League’s radio rights bidders deserve a very special hearing
2GB Continuous Call team
Rugby league’s match broadcast radio rights are up for grabs and I have my fingers crossed the Australian Rugby League Commission is treating discussions with a wide open mind.
Rights holders 2GB and Triple M are the strong tip to retain their respective gigs, with Triple M attempting to increase its coverage to four games per week.
But there is an intriguing new horse on the scene – a tandem effort proposed by 2UE and 2SM – which has the potential to bring the code to thousands of extra listeners with their far-reaching networks.
I understand the 2UE-2SM bid would involve callers Andrew Voss and Graeme Hughes and their pledge is to provide a more serious league coverage, as a change from GB’s Continuous Call, which often borders on vaudeville.
On this site in August, I expressed my personal disappointment that the ARLC missed the opportunity to inject a breath of fresh air when it stuck by Channel 9 and Fox Sports for its billion dollar TV deal. Channels Ten and Seven launched a serious bid to secure the TV rights but the Commission palmed it off.
I see the radio rights issue as something similar, a terrific chance for a new broom to sweep through and freshen up the way rugby league is presented to its non-TV audience.
Again speaking personally, I have grown weary of Ray Hadley and his team talking about anything but league on their weekend shows. Their ‘alternative’ coverage might be a good rater, but if I want to know what’s happening in the game, or hear some proper discussion on its many issues, I tune in to David Morrow and Co on the ABC.
Not many in-jokes or advertorials there, and certainly no boring, repetitive ditties about Mama’s got her boobs out again, or the tiresome Fui Fui Moi Moi song.
I would like to hear what UE and SM come up with as a double-barrelled coverage, if only for the reason that we might get to hear something a little different at any hour, or in any game. Same old, same old does not work for me.
Voss and Hughes are accomplished league callers and I am sure their respective networks would build a strong back-up team and ultimately provide a striking new radio presentation for league-starved listeners.
If the ARLC isn’t keen on dumping the long-time broadcaster 2GB, I also see no problem in cutting a deal to allow Triple M as well as 2UE-2SM to cover the NRL premiership and representative games along with 2GB.
A ‘more the merrier’ approach could be of enormous benefit for all parties concerned.
If the Commission turns its back on these latest radio bidders, who could blame them if they used their sports resources to cover AFL or the A-League as an alternative?