World Cup is showcasing the importance of good commentary

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    The Rugby League World Cup is here again. (AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS)

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    Out of all of the positives that 2013 Rugby League World Cup 2013 has brought us, perhaps the most popular one has been the absence of Channel Nine.

    The self-proclaimed “home of rugby league” is on forced holiday and the ears of rugby league fans are so much clearer for it.

    The World Cup commentary headed by Andrew Voss has been professional, positive and and entertaining. They have celebrated the game of rugby league and its history, and their enjoyment of the spectacle on show has had just enough national bias to make fans cringe with wry smiles and chuckles.

    The British commentators, particularly former Great Britain coach Brian Noble, have shown up their Channel Nine counterparts with a simple expression of good old fashioned wit.

    And Daryl Halligan, wearing his Kiwi exuberance on his sleeve, erupts with a sometimes unintelligible excitement that seems important because it sounds honest.

    The enthusiasm of these men, ably lead by the wit of Voss, has put into stark perspective the tired boys’ club approach taken by Channel Nine, led by bronze-statue recipient Ray Warren and overlord Phil Gould.

    Bias is one thing – and tinged with charisma is fine – but as far as I am aware, nobody likes commercial bias, especially one blatant and lacking in personality. If the role of the commentator isn’t to entertain, then it most certainly isn’t to irritate.

    Having monopolised rugby league in Australia for so many years now, Channel Nine have fallen into the trap of believing that the walls it surrounds itself with are the ends of the earth. They are not – nowhere near it in fact.

    The success of Andrew Voss and the World Cup team have only highlighted just how insular and ultimately self-defeating the Channel Nine approach will prove to be.

    Time spent in commentary ought not to be spent glorifying oneself, the station or the products it is required to advertise. Commentating is about glorifying the sport and the players on show.

    It is about bringing to life the enjoyment and passion that fans feel about their sport. It is also a way of bringing in new viewers and admirers.

    Nobody wants to be turned away, least of all fans. Channel Nine may be ‘successful’, but when you are the only game in town, that is not proof of your quality.

    One wonders just how many people watch Channel Nine with the volume off.

    Well done to the World Cup commentary team. Simply by having a good time and enjoying what you are doing, you have shown how simple it really is to put on a good show.

    Hopefully there will much more to follow.

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    The Crowd Says (77)

    • November 11th 2013 @ 6:38am
      Will said | November 11th 2013 @ 6:38am | ! Report

      Love the wit of Vossy

    • November 11th 2013 @ 7:29am
      Eden said | November 11th 2013 @ 7:29am | ! Report

      The difference between Vossy and Phil Gould is that Vossy’s agendas are about improving and growing the brand of RL. Phil Gould’s are about improving and growing the brand of Phil Gould

      • November 11th 2013 @ 1:00pm
        Dayer said | November 11th 2013 @ 1:00pm | ! Report


    • November 11th 2013 @ 7:40am
      Andy said | November 11th 2013 @ 7:40am | ! Report

      I have enjoyed the commentary a lot more compared to Phil Gould and Ray Warren’s irrelevant small talk that has nothing to do with League.

    • November 11th 2013 @ 8:22am
      rl4eva said | November 11th 2013 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      I mean Ray Warren was bagging out this world cup simply because it wasn’t on Channel 9. Their loyalties aren’t to the game or the fans.

      I can understand why they promote Channel 9 at every turn but their constant negativity about the game is driving viewers away and at the end of the day that’s just bad business.

      Axe Gould, Warren, Vautin and Hadley now

      • November 11th 2013 @ 1:08pm
        Dayer said | November 11th 2013 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

        rl4eva, agree 100% thank god for the MUTE button on the remote.

      • November 11th 2013 @ 6:49pm
        Alvin Purple said | November 11th 2013 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

        rl4eva – exactly mate. To hear Ray Warren make out that he knows nothing about what is going on at the RLWC is a disgrace. The guy would still be calling the races at midweek Gosford race meetings if it was not for RL.

        Channel 9 were so ignorant of the fans they could not bother to get the rights then that is their bad luck. By the way I am reading that the games even those not including Australia are getting quite reasonable viewer numbers. Go the RLWC

        • November 11th 2013 @ 11:49pm
          Mardo Gray said | November 11th 2013 @ 11:49pm | ! Report


    • November 11th 2013 @ 8:42am
      Pot Stirrer said | November 11th 2013 @ 8:42am | ! Report

      Completly agree, i think the biggest difference is comedy in the commentry box is ok if you have something funny to say and that is a problem for CH9. They just try to be funny all the time and it borders on stupidity most times.

    • November 11th 2013 @ 8:45am
      oikee said | November 11th 2013 @ 8:45am | ! Report

      It has been said a long time ago, but the negative calling of the NRL has fans tuning out and walking away.
      Jason Costigan was let go by NZ, and Vossy replaced him. Both are what this game needs, callers with sparkle and life, and hardly a bad word said.
      9 has now got themselves in all sorts of a pickle, fans dont even want to go back to listening to the two muppets and the 3 stooges (freddie joey and locky) , and English fans are dreading the return of Eddie and Stevo.

      I could never understand why Ryan Feelan left foxsports, i have practically stopped watching fox during the week because the shows are ordinary.
      The negative reporting on rugby league not only by commentators, but also by league reporters in papers who are suppposed to be fans of the code. We all know who i mean, i cant mention his name but like a bee sting, you know who he is, i wish he would drop out the bottom and move to soccer.
      The code needs to get rid of the deadwood dinosaurs, as i have said now for 5 to 7 years.
      And they need to bring in the captains challenge and not be fooled into thinking a mega video box for refs will fix the problem. Take the video man out of the spot-light and allow players to make the call of going to the video.
      Anyhow, loving this world cup. Even the floggings are good to watch. nd ireland only got beaten by 50, same as Fiji last world cup, look at them now. They have to be part of the big 4 now, along with Samoa and France, big 6.
      Yes France are not real good at the moment, they will get better.
      I am loving this, and the 4 teams that make Wembley well deserved.

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