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Adelaide football documentary THE ROVER OF TOBRUK secures UK broadcast deal

An Adelaide-produced documentary about war hero and football legend Bob Quinn, shot in two-and-a-half days for just $25,000, will be broadcast internationally on AFL Grand Final day after a major overseas network acquired rights to the film. 

British pay TV giant BT Sport, who own exclusive UK broadcast rights to the AFL, have acquired international territory rights to The Rover of Tobruk, a portrait of World War Two Military Medallist and Port Adelaide Football Club immortal Quinn told through interviews with his son, military historians, and football greats.

Former Port Adelaide SANFL captain Steven Summerton portrayed Bob Quinn in several stylised military and football re-enactment scenes filmed at Alberton Oval.

Prior to the BT Sport deal, The Rover of Tobruk had enjoyed a limited domestic theatrical release and an Australian television premiere on the Seven Network. Australian viewers can currently view the documentary for free on the 7Plus streaming platform.

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BT Sport will premiere the documentary into the UK and Ireland this Thursday (BT Sport 2, 8:30pm) followed by another screening on Saturday (BT Sport 3, 2:00pm) as part of their coverage of the AFL Grand Final. Additional broadcasts and VOD streaming will continue through 2022.

Quinn’s decorated football career was split either side of his service during the Second World War, where he would be awarded the Military Medal for a remarkable act of bravery in North Africa in August 1941. 

He would then endure enormous adversity in his bid to return to the sporting field post-war. 

The documentary is narrated by dual Olympian and AFLW legend Erin Phillips, one of Australia’s highest profile female athletes.  

The Rover of Tobruk is a co-production between Writer/Producer (and ex-serviceman) Kane McKay and Arterial Films, the newly established Film/TV production arm of Adelaide company Beyond Content and is directed by Stephen De Villers and co-produced by Chloe Gardner.

Filming took place both in-studio and on location in Adelaide from August to October 2020.

The film was also played in its entirety on-screen in front of thousands at the Adelaide Oval in April, prior to the ANZAC Day AFL fixture between Port Adelaide and St Kilda. 

Writer/Producer Kane McKay said:

“While Australian Rules Football might be foreign to international viewers, the film’s themes of courage, resilience, sacrifice and friendship are universal and will resonate with audiences worldwide, whether they be sports fans or just lovers of a good story”.

‘We’re beyond delighted that BT Sport have chosen to take this great Australian story to the world on the 80th anniversary of the events that inspired it”. 

The Rover of Tobruk is streaming now on 7PLUS

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