Triple M will rock cricket again after Cricket Australia and the FM network finalised a three-year partnership for men’s international cricket in Australia.
Triple M first introduced cricket to commercial FM radio in Australia in 2016/17 and then in 2017/18 which was the last time The Ashes were played here.
The SCA radio network will kick off its coverage with what is shaping up as an epic 2021-22 Vodafone Ashes series from December 8 at The Gabba in Brisbane alongside every Test and One-Day International match.
Cricket fans in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth will be able to tune in to their local station and all games will be available to live stream via the LiSTNR app. This is the first time it will be on Perth radio as back in 2017/18 there was no Triple M Perth station.
Mike Fitzpatrick, head of Triple M, told Mediaweek: “We were all so proud of what we created with Triple M Cricket during the last Ashes series and to have it back on FM is a bonus for our loyal listeners as well as cricket fans across the country.”
He added the SCA sales team is already talking with potential sponsors. “There has been significant demand for more cricket from partners and listeners who often ask when is the cricket coming back.
“The cricket fills the space between our winter sports NRL and AFL.”
The arrival of LiSTNR this year means wherever cricket fans go this summer they can take the cricket coverage with them. Fitzpatrick noted that border closures aside, a road trip from Cairns to Kalgoorlie or Perth to Penrith means the trip could be accompanied by Triple M cricket the entire way.
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s CEO, said: “We’re incredibly excited to have cricket back on FM radio in Australia, giving fans a wide range of options to enjoy what promises to be one of the biggest summers of cricket ever.”
“Triple M is an industry leader in sports entertainment and we’re looking forward to hearing their unique take on cricket, for the first time since the 2017/18 Ashes.”
A big attraction for listeners during the last Ashes Tour was the commentary cricket team Fitzpatrick assembled. The team included James Brayshaw, Mark Howard, Isa Guha, Gus Worland, Mick Molloy, Lawrence Mooney and HG Nelson. While some of them still work for Triple M, JB, Howie and Isa Guha are integral to the Seven and Fox Cricket commentary teams.
Fitzpatrick told Mediaweek to standby for commentary announcements closer to the start of the test matches.
The cricket announcement rounds out the Australian broadcast line-up for the upcoming summer, with Triple M joining radio partners Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) and the ABC alongside broadcasters Foxtel, Seven and Kayo.
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick and his football commentary teams have been juggling coverage of the NRL and AFL seasons with scheduling changes now a regular part of the Covid-impacted winter.
“Changing a broadcasting venue is not as big a hassle for us as it is for the NRL and the AFL,” he said. “All we can do is ensure we are supporting our partners in what is an incredibly challenging time for them.”
See also from 2016: Triple M signs a two-year deal with Cricket Australia