Thursday Night Fever


Over the past few years Thursday has become basketball day in New Zealand. It makes good commercial sense, in a lot of ways. Even with the occasional midweek game of Origin, Thursday’s normally clear of any other sport, except the least exciting game of NPC, and even that tends to neatly dovetail with the NBL/ANBL off-season. Tonight Phill Jones’ Nelson Giants (see starting 5 above) take on, uh, Dylan Boucher’s Auckland Stars (no z! do they not know the golden rule of NZ franchise naming? No wonder they nearly ran out of money last year).

Last year this would’ve been televised on Maori TV, and provide a good opportunity for the more gifted ballers amongst us to think ‘I could do better than that’. ‘More gifted’ in this context means anyone capable of shooting layups at over 60%. Anyway, it’s pretty fun watching the NBL, and I’d been looking forward to catching some games this year – only they’d been oddly absent. Well the reason can finally be revealed, buried near the bottom of a piece in today’s Herald, and it’s pretty f***ing amazing.

Apparently the coverage deal was all set to roll over, when the two sides reached a roadblock which could not be surpassed, leading to the lack of any television coverage at all for our national basketball comp. It’d have to be a pretty good reason huh? Recession making the expense untenable? The loss of a live sports camera unit to Super 14 coverage? The reappearance of Code, Maori TV’s award-winning sports show? Something like that, right?

Um, no. The deal “fell over when a former high ranking Basketball New Zealand executive insisted on presenting the coverage.”

Regular Shortland St viewers will notice an eerie parallel with chief exec Callum McKay’s desire to present the informational videos for the PCC. That particular scenario was derailed when the DHB selected the strong Polynesian jaw of TK Samuels, and McKay had the good grace not to tear the whole project down with him. No such devotion to the greater good from this organisation, apparently.

The best part of the Basketball NZ scandal? They’d had a deal in place with Sky, but turned them down after receiving a better offer from Maori TV. It was then that the exec made his demand, and when the channel (rightly) wouldn’t budge on having an actual presenter present the coverage, our sport’s governing body went back to Sky to ask if they’d step in. Only to be told, predictably, that the funds had already been allocated elsewhere.

Which is why there’s no basketball on TV tonight folks. New Zealand sports administration is officially our most retarded area of governance, making John ‘My Fair Lady’ Banks look like David Stern. Oh well.

– Duncan

PS – I know for a fact that one of our regular readers is a Maori TV employee… I think we need to name and shame this guy in the form of an anonymous comment. You know who you are, reader. And what you must do.



Filed under Basketball, NBL, NFL

5 responses to “Thursday Night Fever

  1. tom

    The other night I walked past a car emblazoned with Canterbury Cougars, it was only on reading the much smaller url on the bumper that I remembered this travesty of a rebranding effort. The car was also parked outside a bar with probably the highest concentration of cougars in the Garden City so maybe they were recruiting cheerleaders or mascots.

  2. Duncan

    That’s one thing that would change it from a totally hideous failure of a name to genius. They need to just empty Kingsland’s amazing Ruby bar on a Friday night. Guessing they weren’t there on business though. Also, vaguely on topic, but for a destination about 300 miles further down the line of unpleasantry Sunday’s The Soup had a clip from the reality TV show ‘The Cougar’ (you already know exactly what the show’s about)… no youtube of the moment, which is super annoying, but the same joke is told here, to future deadball icon (remember them?) Mark Furze:
    Hideous moment. Dude got eliminated.

  3. I am trying to find out who the person is, so far i’ve had no luck. I’ll keep you posted.

  4. tom

    Maybe they could recruit all around the country for away games too. Shamy should be involved, maybe like a ringmaster.

    I saw that bit on The Soup. Was it this week also that they had the introduction scene where some guy opened with the line “…you look much older than your age” and didn’t even get kicked off. As a show though only one cougar isn’t the greatest setup, in my experience they are even more frightening in packs, then they get the confidence up for the walk-by grope.

  5. Duncan

    I think we definitely need Shamy involved. I think he could host something like that with a raw animal intensity the like of which New Zealand television hasn’t seen since Ethan Pierce’s final days.

    You’re so right about The Cougar. If it was the Cougars, and there were like 100 and six guys, and it was more like Survivor… Basically they were locked in a cage only one pair remained. That can’t be far off in our evolutionary cycle, right?

    Also: Anonymous – hurry up on the info. We’ve got to break thi stpry, and I know you’ve got the tools to do it.

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