Triple M scores NRL rights as 2UE launches new weekend sports show
Sydney’s Triple M will have access to four games of NRL over the season’s weekends and go up against established game broadcasters 2GB and ABC radio’s Grandstand.
Sydney Fairfax Media radio station 2UE will ditch its Saturday and Sunday afternoon general talk back program hosted by Tim Webster in favour of a four hour sports program, hosted by station veteran John Gibbs and Channel Nine Footy Show host Paul Vautin.
The station had been bidding for rights to four NRL weekend games, but lost out to Southern Cross Austereo.
“We wanted the NRL games – that was plan A – but we had a plan B in place and we’ll be presenting a very exciting and topical sports show with two experts helming it,” 2UE general manager Chris Parker told Mumbrella.
The Australian Rugby League Commission was due to announce the new NRL deal next week.
Brisbane’s 4BC will also broadcast the new sports program.
Sources at Southern Cross Austereo confirmed Triple M had secured the rights to the NRL. It will be called by The Grill pair of Matthew Johns and Mark Geyer. Nine caller Ray Warren has worked for Triple M before, but it could not be confirmed if he would be on board for the weekend games, given his commitment to Nine.
2UE’s Parker said he was confident the new 2pm-6pm sports show would have a point of difference to 2GB’s the Continuous Call Team – which features general entertainment as well as sport – and ABC’s Grandstand.
“John Gibbs and Paul Vautin will be taking a lot more talk back calls as well as covering everything that is going on in sport on the weekends, and not mix in general entertainment as others do,” he said of 2GB’s program.
“It will be all about sport.”
John Gibbs said f the show to debut on March 9: “It’s not your typical sports show that only concentrates on one sport – it is a kaleidoscope of all sports.”
The pair replace Tim Webster’s program, who in turn replaced Peter Berner who quit in December after being unhappy with his 2UE experience last year.
Webster remain at 2UE as a fill in host across all shifts, Parker said.