EDDIE McGuire has been at the helm of live TV madness for more than 25-years of Australian TV.
The 53-year-old has hosted Channel 9’s Footy Show on and off since 1994 and been right in the thick of it when the iconic AFL panel show has created controversies — more often than not centred around co-host Sam Newman.
It is a sign of exactly how royally messed up things must have been for the Fox Sports-Main Event broadcast crew in Las Vegas for Jeff Horn’s fight with Terence Crawford that Eddie Everywhere says that pay-per-view fight is the worst broadcast conditions he has ever endured.
The Channel 9 and Fox Footy host has lifted the lid on what really happened behind the scenes ahead of Horn’s ninth-round TKO loss to Crawford last Sunday (AEST).
McGuire said the live broadcast of the IBO welterweight championship fight was a “trainwreck” behind the scenes — despite no signs of drama during the marathon broadcast alongside News Corp boxing expert Paul Kent.
McGuire on Friday told Triple M’s The Hot Breakfast the technical difficulties that crew members had to try and fix running throughout the broadcast were a disaster.
“I did the boxing over in America last week and it was the worst broadcast conditions I’ve ever been in as far as audio and drop outs and equipment failure,” McGuire said.
“The Fox team I was with, talk about salvaging a wreck. It was actually good fun in the end because we were just wondering what comes next. We were up on our toes. It was contact sport broadcasting.”
He said his nightmare appears to be similar to the one SBS endured on Thursday night during the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Russia.
The broadcast of Robbie Williams’ live Stadium performance in Moscow ahead of Russia’s tournament opener against Saudi Arabia experienced technical difficulties that saw SBS unable to pick up the feed to the singer’s microphone.
The English entertainer has been criticised around the world for his performance.
McGuire appeared to know he was in for a hard time during Jeff Horn’s fight in Las Vegas after calling out dirty tactics from Crawford’s American team in the lead up to the fight.
He said the American event organisers pulled every sly trick in the book to unsettle the Aussie fighter in the lead up to the fight.
“The Americans have done everything they possibly can to hinder Jeff Horn,” McGuire told Wide World of Sports.
“Terence Crawford is, pound for pound, one of the best fighters in the world, and there’s no doubt the big-money men in American boxing want him to succeed. They see him as being the next cash cow for them, and there’s this pesky former schoolteacher from Queensland in the way.
“There was the argument over which gloves to use, then they were ready to fight six weeks ago before the injury to Crawford, which some people in the know thought might have been dubious.”
Meanwhile, McGuire has been smeared by GWS Giants rival Dave Matthews over his public calls for the AFL’s northern clubs to be stripped of the ambassadorial top-up payments that allow GWS, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast to offer additional payments for promotional work in NSW and Queensland.
McGuire has come out and called for the ambassadorial contracts — which reportedly made Gary Ablett, Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt the highest paid players in the game — to follow the Cost Of Living Allowance (COLA) in being scrapped by the AFL.
“The AFL can’t distort the salary cap. Full stop,” McGuire told The Herald Sun.
“They (Gold Coast) may have to look at an alternative strategy. That’s what the caper is all about.”
Matthews returned fire on Friday morning, telling SEN Breakfast the Collingwood president’s views were “narrow minded.”
“Do you think it’s in the interests of the competition to just have the list picked apart,” Matthews said.
“I think it’s very narrow minded some of the criticism for clubs that are seven and eight years into their existence in very challenging and difficult markets, to just be constantly ripped apart. That’s what happens
“The emotion that comes out of Victorian clubs and the Victorian media undermines the AFL’s investment in those markets.
“You can’t tell me just because Gary Ablett ended up going home that it was a flawed strategy.
“I’ve been observing a lot of the debate that goes on and a lot of the opinion from people at clubs who are probably trying to recruit (Gold Coast star) Tom Lynch. It’s a conflicted argument.”
Matthews says the four northern clubs should each receive promotional allowances to offer up to five players contract top-ups for their promotional work in spreading the game in rugby league heartland worth up to $1 million each season, spread across the handful of players.