Three of Australia’s greatest athletes – Ian Thorpe, Cate Campbell and Curtis McGrath –headline the Seven Network’s unrivalled commentary team as Australia’s Home of the Commonwealth Games unveils another history-making broadcast undertaking with up to 30 exclusive and free, live and replay channels across Seven, 7mate and 7plus.
With an anticipated 200 genuine medal attempts for Australia, Seven has assembled a first-class team of hosts and commentators to deliver its coverage of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Beginning in just 50 days, Birmingham 2022 will mark the country’s second-biggest broadcast and digital event following Seven’s award-winning coverage of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Australia’s most loved and respected sports broadcaster, Bruce McAvaney, returns for his fifth Commonwealth Games, broadcasting from the UK alongside three-time Australian Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Tamsyn Manou.
Counting down to the much-anticipated Games, Seven today announced its broadcast hosting team will be led by Hamish McLachlan, Abbey Gelmi, Matt Shirvington, Emma Freedman, Johanna Griggs, Abbey Holmes, Ryan Daniels and Trent Copeland, while Mel McLaughlin, Jason Richardson, Amy Parks and Matt Carmichael will be joined in Birmingham by Olympic great Cate Campbell.
Australia’s equal most successful Commonwealth Games athlete, 10-time gold medallist Ian Thorpe, will join Seven’s commentary team to call swimming events following his acclaimed commentary contribution during Seven’s coverage of Tokyo 2020.
Australian Paralympians Annabelle (Annie) Williams and Curtis McGrath will further strengthen Seven’s coverage as they lead the broadcast of the fully-integrated para program, while fellow Commonwealth Games medallists David Culbert, Kate Bates, Georgie Parker, Scott McGrory and Catherine Cox also join the team.
Master broadcaster Basil Zempilas leads an impressive team of callers including the global doyen of cycling commentary, Phil Liggett, rugby expert Greg Clark and accomplished callers Matt Hill, Alister Nicholson, Jon Harker, Liz Chetkovic and Sue Gaudion.
Following an incredible Summer of Cricket on Seven, experienced callers Alison Mitchell and Lisa Sthalekar will provide expert commentary during the T20 cricket, while Australian Rugby Seven’s athlete, Tiana Penitani former professional ironwoman, Candice Warner, and Australian cyclist, Paul van der Ploeg round out the team.
For Bruce McAvaney, anticipation is building in what promises to be an extraordinary Games across 12 days featuring many of the world’s greatest athletes, and Australia’s brightest stars.
“We’ve barely taken a breath since the euphoria of both the Summer and Winter Olympics,” he said.
“Seeing our athletes compete again so soon on the world stage is unprecedented and these Commonwealth Games will showcase the world’s best in many sports that don’t feature elsewhere. Women’s cricket is on show for the first time and netball will see us up against our arch-rivals, New Zealand.
“The integration of para-sports means we get to see our champions such as Madi De Rozario in the same program as Nicola McDermott and Ash Maloney. The flying mullet, Rohan Browning, and Peter Bol are back, as are the Jamaicans and Kenyans who dominate world athletics. We’re formidable in the pool, spearheaded by Emma McKeon and Ariarne Titmus.
“We have a long history of Commonwealth glory. I’m thinking of Deeks and Raelene in Brisbane in 1982 and, 12 years later, Cathy’s lap of honour with the double flag in Canada, plus Kerryn McCann’s emotional marathon win in front of a home crowd in Melbourne in 2006.
“Seven’s team is primed and ready. Our athletes will be at their peak. It’s going to be something very special.”
Viewers will wake up to major live events and medal moments each day with Emma Freedman and Matt Shirvington as they steer Seven’s morning broadcast from 3.30am AEST. The early morning hosts have also been given the honour of commentating the excitement and colour of the Opening Ceremony, alongside Australian Paralympian Annie Williams.
Shortly after the daily early morning coverage, Australia’s #1 breakfast show Sunrise will bring viewers all the latest Birmingham 2022 news and exclusive athlete interviews from 5.30am, with resident sport expert Mark Beretta broadcasting live from the host city.
Esteemed broadcaster Johanna Griggs will guide Seven’s afternoon audience through two hours of daily highlights featuring exclusive interviews with victorious athletes and their families and friends, from 3.00pm AEST daily.
