Friday, 14 May 2010

Radio Sports NZ not to send team to Delhi

New Zealand's radio rights holder for the Commonwealth Games, Radio Sport, plans to commentate from broadcast booths in Auckland, not from trackside or poolside in Delhi.

The station's programme director, Chris Gregory, is adamant that the decision not to send a full team to India, but instead cover events from a studio 12,500km away, won't affect listeners.

The station will have only two staff reporters, to file news stories, in India during the Games in October.

But Gregory denied the station was "forced" into reduced coverage, saying: "We haven't been forced into anything. It's a big part of our programme for this year, but, like any business, we have got to be prudent on how we approach it and take on wider concerns about security and the event itself."

However, Gregory confirmed: "We've got commentary teams calling from audio-visual feeds. I don't think it does [reduce the listeners' experience], the perception that someone is not there.

"The reality is we are using people on the ground, and we are not compromised in terms of commentary because we will have the best commentators in their specialist field to cover the events, whether they are there or not. We comment on a lot of stuff on a day-to-day basis when we are not there, it is the nature of radio – we don't have to verify where we are."

Gregory said the station had previously covered netball finals and rugby league tests remotely, but said it had sent bigger teams to the Commonwealth Games in the past. The Sunday Star-Times understands the station has decided only breakfast newsreader Rikki Swannell and reporter Brenton Vannisselroy will be sent to Delhi.

Sky Sport boss Kevin Cameron did not return calls to discuss how his network, which holds the television rights, would cover the event.


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