Seven reveals its own Olympic team

By David Knox on May 23, 2008 / Filed Under News 2

Seven this week announced its commentary team for the Beijing Olympics.

“We’ve assembled a group whose broadcasting experience and expertise in Olympic sports combines to give Australian viewers front row seats for an Olympic coverage never before seen,” said Saul Shtein, Seven’s Head Of Sport.

Anchoring the coverage are Johanna Griggs, Matthew White and Sandy Roberts who will will direct traffic from their studio in the International Broadcast Centre.

Seven’s daily coverage will begin with an Olympic-flavoured Sunrise, followed by Kylie Gillies and Andrew Daddo with the Beijing-presented Yum Cha. Live Olympics will continue to 6pm when News and Today Tonight intervene. The evening session starts at 7pm and continues to 2am.

Included in Seven’s commentary team are Raelene Boyle, Bruce McAvaney, Steve Moneghetti, Andrew Gaze,Duncan Armstrong, Daniel Kowalski and Peter Donegan.

Commentary for the Opening Ceremony will also include the very experienced Ric Birch and Sonia Kruger. Interestingly, Rebecca Wilson is also on the team.

Press Release:
THE NAMES AT THE GAMES
Seven Announces Beijing Commentary Team
With the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing set to be LIVE on Channel Seven in just under 80 days, the network today confirmed its commentary team.

“We’ve assembled a group whose broadcasting experience and expertise in Olympic sports combines to give Australian viewers front row seats for an Olympic coverage never before seen,” said Saul Shtein, Seven’s Head Of Sport.

“And the biggest technological breakthrough in Olympic television history happens this year when the entire coverage will be telecast in High Definition for the first time in Australia. The quality of hosts and commentators will match that of the pictures.”

Anchoring the coverage will be Johanna Griggs, Matthew White and Sandy Roberts, reprising the roles they performed in Athens which won the network the Golden Rings Award for the Best Olympic Coverage in the world as voted by the IOC, eclipsing broadcasters like America’s NBC and the BBC in England.

They’ll be joined in the studio by versatile network star Andrew Daddo as host of the China-based program Yum Cha and Kylie Gillies, whose popularity has grown leaps and bounds since the launch of Seven’s ratings winner, The Morning Show.

Griggs, Roberts and White will direct traffic from their studio in the International Broadcast Centre in Beijing’s Olympic Green and take viewers to all parts of the country and as far as Hong Kong for coverage of the equestrian competition. And at each location, Seven will have commentators ready to bring the action home, hopefully with Australian athletes leading the pack.

Closest to Seven’s broadcast base at the IBC are two of the most breathtaking Olympic venues ever built: the Water Cube for the swimming competition and the Bird’s Nest, officially called the National Stadium, venue for the opening and closing ceremonies and the track and field competition.

These two venues will be home for Australia’s master caster Bruce McAvaney, who again faces the Herculean task of being the voice for both sports. But his support team is better than ever. Joining Bruce at the pool is Olympic gold medallist and accomplished swimming commentator Duncan Armstrong, while at the pool deck another former gold medallist, Daniel Kowalski, joins Seven for his first Olympic commentary role. Daniel will be the first person to greet the swimmers as they leave the pool following their events.

When Bruce ventures across to the Bird’s Nest, he’ll meet a commentary team also boasting a wealth of Olympic glory and experience. Olympic silver medallist Raelene Boyle, Olympic gold medallist Steve Ovett, World Championship medallist Steve Moneghetti and Olympic finalist David Culbert bring years of athletic and broadcasting experience to the microphone and can’t wait to share that experience with millions of Australian viewers.

There is a combination of world class broadcasters and world class experts who have competed at the highest level evident at almost every venue: Kerri Pottharst and Julien Prosser at beach volleyball; Lauren Burns at taekwondo; Andrew Gaze and Rachael Sporn at basketball; Dean Pullar at diving; Debbie Watson at water polo; Phil Liggett and Mike Turtur at cycling; Rechelle Hawkes and David Wansbrough at hockey; Nick Green at rowing, Damian Brown at weightlifting; Kerri Tepper at table tennis and Greg Welch at triathlon are just some of the former superstar athletes who will join Seven’s commentary team for this project, which has been some seven years in the planning.

And with a viewer friendly timeslot only two hours behind Australian eastern time, Seven will broadcast from 9.30am each morning – after an Olympic flavoured Sunrise program – until 2am the following morning.

This will be complemented by Seven News at 6pm and Today Tonight at 6.30pm in each state on every day of the Games.

Seven is also responsible for producing the complementary Olympic coverage on SBS, which will air each day beginning at 11am and concluding at 2am the following morning, again only interrupted by news commitments.

Add four hours per day of highlights on Yahoo!7 and mobile coverage on Telstra Big Pond and Australians will have access to the most comprehensive and stunning games coverage ever.

Seven Commentary Team
Beijing 2008

Hosts
Andrew Daddo, Kylie Gillies, Johanna Griggs, Sandy Roberts, Matthew White

Ceremonies
Ric Birch, Sonia Kruger, Bruce McAvaney, Sandy Roberts, Rebecca Wilson

Archery
Eddie Butler
Athletics
Raelene Boyle, David Culbert, Bruce McAvaney, Steve Moneghetti, Steve Ovett, Pat Welsh
Badminton
Peter Blackburn, Kerryn Pratt
Basketball
Chris Dittmar, Andrew Gaze, Rachael Sporn, Basil Zempilas
Beach Volleyball
David Culbert, Kerri Pottharst, Julien Prosser
Boxing
Jim Neilly, Richie Woodhall
Canoe-Kayak
Peter Colquhoun, Michael Felgate, Tom Williams, Basil Zempilas
Cycling
Peter Colquhoun, Neil Kearney, Phil Liggett, Mike Turtur
Diving
Peter Donegan, Dean Pullar
Equestrian
Simon Marshall, Garry Wilkinson
Football
Gordon Bray, Mike McCann
Gymnastics
Liz Chetkovich, Simon Reeve
Handball
Peter Colquhoun, Michael Felgate, Darryl McCormack
Hockey
Gordon Bray, David Christison, Rechelle Hawkes, David Wansbrough
Judo
Nicola Fairbrother, Nick Mullins
Rowing
Michael Felgate, Nick Green, Basil Zempilas
Sailing
Nick McCallum, Shirley Robertson, Richard Simmons
Shooting
Gordon Bray
Softball
Joyce Lester, Kerryn Pratt
Swimming
Duncan Armstrong, Daniel Kowalski, Bruce McAvaney
Table Tennis
Peter Donegan, Kerri Tepper
Taekwondo
Gordon Bray, Lauren Burns
Tennis
Peter Donegan, Kerryn Pratt, Garry Wilkinson
Triathlon
David Culbert, Daniel Kowalski, Phil Liggett, Steve Moneghetti, Greg Welch
Volleyball
Jonathan Fogarty, Mike McCann
Water Polo
Jon Harker, Debbie Watson
Weightlifting
Damian Brown, Peter Colquhoun, Pat Welsh

2 Comments »

  1. tori May 24, 2008 at 3:44 am -

    gee talk about a male heavy commentary team, they really in 7 years couldn’t find a female to commentate on the swimming

    looking at the rest of the list i am actually shocked that they don’t have a man commentating the softball, how decent of them

  2. Tassiegal May 23, 2008 at 11:43 pm -

    Nice to see they have ALL the sports covered (NOT!). Once again fencing is obvious by its absence.

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