Goulburn Valley Football League's grand finals are to be streamed live worldwide on the league's website.By Marc McGowan
Goulburn Valley Football League’s major football finals are going global.
The senior preliminary final on September 22 and all three grand finals on September 29 will be streamed live with commentary on the league website in a ground-breaking move.
No other country competition has broadcast live matches on the internet, but Goulburn Valley league officials voted unanimously on Sunday to present games to a worldwide audience.
League general manager Keith Wellman exclusively told The News yesterday it was an exciting new frontier for the competition.
‘‘We’re very happy to be involved in it,’’ Wellman said.
‘‘It’s a great promotion of the league and we’re right behind anything that promotes the league.
‘‘We are excited to be taking the game to the world through the internet.’’
Award-winning radio commentators David Fox, John ‘‘JR’’ Ryan and Gary ‘‘Nipper’’ Harvey will headline the broadcast.
They will call the senior preliminary final and grand final, with Graeme Byrns involved in the half-time coverage and Ted O’Connor the boundary rider.
Byrns, Andrew Hepworth and Richard Warburton will cover the reserves decider, while Mario de Santa-ana, Jason Wells and Brendan Bicknell will commentate the under-18s grand final.
Fox will also be the master of ceremonies for the league’s football and netball medal counts at Mooroopna’s Sir Ian McLennan Centre on September 16.
‘‘I’m absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity we’ve been given,’’ Fox said.
‘‘I’m also really thrilled to be doing the Morrison Medal night and this just tops off what’s been a great year in sport for me after being replaced (as One FM sports director).
‘‘To be back in the mainstream of the best competition in the country is a huge thrill.’’
Fox, Ryan, Harvey and Byrns started a weekly online Goulburn Valley Football League program this year called the GV Footy Show, which has had website hits in 16 different countries.
The introduction of that program and the live Sporting Pulse scoreboard service resulted in an extra 142
Four cameras — two in the Deakin Reserve grandstand, one in the broadcast box and one on the boundary line — will broadcast the action.
Any device that can access the internet will be able to tune into the free-of-charge broadcast, which will have a two-and-a-half minute delay.
Five production staff will be involved in the process and it is the same team which live streamed last year’s Ironman 70.3 Shepparton and will again in November.
Ryan said being involved in this innovation was one of the highlights of his 51-year broadcast, playing and coaching involvement in football.
‘‘I’ve been doing the footy show on radio for 10 or 12 years and this is probably the most exciting thing I’ve ever done,’’ Ryan said.
‘‘We’ve been fortunate enough to win best match day calls and the best footy show two or three times, but to do this is something really special and a way forward.’’
A replay of the senior grand final will be available on YouTube later the same night by searching for ‘‘GV Footy Show’’, while the preliminary final and other deciders will likely be accessible the following day.
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