Following 7NEWS at 6.00pm every night of the Games, two of Australia’s most-revered sports broadcasters – Hamish McLachlan and Abbey Gelmi – will guide, inform and entertain audiences through Seven’s prime time coverage from 7.00pm, bringing viewers all the live medal moments.
Each night Mel McLaughlin and Jason Richardson will be live from the host city with the best of the late-night coverage of the Games, alongside a rotating cast of nightly guests.
Keeping viewers completely up-to-date overnight will be fan favourites Abbey Holmes and Ryan Daniels.
Hamish McLachlan said: “Australia has always had an enormous presence and incredible success at the Commonwealth Games, and it has often been the launching pad for some of Australia’s most famous sporting names.
“Ian Thorpe and Hayley Lewis as teenagers announced themselves to the world. Stories like theirs are hard to believe, but equally mind-blowing journeys will emerge in Birmingham.
“We are one of just six countries to send athletes to every Commonwealth Games. The brilliance of our athletes has seen us place first at 13 of the 21 Games held to date, and we have been in the top three countries for all Games other than the first in 1930.
“I love the integration of schedules that sees the able-bodied and para-sport programs integrated. It was the highlight of Gold Coast 2018 for me. Watching Kurt Fearnley in the marathon encapsulated everything that is wonderful about sport.
“It is always a ‘friendly’ Games, and I’m looking forward to seeing the green and gold do well and help tell the stories of our athletes.”
Abbey Gelmi added: “After experiencing the way Australians celebrated our athletes in Tokyo and Beijing, I couldn’t be more excited to once again join Hamish and the Seven team to tell the stories of Birmingham 2022.
“The spirit of the Commonwealth Games, or the ‘friendly games’ as they’re known, reflects perfectly the values we admire in those who wear the green and gold – sportsmanship, humanity and equality.
“Birmingham will bring together more than 4,500 athletes from across 72 nations, with the largest-ever integrated para-sport program, as well as a record number of mixed events.
“Some exciting new sports will make their debut such as Women’s T20 cricket, with all eyes on our all-conquering world champions. As for the track, field and pool, so many of the characters who won our hearts at Tokyo 2020 last year will once again take centre stage, not to mention the soon-to-be household names about to emerge in moments of brilliance.
“With Australia having won more medals across all Commonwealth Games than any other country, fans have every reason to be excited about what’s to come. It’s a privilege to be part of the team once again.”
Australians can tune into 7plus to catch all the action, with up to 30 live and replay channels right at their fingertips. Featuring replays, event minis, trending highlights, exclusive interviews with Aussie athletes and all the best action on demand, viewers will not miss a moment on 7plus.
Seven Network Head of Sport, Lewis Martin, said: “Seven stands alone as Australia’s Home of Sport and, once again, we will bring unrivalled expertise to our monumental coverage of Birmingham 2022.”
“While we will proudly get behind our incredible Australian athletes alongside the rest of the nation, we will never ignore the incredible stories of the rest of the world. You can trust Seven and our extraordinary team of experts to uncover the most gripping stories of the Games and take you inside every single event, to the best of the action, at all times.”
Broadcast hosting schedule:
7.00pm –11.00pm AEST live on Channel 7
Hamish McLachlan and Abbey Gelmi will entertain viewers through Seven’s nightly prime time coverage of the Games including our Aussie’s best swimming, athletics and cycling moments, along with live athlete and family interviews direct from Birmingham.
11.00pm – 12.30am AEST live on Channel 7
Mel McLaughlin and Jason Richardson will join us live from the host city immediately after the primetime session each night to share all the highlights of the day and take us to more live events as they happen.
12.30am – 3.30am AEST live on Channel 7
Abbey Holmes and Ryan Daniels will present the best of the overnight action in Birmingham, including our Aussie’s taking on basketball 3 x 3, beach volleyball, cricket, hockey, netball and rugby 7’s.
3.30am – 5.30am AEST live on Channel 7, 5.30am – 7.30am AEST live on 7mate
Emma Freedman and Matt Shirvington will bring us the best gold medal moments each morning, covering finals across multiple sports.
3.00pm – 5.00pm AEST, live on Channel 7
Johanna Griggs brings viewers the best from Birmingham each day of the Games.
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games 28 July to 8 August
Live and free on Seven and 7plus
The only place to see it all!