If you could create the perfect radio station...


I’ve been thinking about Macquarie Sports Radio over the Christmas break and given the recent change in ownership due to the Fairfax/Nine merger there’s opportunity for a complete format change of the stations 954/1278/882.

Rename the network with Nine branding: Radio 9

0600-0900: Wide World of Sports Breakfast (same format as current MSR breakfast show with localised versions into Melbourne and Sydney)
0900-1130: 90s at Nine (Good use of the 9 in the branding, 90s music at work)
1130-1200: Simulcast of the 9 Morning News
1200-1400: Lunchtime music programming with interviews and flashbacks to old top 40 charts. Hosted by Barry Bissell and Keven Hillier.
1400-1600: Wide World of Sports Drive (mix of music and sport talk back hosted by Mark Allen and David Schwarz)
1600-1700: Simulcast of the local 9 News at 4pm
1700-1800: Talkback of the day’s news events hosted by a 9 News presenter. Good opportunity for cross-promotion on 9 News.
1800-1900: Simulcast of the local 9 News at 6pm
1900-2200: Replay “best of the day” content from 2GB/4BC/3AW/6PR with a mix of music.
2200-0000: Replay of Money News with Ross Greenwood
0000-0600: Overnight music and live sport (eg. EPL)


I can’t say I’d listen, but it does meet the criteria of being relatively low cost and hopefully the lunchtime music session wouldn’t fall foul of the rumoured 2CH sale clause of “no music”.

The two main challenges - I don’t see how it would drag in new listeners and many sports rights broadcast deals are multi year contracts and therefore the dollars may already be locked in.


I’d suggest it would still provide live sport on weekends and over night. For example just like in 2018 - 2GB’s call of SOO and the NRL grand final into Melbourne, AFL Nation into Sydney and Brisbane and Test Cricket and Big Bash Nation in all markets. It would just not be 100% sport as it is now.

I forgot about this. When does the rumoured clause end I wonder? As the station is not 100% music maybe they’d be exempt anyway.


An intriguing format you have there!

My only thoughts are:

Probably a 70s or 80s music format would be a better fit than 90s as the likely sports audience would be 40+ males

The 5pm 9 News talkback program could erode the 9 News 6pm audience, unless maybe it’s a big news day.

I’m not convinced about the 7pm “best of the day” segment though. An evening talk/music program along the lines of the “Australia By Night” program that SCA does in regional markets might work?

(nb. Assumes that there are no music format restrictions applicable as many here suspect are in force for 954, including moi).


Any restriction on format would have to have a time limit to be enforceable - most likely 2 or 3 years - so it probably won’t be in force for much longer if it does indeed exist.


I feel it is almost a restraint of trade in my view to restrict a format. Once you buy a station it should be no strings attached. Like the old days you buy a radio only listen to one station?


That’s why it can only be for a “reasonable” short period of time, and the conditions are essentially paid for by the purchaser in the sale price.

For example, if you were to sell a pizza shop the contract would probably say something like you couldn’t open another competing store within 5kms in the next year - with such a clause, the shop sell for more money than without it.

With specific conditions that have an end date, it’s more selling the right to avoid that competition than restraint of trade (which in most cases is illegal).


Thanks thats a good way of putting it.

However, I guess if you open a pirate station would agree with this, but not a big city like Sydney, as the market is not just restricted to a small area in Sydney, like a pizza shop would be. And no music stations are exactly the same.

But lots of gentlemans agreements between media giants, like the one Seven did with Foxtel (or vice versa), with coverage on mens international one day & T20 cricket only being on pay tv. I think this was similar. It might not be legally binding.