Macquarie Sports Radio axes talk programming amid Nine takeover
Macquarie Sports Radio has struggled to secure meaningful ratings since its launch in 2018, and now Macquarie Media has made the decision to axe all talk programming on the network.
Contrary to a report in the Daily Telegraph reports that suggests Macquarie is pulling the plug on its all-sport network, a statement from Macquarie Media Limited chair, Russell Tate, says the station will continue to broadcast sports coverage over the summer.
“Macquarie Media Limited today announced that development of its Macquarie Sports Radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be paused and reviewed over the summer months and that the current schedule of sport talk programs will cease as of 11pm, Friday 1 November,” said Tate, in the statement provided to Radio Today.
Tate went on to explain that cricket and football will continue to broadcast as usual, while news updates will be provided on the network from Macquarie National News services.
“Over the coming months, Macquarie Sports Radio will continue live sport broadcasts including all scheduled Test Match, BBL, One-Day Internationals & International T20 Cricket matches as well as its English Premier League coverage,” he said.
“The stations will draw an increased amount of content from local and international partners, including Macquarie Media’s News Talk stations and Nine, and will continue to access Macquarie National News services for constantly updated sporting news.”
The decision follows Nine’s buyout of Macquarie Media’s parent company Fairfax, and the recent departure of Macquarie Media chief executive Adam Lang.
Macquarie Sports Radio replaced the ‘Talking Lifestyle’ format across three terrestrial stations (Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne) in April last year, and on digital radio in Perth, but the format has been dogged by lineup changes with several well-known sports presenters over the past 18 months.
The network has consistently posted low ratings, with several shows and timeslots rating as low as an asterisk in GfK ratings surveys during its time in existence.