radioinfo seeks opinions on this season’s radio cricket commentary.
As rain fell at the SCG during the 4th test, the bars filled up and, as the drinks flowed, talk turned to radio cricket commentary.
This season there are three major radio networks doing live coverage of the Ashes Cricket Test series: ABC Radio, SEN and Triple M. We gathered a selection of observers, who are regular radio cricket listeners and asked them for their views on this year’s coverage.
The observers are knowledgeable about cricket and regular consumers of sport on radio and tv. Here are their thoughts.
Best ball by ball callers from a technical and accuracy point of view
Jim Maxwell is still up there.
Brad Haddin is getting much better and provides a lot of technical commentary not just on his specialist wicket-keeping role but overall.
Mark Taylor is very good with technical comments on all facets and has the advantage of captaincy experience to pass on.
Most entertaining/amusing commentators
Andy Lee and Dan Ginane
Most interesting commentators (stats, stories, etc)
Dan Ginane and Mark Taylor
The sound of the coverage, things such as background sound effects, crowd noise, etc
Triple M – crowd noise & stump mike sounds are very well integrated into the commentary.
There is softer background sound while talking and then it is raised after the ball or when they want to feature what is happening on the pitch.
ABC – clear, easy to listen to talking, but not enough sounds from the ground
SEN – Good balance of ground sounds and commentators
It would be good to have umpire mics and other technical innovations to match the visual innovations that have come in on tv over the years.
Commercial commentary – do the ads spoil the coverage, are they integrated seamlessly.
“Coopers Mild Ale Triple M Rocks Cricket” integrated advertising slogan is said pretty seamlessly at every break in commentary.
Triple M’s full ads during the commentary are pretty good, using some of the commentators in several of them.
SEN has lots of ads, some heard during this Sydney test are specifically Victorian and not relevant to NSW.
SEN seems to have the most advertisers, although maybe they have lots of small advertisers while Triple M has fewer advertisers, but they seem to be bigger national brands.
SEN advertisers seem to be getting more mentions for their regular slogans, but I prefer the way Triple M are doing it.
Comparing radio coverage with tv
The radio commentators are more detailed, the TV commentators rely very much on live action and replays.
Radio would receive a boost in listeners when Shane Warne comes on to Foxtel commentary, I turn him down.
The timing of the radio commentary is out of sync with tv. It you want to listen on radio and watch on TV it is difficult to put radio on and watch.
Going through the Cricket Australia Live App is the best way to change around watching or listening as they have Kayo, ABC, SEN and MMM options which are easy to switch between. I have not tried to go direct to each radio apps or through Listnr to compare as I found using CA app so easy I did not experiment with other ways.
Commentators – a range of views for and against
Mark Howard (Howie) – very good anchor and interesting commentator. Feeds his ex-cricketer commentary team very well for their comments.
Dan Ginane – the best anchor of all commentary teams. Dan is an exceptional sporting commentator. He works very well with all of his on air team providing them the opportunities for their technical or colour comments but also provides his own opinions and humour.
Mark Taylor (Tubby) – has shown a lot more than what we saw from his channel 9 TV commentary. He is very comfortable and professional in this medium but has now also introduced humour and well placed stories of himself with humility and others with humour.
James Brayshaw – professional operator, consistent in his manner and methods.
Brad Haddin – works in comfortably with the various team members and has improved over the past couple of seasons with his BBL experience and now radio.
Isabelle Westbury (Issy) – anchors well and takes being “the Pom” in the team very well.
Callum Ferguson – pleasing inclusion. Has been trialled over the past few seasons miked up while playing in the BBL which impressed and has moved into the “non-playing” commentary role very well. Has good technical comments.
Andy Lee – fits in very well with the “expert” commentators and introduced the usual Andy cheeky humour, questions and topics for discussion – a very wise choice to be included. He did not have a lot of air time, it seems he was only allocated on day 1 of the SCG test.
Sadly, they do not compare well with other options, they seem to be in a bit of a time warp.
Jim Maxwell continues his knowledge and broadcasting skills but does not compare favourably with the more modern yet still skilled commentary teams.
Jim Maxwell is a legend, we love him. Amazing to hear that he is still so good even after a stroke.
Summer isn’t summer without cricket from the ABC. I don’t like the ads on the other channels.
Andrew Moore is a great host for the summary grandstand shows at the end of each day, he is good with callers.
Ian Chappell is awful and worse than ever – continues to be fed opportunities to reflect on 1960’s stories and how the game was better then (it might have been, but he puts listeners offside with such a one-sided view)
Ian Chappell is so negative in his analysis… sorry Chappelli, time to enjoy retirement.
Commentators Adam Collins and Anthony Hudson are very good.
Gerard Whately provides a very knowledgeable and measured ball-by-ball commentary. In this role he is very pleasing to listen to and is a good fit for his technical ability. He is able to be calm while calling, but bring up the excitement in his voice as required.
There were additional comments from an Indian gentleman (name not detailed on the website) – he was average.