OFF THE BALL, Newstalk’s flagship sports show, has held on to the bulk of its listeners following the shock departure of its award-winning team.
The show’s audience dipped to 41,000 in the latest JNLR figures, a spokesperson for the station told TheScore.ie, a book-on-book decrease of 2,000 over the last three months.
There was good news for Newstalk’s other major sports programmes with Sports Saturday and Sports Sunday reaching a combined audience of 145,000 every weekend — an increase of 4,000 in the last year.
Off the Ball hit the headlines in March when its five-man team of Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early, Ciaran Murphy, Simon Hick and Mark Horgan resigned en masse following a dispute with station management over the show’s time slot.
They were replaced by sports editor Ger Gilroy and Joe Molloy, who took over as co-presenters, while former Laois footballer Colm Parkinson and Wexford hurler Diarmuid Lyng are now regulars on the show.
Meanwhile the former ‘Off The Ball 5′, who have since rebranded as ‘Second Captains’, announced today that they are to extend their podcast partnership with the Irish Times to four shows a week.