Channel 9 & Stan have made some progress recently. First up was the rights deal they won back in November. When Stan Sport was first mentioned. While able to get one Super Rugby live game every Saturday simulcast with Nine.
Then they hired their first off-air manager position. In which his name is Murray Shaw. An ex-Fox Sports employee who looked after their soccer coverage for 12 years. Before he was let go by Foxtel in late 2019. And he comes from freelance.
As well as the first on-air announcer in Andrew Swain. Well he will only be the secondary caller. Whenever the main caller is unavailable. Not only he will be behind the microphone. Andrew will also be producing the games on Nine/Stan.
Andrew came from Fox Sports where he called rugby for years. Including Super Rugby as a 3rd caller. Before promoted to deputy caller last year. As well as producer for the big games whenever he was available. And he did call the historic All Blacks v Argentina game. Where I was on-site in Parramatta two months ago.
While the main callers will not be tried and tested. Such as Gordon Bray (Network 10) and Greg Clark (Fox Sports). Sean Maloney is widely expected to take the top job. He is an a la Scotty Stevenson who was mainly the deputy caller for many years. Just behind Clark at Fox Sports. Before he was let go after 2019.
But Sean remains as one of the popular people in Australian rugby. Not just his commentary style. He also gets along with the fans & ex-players. In which strengths the community in this sport. Having seen him appear on the Aussie Rugby Show last year weekly. And called Shute Shield games at the same time. Now he gets to lead Nine/Stan at the first opportunity.
He will be present at the Saturday night Super Rugby games on Nine. Plus Friday nights on Stan alone as always. Unless some specific games are not important for Sean. As well as every Wallabies game home/away. And Shute Shield if needed.
We also found a bit more about the Stan Sports price service. Now you cannot watch it alone. Unless it is a basic $10 a month subscription. In which is required to watch TV shows/Movies. Before you can subscribe the sports pack for another $10.
It might sound a little closer to what we pay for Kayo Sports. But Nine has to get some investment in return. We would love to just pay the $10 a month for all content including sport. It is just how they structure their business model. Because paying $100 million for three years is a lot.
And Nine/Stan will have their in-house hub for the Wallabies/Super Rugby. While the Club games will be handled by Rugby Australia. But have a mixed of Nine/Stan and freelance talent. Now the tables turn on the ex-player pundits. Followed by the host for the pre/mid/full-time live shows.
The hosting part is very interesting with James Bracey & Erin Molan. But expect them to stick on someone who knows union inside out. And Nick McArdle is the best fit. Also an ex-Fox Sports rugby employee for 12 years. Before he was made redundant after the 2019 season.