Online broadcasting a boost for women's football | radioinfo

Online broadcasting a boost for women's football

Thursday 10 September, 2015
Photo: Girl's Play Footy Facebook page

After the positive response Women's Aussie Rules has received since its first televised match by Channel 7 in August, this Sunday afternoon will see the conclusion of the first full season of broadcasting women's footy by online broadcaster Girls Play Footy Radio.
 
The concept, created last year by Peter Holden (ex-4VL, 4HI, Power FM and Classic Rock), saw a team of anywhere between two to four volunteer broadcasters this year cover not only the Victorian Women's Football League match of the day, but also two AFL Women's Exhibition Matches and three state representative matches, along with over thirty podcasts.
 
Holden explained that thanks to mobile technology, all the commentary team requires is a power point and they can broadcast from almost anywhere.
 
“Last year when we first started out doing trial broadcasts, I recall us one morning calling a lower division women's match on a park bench in Port Melbourne” Holden laughed.
 
“Truth be told, our online audience that day you could have probably fit in a telephone booth, however it would a good exercise to prove that we could broadcast from literally anywhere”.
 
Initially conducting trial broadcasts last year under the league's branding, including six Grand Finals, the radio commentary team broke away this year and aligned with the independent women's football website GirlsPlayFooty.com  
 
The website's co-founder and editor, Matt Marsden, said having the commentary team come on board was not only a massive boost for the site’s brand, but women's football in general.
 
“Since Peter, Daniel (Hill) and Matthew (Cocks) came on board, our social media presence has nothing but sky-rocketed” Marsden explained.
 
“We originally had about 1,500 likes on our Facebook page, before the boys joined us in March.
 
“Since then we have jumped to 4,000, which to put into context, is more than double the amount of likes Fairfax's 'The Age Sport' Facebook page has!"
 
“This is of course, is based on little to no publicity support from the VWFL, or the AFL for that matter, just Peter and the team's pure hard work and professionalism”.
 
 Holden, who has been involved in commercial and community radio for now on 20 years, said the decision to go independent was a difficult decision, but ultimately satisfying.
 
“When I discussed my thoughts with my co-commentators, it was clear that there was more pros than cons when going independent”
explained Holden.
 
“Under a league's banner, things are restrictive. You can only approach certain sponsors, they can over-rule who you want on your commentary team, they are super-sensitive because it's their brand, and at times in the past assisting other leagues, a broadcast can suffer because of it.
 
“By being independent, this year we're able to just focus on the VWFL's Premier Division (the league's top flight), rotate through a number of current and past female players in the special comments role without restriction and become innovative in how we broadcast."
 
“In the end it was easy to break away because I created the concept, I owned the broadcast gear and I was paying for both the mobile broadband and web streaming.
 
The broadcast gear Holden refers to is fairly simplistic. One laptop, a small mixer, four second-hand headsets, associated cables and a 4G mobile broadband dongle.
 
“The great thing now about online broadcasting is how little it costs.”
 

“Excluding the laptop, everything cost a few hundred dollars all up and this year I managed to get some wireless microphones for just $80, so we can now do interviews out on the ground."

Girls Play Footy Radio – VWFL Premier Division Grand Final Broadcast: Darebin v Diamond Creek

On-air from 1.30pm via www.girlsplayfooty.com and the Tune In app – search for Girls Play Footy.
 

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