A guide to reporting from the Australian Open

Written by By Yifan Xie, CNN Singapore According to Mike Woods, a media executive with three decades of experience in the industry, an Australian Open has never been a bigger media spectacle. Each year,…

A guide to reporting from the Australian Open

Written by By Yifan Xie, CNN Singapore

According to Mike Woods, a media executive with three decades of experience in the industry, an Australian Open has never been a bigger media spectacle.

Each year, the tournament is watched by a worldwide television audience of millions. That makes the ABC’s decision to broadcast the Open before it moves to the new stadium at the Australian Tennis Centre in 2021, a step beyond most even when Woods has been attending the event.

“It’s an incredible television spectacle, both in the stadium and around the world,” he said in an interview. “I think you’ll see all major broadcasters who cover tournaments around the world covering it.”

But, according to Woods, there are tough rules to go with those thrills.

‘Bands, trees, showers, tanks, golf balls, TVs, distractions, lights, satellite trucks and the cameras of millions of cameramen are coming online in the final weeks before the tournament.”

Swedish player Petra Kvitova (C) returns a shot to team partner Laura Siegemund of Germany during their semifinal match at the Australian Open, in Melbourne, Australia. AFP/Getty Images

His four main concerns are how to stage the event without disturbing fans, the future of sport itself and, of course, his beloved Brisbane team, the Brisbane Broncos

“Brisbane Broncos players, my friends, they are prisoners of six weeks’ worth of training, they are let out to train during a full daylight and then they’re back in bed for the next six weeks,” he said.

And as for the possibility of using the stadium at the Australian Open to host the football side before 2019, he thinks that is a move too far.

“It would seem ambitious and very unlikely to happen,” he said. “It would be a great media opportunity for them but there are much better places for that to be.”

Woods, who also writes about sports for his blog, A Gold Golfer’s Wedding, thinks changes are already being made. “We’ve seen some great changes here at the Australian Open over the last five years — we’ve increased the size of the Australian Open court itself, it is covered and we’ve increased the number of TV viewers. So those things are huge.”

As the 2018 edition of the Australian Open draws to a close, Woods believes the tradition of the Australian Open is a boon for athletes and fans alike.

“It’s one of the great sporting holidays that you can have in your life,” he said. “You spend a few thousand dollars, you see some great tennis and then you can watch it on television.”

Leave a Comment