What’s It All About?




“They weren’t as good as they thought they were” went one bogus argument. In fact, I’ve always felt Off The Ball was driven by the deep neurosis that they weren’t good enough which, naturally, propelled them towards brilliance.
They were Burt Bacharach doing 32 takes of Alfie in search of that “little bit of magic”.


Radio Bean-Counters Switched Off To Diamond In Their Midst (Dion Fanning, Sunday Independent)

Previously: Anything Sad In The Phoenix?

Life After Newstalk

“They Help Make Radio Great”

(Pic: Business&leadership)

10 thoughts on “What’s It All About?

  1. Peetur

    That’s it. I’m never talking to Denis O’Brien again. Off The Ball and sometimes the history show on Sunday night were the only things worth listening to.
    The rest is all just very pretentious.

    1. TonyS

      Yep, when I lived in Ireland these two were the ‘unmissables’ as far as radio was concerned. OTB was like listening in to a series of interesting conversations, and I know of a number of people who ‘caught the bug’ despite having a minimal interest in sport, which is surely a sign of great programming.

      You will be missed lads, although I’m sure this is not the last we’ll hear from you. Thanks for all the laughs and insights ….

  2. Toe Up

    >>”was it for this” that Newstalk had sacrificed the best show ever produced by the station and the finest sports programme on the planet?

    Broadsheet influencing other aspects of the media once again.

  3. mhunt

    Reasonably sized fish in the small pond that is Ireland. In the great scheme of things….Meh!

  4. Covert

    From article: “In fact, Off The Ball was so good that I frequently turned off the TV to listen to them, something which went against everything I’ve considered normal since about the age of four.

    I wasn’t alone. Across Ireland, men and women performed this unnatural act, this violation of all known patterns in radio listenership, and chose to turn on their radios and switch off their televisions at 7.0pm. If the Off The Ball team could get people to do this, they are capable of anything.”

    This is patently untrue, they simply did not “get people to do this” in any scale. OTB listenership is barely a pimple on the rear end of TV viewing figures at the same time. Don’t decry “bean counters” and then cite totally incorrect bean counting.

    1. Pedanto

      “Off The Ball had a beauty that suggested itself as emanating from an infinity within. The team seemed to believe anything was possible and their sports-related banter convinced you, for an instant, that they were right. I wanted their predicted scores to come true. They were my chatting men friends and Denis’s chatting men friends and Eamon’s chatting men friends and Pat’s chatting men friends and Enda’s chatting men friends. I am crying, writing this.”

      1. Lord Lucan

        Actually, Off The Ball did perform the feat of keeping people away from their televisions if you look at the JNLR figures. Every other station besides Newstalk see listenership fall off a cliff after seven whereas OTB kept Newstalk steady. They also get great audiences considering the weak carry-through of The Right Hook’s 130,000 compared to Drivetime and The Last Word’s 200,000+ listeners. OTB beats the programmes on those stations hands down. I’d say OTB will see their audience down at least 40% as a result of this debacle.

  5. Formerly known as @ireland.com

    On the topic of timeslots for sports shows, there are radio stations that do sport only, so there is a market for shows like OTB during radio ‘primetime’.

    Everybody quotes the 40,000 listeners, where were the OTB podcasts on the podcast chart, if there is on?

    1. D

      They wanted to do more than just sport if they got the earlier slot. Incidentally Hook/Cooper do a good bit of sport in the post 6 p.m. part of their shows anyway so not sure why people think having sport between 6 and 7 is such a big problem given it’s already the case.

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