Indigenous AFL show The Marngrook Footy Show has been axed by ABC2 due to costs, low ratings and competition.
Staff were informed by ABC2 managers today that due to the expense of the Live TV show, plus an increase in the number of Thursday football shows contributed to the decision.
“We gave it two seasons we tried it in a new slot this year, but we will not be giving it a third season,” the ABC’s spokeperson Lesna Thomas told Fairfax.
“ABC2 has limited resources and it was by far the most expensive program ABC2 produced.
“There has been a big increase in the number of shows. There are now 18 shows for AFL and seven of them are on a Thursday night.
“The audience was not strong and we tried changing time slots for it … the reality is the network tried with limited resources to make it work and we have to make tough decisions on limited resources and budgets.”
Marngrook was signed by the ABC two years ago. It aired in an 8:30pm Thursday slot, but moved to 7:30pm for a handful of its final episodes this year.
Executive producer and host Grant Hansen said, “We are disappointed with the decision naturally and we don’t see how the ABC could claim ratings as a reason not to go ahead.
“Our program is unique, no one is going to knock off Channel Nine’s show but we were a point of difference with black and white fellas sitting together and enjoying ourselves talking about a shared passion.”
Marngrook began on community radio station 3CR in the mid 1990s. After 10 years it moved to NITV and Channel 31, filming at RMIT and Deakin University before being added to ABC2 with regulars Gilbert McAdam, Ronnie Burns, Chris Johnson, Leila Gurruwiwi, Shelley Ware and Grant Hansen.
When TV Tonight visited the show in July Grant Hansen said, “It’s got a huge following and it’s become the people’s choice of their favourite football show.
“The ratings only cover a certain amount in major cities. It doesn’t cover Darwin, Alice Springs, Tasmania, the regional areas or the islands –the bulk of our audience comes from those kinds of places.”
It isn’t clear if the show might be thrown a lifeline by NITV, joining SBS next month.