Rugby league legend Peter Sterling has reportedly been gagged over his decision to walk away from Channel 9 at the end of the 2021 season.
It emerged on Sunday, Sterling had recently informed management and colleagues of his decision to step away from the TV lens.
As first reported by The Daily Telegraph, the 61-year-old’s exit will usher in a new era for the station’s rugby league coverage.
His future remains uncertain with no formal announcement from the Parramatta Eels icon or Channel 9.
Reports suggest Sterling is only retiring from his TV roles and will continue his radio commitments, which includes regular appearances on Triple M.
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It has now emerged Sterling made the decision of his own free will and was not in any way pushed out the door.
Yahoo’s Adam Lucius reports Channel 9 is unhappy about Sterling’s departure and the way the news became public before an announcement could be made.
The report claims Sterling has had enough of the demands on his TV role and has been “gagged” from speaking about his resignation by the broadcaster.
The report also claims SEN Radio is considering making Sterling an offer to boost its push to establish itself in the Sydney market.
Sterling’s decision is reported to also be motivated by his wish to make way for a younger brigade to take over the mantle at Nine.
Sterling won four premierships for the Parramatta Eels in the 1980s. He also represented New South Wales and Australia at halfback on numerous occasions.
Soon after retiring from the game in 1992, Sterling took up a post in the media, joining Channel 9 as a co-host of The Footy Show, alongside his close friend Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin.
Sterling quickly became one of the most respected expert commentators in the media, and showed his versatility in recent years by being the play-by-play commentator on some matches.
It leaves Channel 9 at the crossroads as it considers its broadcast line-up for 2022.