Sportscafe kicks off their second episode on Facebook tomorrow night (15 June, 8.30pm) after a very successful first showing last week. 

The experiment to bring Sportscafe back via livestreaming technology was an initiative by BackingBlack, the official fan club of the All Blacks.

So here are the numbers!

There was a total of 3214 unique viewers for the first episode, and over 18,000 touchpoints on the BackingBlack Facebook page regarding Sportscafe for the whole of last week (could be comments, “likes”, views of videos etc).

Comparatively, here is a quote from BackingBlack’s account manager at Livestream:

“In terms of metrics it’s hard to set benchmarks since all events are so unique, but I would say these number are very impressive.  Our most similar broadcast was the Boost Mobile Surf Contest in Australia, and your numbers were definitely higher, especially considering the fact that they streamed for 3 days.”

(From a press release)

BackingBlack and SportsCafe have joined forces to return the show to your screens – but not as you know it. The show will be broadcast as three live streamed episodes on Facebook where viewers can log in and participate in the show. 

“We thought we’d try something new,” says Ric Salizzo. “We’re interested in seeing what people think about us online, it certainly gives us a bit more license to be creative” he says.

Ric, Lana and Marc are all confirmed to reappear in what will be a special rugby edition where All Blacks will make guest appearances across each episode, however when questioned on content Ric said, “I’ve got no idea.”

BackingBlack is the All Blacks fans club, established in 2009 thanks to Telecom, with the goal of keeping fans connected to the team and to each other.

“We know how to make quite a good entertainment show, Telecom knows in the technical stuff, so it’s a match made in heaven,” says Ric. “We’re huge fans of the All Blacks on SportsCafe, and so is everyone who is part of BackingBlack. We’re hoping that this experiment not only brings a few laughs, but connects more people to the big year ahead.”

Facebook members that “like” the BackingBlack facebook page have the chance to make comments and submit questions during the live shows.  

The first online SportsCafe episode streams live at 8.30pm, 8 June 2011.

Visit BackingBlack for more details.


Episode 1: 8.30pm, 8 June.

Episode 2: 8.30pm, 15 June.

Episode 3: 8.30pm, 22 June.

I heard on Sportscafé that the show is finishing up after this coming episode. Does anyone know:
1. If it is getting permanantly canceled, or just a series break
2. How well the ratings have been this year?


I’ve only ever seen a couple of Sportscafe episodes, and after seeing five minutes of last nights episode, I think that’s been too much.
I was surfing during a break in the All Blacks vs Samoa test on Prime (I don’t have sky, as I don’t beleive you should have to pay to watch your national team on tv) and turned onto 2 (they had promised two sportswomen who were also models in the ads). For the first four minutes they blather on mindlesly, talking about the test I was in the process of watching and then promptly tell us the result along with highlights lifted from the sky broadcast. Great. That ruined 70 further minutes of game watching.
But while they were jabbering away, I couldn’t help but notice the complete lack of sound from the studio.
Not a chortle (they didn’t say anything funny, regardless), sneeze or cough from the audience.
They used to film the show at a bar by the viaduct in Auckland, which had atmosphere, noise and, well an audience.
They now film it at Eden Park, apparently, and you have to buy a $20-something ticket for the privellege. Any wonder the set was as quiet as a tomb?
Marc Ellis continues to act like New Zealand’s oldest mischevous twelve year old. Game of Two Halves had long since done it’s dash with Matthew and Mark’s childish antics way before the whole Vietch affair. Lana’s Career highlight is still wearing pretty clothes and turning letters on the old Wheel of Fortune (couldn’t they get a machine to do that?). Rick’s straight man is better suited to his other role on The Crowd Goes Wild and aside from this show, a Friday-night-live music style show years ago (on TV3 I think) and some radio time, I was unaware Graeme was still in the industry. Lee Hart / “That Guy” I just don’t get. I’m not sure if that’s just me, or he just isn’t funny.
Did the show need to come back, or will this be their swan-song?

Wednesday 3 September, 9.30pm

In true Sportscafe style, the team are gearing up for National Nude Day, celebrated on Friday September 19th; a significant date on the Sportscafe calendar.

New Zealand has been celebrating National Nude Day for years, but now people further a field are beginning to catch on and are keen to participate. Sportscafe’s Marc Ellis (resident expert on all things nude) explains, “Hidden away at the ass-end of the world (just as we like it) we Kiwis have been hiding a secret. But now it’s gotten too big, word has spread and so we decided to take our favourite day to the world!”
Sportscafe fans can take part in the national buff celebration by creating their own funny nude home videos and posting them on the official World Nude Day site – The best video wins first prize of a Sony Bravia plasma TV, a mitsibushi fridge, an mp3 player, a phone, camera, and a Volta Vacuum cleaner (Marc says this is to create interest amongst the ladies). All entries will also be eligible for the world nude day prize of 2009.

“World Nude Day is about setting yourself free; World Nude Day is about nude, not lewd. World Nude Day is about having fun – with your clothes off,” says Ellis.

See all the Sportscafe action on Wednesday night; New Zealand’s original sports reality show with its unique combination of ad lib comment, special guests and general mayhem – with the odd smattering of sporting insight – on Wednesday at 9.30pm on TV2.

Wednesday 9 July, 9.30pm

Sportscafe returns tonight on TV2 with its own unique combination of ad lib comment, special guests and general mayhem, which occasionally manages to contain some sporting insight.

Hosted by Ric Salizzo, Marc Ellis, Lana Coc-Kroft, Eric Rush and Graeme Hill, it’s hard to describe what is going to happen on the show because they usually don’t know themselves. Somehow it seems to work despite its best efforts not to.
“All I can say is that the team has gone through a long reconditioning process and the rotation has worked well for us”, explains Salizzo.

“We’re excited everyone will be back, but we never really know who will show up on the night. Negotiations are continuing with ‘That Guy’s agent, Eva is busy with University studies and will pop in when she can, and Marc says he will be there, but you can never really trust him.”

Coming to viewers LIVE from Eden Park, the series format will be familiar to viewers.

“We generally start planning on Wednesday morning before the show – and then Marc comes in and changes it all. We aren’t going to be shifting much from what we did in the past, but there will be some great new stuff as well.”

With the Olympics on the horizon, Sportscafe promises to keep TV2 viewers informed on all the sporting action. “We are excited about the prospect of the Olympics and trying to convince ‘That Guy’ that he should go to China – we’re just in the process of finding out where it is.”

Don’t miss the first episode of Sportscafe – Wednesday 9 July, 9.30pm.


New Zealand’s original sports reality show is back on TV2. Sportscafe returns tonight with its unique combination of ad-lib comment, special guests and general mayhem, which occasionally manages to contain some sporting insight.

Herald on Sunday confirmed today that Sportscafe will be returning from July 9th on TV2, after a two year absence.