ABC breaks away from commercial mob, gets new Football show
The Marngrook Footy Show has won a lot of fans over the last four years, offering serious Australian Rules Football talk with good humour minus the vulgarity of Channel Nine’s big budget car-crash stalwart, The Footy Show.
The show will go after football-loving families, and will be screened on Wednesdays at 7:30pm before moving to Thursday nights. The show deconstructs the game like most sports variety programs, but also maintains a focus on indigenous players, culture and history.
ABC TV’s head of sports Justin Holdforth tells Marketing magazine the show reestablishes why the ABC is so different to the commercial networks.
“My view is this is a footy show about footy from a perspective that the commercial networks would never attempt,” Holdforth says. “It will become a major point of difference in that sense, while still participating in Football, a big part of Australian culture.”
Holdforth says the show is ready for a national audience and definitely has mass appeal.
“It’s a good show. It’s one of those shows that’s had its time building up on community TV,” he tells Marketing magazine. “We saw it and thought, this actually works for us. It has a big point of difference to the other commercial shows, it actually talks about footy, the presenters and guests love footy and they know their stuff. And it’s nice to pay homage to great indigenous players, past and present.”
Acquiring the show is also a clever way of engaging in popular sport while never standing a chance for serious broadcast rights.
“We still suffer from the fact we can’t afford major sporting rights,” Holdforth says. “So we’ve had a strategy very much focused on women’s sports and Paralympic sport. We’re trying to broaden the strategy and this show is part of that.”