On New Year’s Day, Triple M Sydney announced they are to be the official home of the NRL on FM commercial radio.
The Southern Cross Austereo-owned station will cover games across the weekend (how many games was not mentioned) and they will call the finals and State Of Origin for the first time in the station’s history.
For years Triple M have called themselves the home of rugby league, with various rugby league shows on the station such as ‘Friday Footy Panel’ and ‘The Offload’. There was also loads of rugby league content on other shows on the station like ‘The Dead Set Legends’, ‘The Rush Hour’ and ‘The Grill Team’.
Since 2007 Triple M have called Monday night football and were the official broadcasters of the 2010 Four Nations.
With 2GB to likely be named as the official AM commercial broadcaster and calling games at the same time as Triple M, will 2GB’s stranglehold of the ratings on the weekend end?
I think so, because Triple M’s call of the Monday night football attracts the youth market (from 13 to 45), and not just because the calls sound more exciting.
It’s because they have a talented team of experts who relate to the fans, their call is more focused on the analysing the game (unlike 2GB), and they are more in touch with the game (unlike the ABC).
I am a fan of 2GB calls and love listening to the stupidity of the continuous call team, but I think the average fan has had enough of it. People have been screaming for a rugby league program on the weekend with more analyses of the game with just a little bit of stupidity, and ‘The Offload’ produced that.
With Triple M calling games on the weekend, it will mean we will have more hours of a program like that on radio.
The only thing that might hurt Triple M’s call is finding a back-up play-by-play caller. There are rumours of John Harker to join the crew but he has not called a game for 11 years and might have lost it.
Other options are Anthony Maroon, who was the station’s Monday night Football caller until he left the station in 2008 but recently re-joined the M’s, or – and this may be out there – Andrew Voss, as he has left Channel Nine but he he hosts Sports Today on 2UE at the moment.
Either way it is going to a fantastic 2013 as the radio wars of the old days will resurface, with the fans having more choices of who to listen to.
And more choices means the call teams will have to be on their A game, which is a big plus for the fans.