Within days before the Formula 1 cars hit the track at Albert Park in Melbourne, Network 10 unveiled their new look broadcast crew ahead of their annual live Australian Grand Prix coverage this weekend.
Tara Rushton will take over the co-host role alongside Scott Mackinnon, who recently joined this network a few months ago, to head 10’s soccer coverage of the A-League & Socceroos. She’s also no stranger to motorsport, having hosted many MotoGP races in the past for Fox Sports. And in coincidence, Mackinnon was also the co-host last season for 10’s MotoGP coverage until they lost the rights at the end of the year.
There’s another well-known Soccer royalty other than Rushton in former player and current 10’s soccer analyst Archie Thompson. He will be doing some behind-the-scenes reporting alongside Natalie Hunter. And Mark Webber and Tom Clarkson are back as always to bring the all-important insights that every Formula 1 fan needs to know; it ranges from practice on Friday to qualifying on Saturday and race day Sunday.
When it comes to the commentary feed, we still don’t know yet since the previous caller Matt White departed Network 10 nearly two years ago. I have contacted the network earlier today on the phone in which they were generous to take my call, but they’re unable to get back to me about their choice of sound behind the mic. It will be interesting to see if they will go with Tom Clarkson calling the race with expert analysis from Mark Webber, who commentated on some races before for BBC Radio 5 Live in the UK. But it won’t be a surprise if Network 10 will take the Sky Sports feed of David Croft & Martin Brundle since there aren’t many callers around to replace White nowadays.
Fox Sports has just extended their exclusive contract with the sport for another few years starting next season, in which will impact free to air networks when it comes to giving away the secondary package, such as the annual Australian GP live and everything else highlights. Although Nine can be excluded in this process when they wanted to take the whole lot & chuck it in for their paid Stan Sport streaming service, plus the Australian GP live for free on Nine, but they were unsuccessful.
And after 10’s recent loss with the MotoGP as well as their change of sports strategy with the exclusive Australian soccer content, it may as well be their last season covering Formula 1 before they move on & pass it over to either Seven, Kayo Freebies or SBS next year.
Update: Richard Craill will be the play-by-play voice for 10’s Australian Grand Prix coverage this weekend.