Story: Sports reporting and commentating

Page 7. Television highlights

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Famous televised moments

Television coverage has defined moments of joy and heartbreak for New Zealanders and New Zealand teams. These include:

  • The 1972 New Zealand rowing eight stand on the dais at the Munich Olympic Games after their gold-medal-winning final (not seen live).
  • Dick Tayler jumps for joy after winning the 10,000 metres track final at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch.
  • Australian cricketer Trevor Chappell bowls underarm in the last ball of a one-day game against New Zealand in 1981.
  • Anti-apartheid protesters invade the field to stop the Waikato game against the Springboks in 1981 (not seen live in New Zealand at the time, but broadcast frequently later).
  • Jonah Lomu scores four tries against England in a Rugby World Cup semi-final in Cape Town in 1995.
  • Black Magic wins the America’s Cup in San Diego in 1995.
  • Mark Todd and Charisma win their second gold medal at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
  • David Kirk in 1987 and Richie McCaw in 2011 hold up the Webb Ellis Cup after the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup triumphs.

Notable television commentators

Since the early 1970s television broadcasters have made significant tours and trips with New Zealand sports teams. The most notable rugby commentator has been Keith Quinn, who began his career as a television commentator in 1973 and travelled with the All Blacks on over 30 tours. Other well-known rugby commentators include Tony Johnson, John McBeth and Grant Nisbet.

Important cricket commentators include former cricketers Martin Crowe, Simon Doull, Mark Richardson and Ian Smith, as well as Peter Williams. Peter Montgomery achieved fame as the voice of America’s Cup yachting, and by 2012 he, along with Keith Quinn and Brendan Telfer, had attended his ninth summer Olympic Games. Former netball players Julie Coney, April Ieremia and Jenny-May Coffin have established reputations as television presenters, and former Black Fern Melodie Robinson as a rugby reporter.

1987 Rugby World Cup

The 1987 Rugby World Cup was the first example of New Zealand TV staff providing major ‘host’ coverage for world TV stations that had sent production representatives to New Zealand. The final was broadcast worldwide via TVNZ coverage to an audience of 5 million people. The game at Eden Park, Auckland, was covered by 14 cameras, directed by Michael Scott of Auckland.

2011 Rugby World Cup

By 2011 the world of TV had changed enormously, with high-definition cameras, lengthy video and slow-motion replays, extended fishing-pole cameras and overhead camera views of significant moments from 48 games. Sky TV were the rights holders and brought great distinction to New Zealand in the TV craft. The event was offered live via 38 cameras. The director of the World Cup final coverage was the veteran Wellington TV director Gavin Service, who had been touring with All Black teams since 1978.

How to cite this page:

Keith Quinn, 'Sports reporting and commentating - Television highlights', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/sports-reporting-and-commentating/page-7 (accessed 15 November 2018)

Story by Keith Quinn, published 5 Sep 2013