Trax FM call it a day on local football broadcast

CENTRAL OVAL: Woody, Joel, Buddy and Mick commentating the 2018 Spencer Gulf League Grand Final for Trax FM. Photo: Graham Johnston.
CENTRAL OVAL: Woody, Joel, Buddy and Mick commentating the 2018 Spencer Gulf League Grand Final for Trax FM. Photo: Graham Johnston.

Claims of unfair treatment have forced local radio station Trax FM to call it a day on their popular Spencer Gulf Football League (SGL) broadcast.

Denied access to the "media room" and citing unsafe means of broadcasting at the newly renovated Memorial Oval in Port Pirie, a decision has been made by Trax FM to discontinue all coverage.

Trax FM Secretary Graham Johnston said they were advised by the SGL "without any consultation" that the room they requested use of would be unavailable on game days.

They were given the option of broadcasting from facilities in the grandstand, but have deemed them unsafe.

"We could not start broadcasting in Pirie, because the position the league wanted us to broadcast in is not suitable for broadcasting for many reasons," he said.

"We are currently working through the issues with our council and the management of the sports precinct, both of whom have been very supportive of our activities.

"If the issues can be resolved, we may be able to resume broadcasting late in the season. If not then football broadcasting may not happen at all."

Left with no safe means of broadcasting at Memorial Oval, and covering SGL only at Central Oval and Port Oval, Mr Johnston said it would increase costs for volunteers and leave gaps in coverage.

"Trax FM has enjoyed bringing the broadcasts to our listeners over the last 6 years," he said.

"We are an all volunteer organisation, we pay all our own expenses to get in to the grounds each week, including fuel.

"The various clubs have been fantastic and they provide the commentators. We provide and operate the broadcasting facilities completely at our own expense."

SGL president Les Promnitz said the area which has been requested by Trax FM is the designated scoreboard and timekeepers room.

Mr Promnitz said the SGL have provided alternative options for Trax FM and is disappointed with their attitude.

"I don't think they really want to do it," he said.

"The grandstand and the old timekeepers box is perfect.

"It was alright for Port Adelaide, an AFL side, to go up there and use them. It was big enough for their entire coaching panel, it's air conditioned and it's been revamped by the council."

While Mr Promnitz said the offer still stands for Trax FM to broadcast from other areas around the ground, Trax FM have opted to focus on other sports for the time being.

They will be broadcasting the Division 3 A Savoy soccer match this coming Sunday.

Although Mr Promnitz is dubious over popularity of the Trax FM SGL broadcast, the decision to end the program has brought disappointment to locals.

"There's plenty of times where I've been driving back from Adelaide or Whyalla and I've been able to flick it on and listen to what's happening with the A Grade," Daniel Collins said.

"They give scores around the region as well when people text in their updates from the Hills League and the Whyalla League.

"It gives you all the footy information in one spot so it's really disappointing not to be able to have access to that information for sure."

This story Trax FM call it a day on local football broadcast first appeared on The Transcontinental.