Australian broadcaster Sports Entertainment Network has lined up presenters including Brendon McCullum and Ian Smith to front its New Zealand sports radio station SENZ, with a launch planned for next month.
The ASX-listed broadcast group will kick off its national NZ network on July 19, SEN chief executive Craig Hutchison confirmed at a press conference this morning.
The launch on radio stations across NZ and the SENZ app, will set the tone days out from the re scheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Hutchison said.
Five new broadcast hubs across NZ have been created, in “Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hawke’s Bay, and beyond,” Hutchison said.
“This will be a network by New Zealanders for New Zealanders,” Hutchison added. “We’re so blessed to be an employer in the NZ market, and we look forward to attracting many more men and women to our team.”
Launching in time for the Tokyo Olympics, SENZ will also cover rugby, cricket, racing, and a range of other sports.
The station will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and arrives amid a decline in NZ sports radio output in recent years.
Former Black Cap McCullum will present a breakfast show alongside former All Black Israel Dagg and Louis Herman-Watt. The ex-cricketer said: “We are lucky that this space is going to be occupied by SENZ as it has been vacant for a while.
“It’s such an important step to be able to reach future fans and generations of sportspeople. That can only happen if you’ve got the platform to sell the champions of today.”
SENZ will also feature a morning show hosted by sports broadcaster Ian Smith. Smith will helm a phone-in show between 9 to 12 each day.
The 12 to 4 slot will be hosted by Mark Stafford, the former media manager at TAB. Kirstie Stanway will take the 4 to 7 show four days a week, with Rikki Swannell hosting on Thursdays. They will be joined by 2011 Rugby World Cup winner Stephen Donald.
Hutchison said SENZ would work closely with key partners including NZ Thoroughbred Racing and TAB, which had provided “unbelievable support” so far.
The launch of SENZ marks the first major trans-Tasman play for Sports Entertainment Network, which owns radio, TV, and publishing assets in Australia.
The ASX-listed company’s shares traded at A$0.23 this morning, giving it a market value of roughly $53 million.