The sun must be cooling down or something, because the unthinkable is going to happen this year, Eddie McGuire will be calling football matches on Seven .
A QUIRK of the anti-siphoning laws and the new AFL broadcasting agreement will mean Eddie McGuire is likely to be heard calling a handful of games on Channel 7 this year.
While none of those games will be shown in Melbourne, the fact that non-Victorian AFL teams must be shown on free-to-air in their respective states means the Seven stations in those cities will take the Fox Footy feed on a few occasions.
McGuire, the face of Fox Footy as well as retaining a key role at Channel 9 with Millionaire Hot Seat, could feature in some games shown on Seven in Perth and Adelaide, as well as on 7mate in Sydney and Brisbane.
This will only happen outside Victoria, but basically it means that any time that Seven have to air a match containing a “local” team for which they don’t have the direct broadcast rights, they will have to source the game from Fox, and every time they do that, there is a chance that Eddie McGuire will turn up in commentary.
Seven and Ten had to source games from Fox like this in the previous broadcast agreement as well. Ten usually opted for taking the full Fox coverage including having the Fox commentators host it, whereas Seven opted for having a couple people sit in a studio in Melbourne or Perth host the coverage and only take the actual game from Fox. It’s good to see that this provision was retained in the new agreement (even if it means that, for someone like me who supports a “non local” team, I have less chance of seeing my team on free-to-air television), although I have to wonder if Seven would have fought this provision had they known that Fox were going to sign Eddie.
Just quickly on the subject of strange things happening at Seven. While I’m sure that Seven will be glad that their decision to take a risk on airing the Men’s Final of the Australian Open live in to Perth paid off last night with the match going on for long enough to ensure that they had strong tennis ratings all night, their Perth newsroom must have been a tad put out by it all. Seven decided that, in order to accommodate the live tennis, Seven News in Perth would have to wait until the Tennis was over, which they tentatively schedule for 7:30pm Perth time (10:30pm eastern)…instead, due to the really long match, it didn’t start until 11pm Perth time (2am eastern). It gives a whole new meaning to “more at eleven”…and I think it’s a first too. The six o’clock news, tonight at eleven, only on Seven!