You don’t often see a sports presenter wearing a daffodil on his head.
But a show with such a relaxed approach has won a TV Guide Best on the Box award two years in a row and that shows viewer preferences are changing, says a media academic.
The quirky weeknight Prime show The Crowd Goes Wild, hosted by Andrew Mulligan, and sometime-daffodil-wearer Mark Richardson, last week won the people’s choice award for Best Sports Show, after also winning it last year.
Dr Margaret Henley, who teaches television sports journalism at the University of Auckland, says in the past New Zealanders tended to take sport extremely seriously.
There were very serious analytical discussions about sport and people needed to be quite knowledgeable to take part and enjoy that discussion.
She says shows like The Crowd Goes Wild are targeting young people who enjoy a more relaxed approach to their sports shows.
“The younger demographic coming through know their sport but don’t wish to be that knowledgeable or that academic about it. They see that you can have entertainment and sport together.
“So they really enjoy that slightly quirky, less reverent approach to sport, that is not life or death. You can actually have a lot of fun talking about it, being engaged with it and enjoying it.”
One of the show’s producers, Carole Reynolds, says they are happy and excited to have won the viewers’ vote for a second year in a row.
“It is good that we have a loyal fan base there. Some of them are a bit crazy, but it is good that they love us.”
Reynolds says the show owes its success to the combination of different presenters and reporters who all bring a unique flavour to it, and have their own little quirks.
“Some of them are hot, some of them are funny, some are hot and funny and some of them are just funny,” she says.
Reynolds says the show doesn’t take itself too seriously and aims to bring the facts in an entertaining way and have a laugh as well.
“We like to see what people are like from behind their standard answer to journalists. We always like to find out what they are like as a person.”