin, have often traded barbs in public in recent times and it seems Jones couldn’t resist throwing the primary punch in 2023.
The 61-year-old hammered Seven for a promotional video the place Watson promised viewers information from “inside” AFL venues and “contained in the staff rooms”.
Jones then confirmed viewers a mash-up clip of Seven reporters, together with meteorologist Jane Bunn, presenting from exterior the MCG within the hours earlier than Thursday evening’s season opening draw between Richmond and Carltn on the MCG — after which he let his rival community have it.
He mentioned his “outdated mate Timmy Watson” was “responsible by affiliation”.
“Whenever you pay billions (for the AFL TV rights) you’d count on to get the entrance door key to the MCG. Right here is Timmy telling us and all the opposite non-broadcast holders how we do it exterior the sport.
“Fairly compelling stuff. I had a have a look at their information on the opening evening. Right here is Blake Johnson, a senior reporter exterior the bottom. There may be senior reporter Nick McCallum. Mitch Cleary, chief soccer reporter. Jane Bunn exterior.
“Timmy, did you learn the script correctly? Effectively carried out, Seven for considering exterior the sq..”
Cornes was left laughing and responded to the rant by saying: “Very robust begin TJ. No prisoners stored”.
It was considered one of a number of feuds re-opened in the course of the section on the Sunday Footy Present with main AFL journalist Damian Barrett additionally potting Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge.
Barrett and Beveridge have a frosty relationship stemming from the journalist’s questioning and reporting of points such because the leaking of knowledge from inside the Bulldogs in 2015, and the absence of retired star Tom Boyd from the senior staff in 2016 when he was disciplined internally due to a drunken incident with then-teammate Zaine Cordy.
Barrett final 12 months eluded to an incident on the 2021 Brownlow Medal the place he says Beveridge “did mainly shoulder me”.
Barrett on Sunday poked enjoyable at Beveridge for exhibiting off some glistening white enamel — suggesting the veteran coach had joined Jones in having some beauty dentist work carried out.
In the meantime, the meat between Jones and Watson goes again a few years.
The feud between the pair went public once more in 2021 when Jones was proven a photograph of Watson earlier than remarking “who’s it?” throughout a section on The Footy Present.
That quip made its solution to Watson who sneakily implied that Jones, recognized extra generally round AFL circles as “chompers”, had hair plugs.
Watson, who works on SEN alongside Garry Lyon was alerted to the footage by his co-host and got here out swinging.
“What toupee Tony did? Did he play that did he?” Watson mentioned.
Jones wasn’t proud of Watson’s retort and shortly fired again on the former Essendon famous person.
“The enamel may need had a bit of labor however not the hair … if that’s a toupee then I would like my a refund.’’ he mentioned.
“Garry Lyon has obtained to be the largest (s***) stirrer going round in the mean time. The tape that we performed, which we’re not taking part in once more by the best way.”