The Alternative Commentary Collective (ACC) has since its inception in 2012 become a standard part of the Kiwi cricket experience for many fans, who tune in to enjoy a comedic twist on the usual ball-by-ball rundown of the games.
Following on from the success of the iHeartRadio-hosted show, frequent contributors Leigh Hart and Jason Hoyte in March 2014 launched Sports Bhuja, a sports-related chat, comedy and music show, which initially aired on radio Hauraki on Saturday mornings.
“The bosses at Hauraki have clearly had too much to drink and decided putting Jase and me on their radio station for two hours every Saturday morning was a good idea,” said Hart in a release.
In August, Radio Hauraki trialled a two-hour Friday drive-time special edition of the Bhuja show, which was met with a strong response from listeners.
“We got lots of feedback from that which was great,” says Hoyte. “Not all of it was good feedback, but there was lots of it.”
Following on from this year of trialling the show, NZME has now rewarded Hart and Hoyte by giving them a one-hour slot every weekday during the evening drive time between 6pm and 7pm—and, rather unsurprisingly, Hart has responded with a joke:
“Clearly the Hauraki bosses have continued drinking and now think it’s a good idea to have us on-air every day, so let’s drink to them and our Daily Bhuja.”
Hoyte added: “It almost feels like we are being treated like legitimate radio broadcasters. The boss at Hauraki has even given us our own swipe cards to access the NZME Radio building in Cook Street. It’s a huge moment for us.”
Radio Hauraki content director David Ridler didn't comment on the drinking habits of the Hauraki staff members or the prudence of giving the pair access to the building, and instead spoke about the approach the new show would take.
“Leigh Hart and Jason Hoyte are hosting an hour of their trademark banter, along with excitable callers, out-of-this-world prizes (which may or may not actually exist), plenty of good tunes, and the constant possibility of guest appearances from high profile New Zealanders such as Richie [McCaw] and Dan [Carter]," he says. "There is less of a sport focus in the new Daily Bhuja, and a more well-rounded and broad daily dissection of everyday life and the world around us.”
This move will, however, not have any impact on the the continuation of the ACC. The show is currently on iHeartRadio, covering the one day international series between the Black Caps and Sri Lanka, and it will also cover the Pakistani tour that follows.
After that, all attention will turn to the ICC Cricket World Cup, with the crazy troupe covering every ball in their unique style.
Since first taking to the digital airwaves, the ACC has accumulated over 10,000 Facebook fans—and this hype has also caught the attention of brands.
The team is currently running a campaign for Pepsi Max, and it has previously also worked with Mainland Cheese, City Motor Group and Interislander.
And given the added exposure the the World Cup will bring, this list will almost certainly increase over the next few months as brands attempt to bask in the glow of the event.