AFL reporter at war: Footy Show star Tony Jones has been dubbed a ‘school holiday surrogate’ after he accused his Channel Nine colleagues of not making it clear about his low ratings
- Sunday Footy Show host Jones accused Craig Hutchison of spinning the ratings
- The Sports Entertainment Network CEO hit back at Nine’s Footy Classified
- Hutchison’s stations struggle with polls, but he questions the metrics
The Sunday Footy Show host Tony Jones has been locked in a war of words with the boss of SEN Radio after he accused him of covering up the truth about the company’s poor ratings.
Jones returned to the program Sunday morning following coverage Wimbledon and wasted no time meeting Sports Entertainment Network CEO Craig Hutchison during the show’s “What Caught My Eye” segment.
As a co-host and former port Adelaide Star struggled with his numbers while talking about them AFL Head, Jones chimed in, “I think he’s taking a leaf out of Craig Hutchison’s book with the reviews, he’s giving them that spin.”
Jones (pictured left with AFL commentator legend Dennis Cometti) claimed SEN CEO Craig Hutchison is massaging his stations’ poor ratings
Hutchison responded to Nine’s Footy Classified in scathing style on Monday night.
“In over 20 years as a professional substitute, he (Jones) has never been in a (radio) ratings poll. He filled in the school holidays… Off-Broadway TJ is judging us.
“Turn it up, TJ. If you’re going to get a registered listener and actually get a 20+ year review week then we’ll take your advice.’
SEN struggled hard in Sydney radio ratings released earlier this month, grabbing just 0.4 per cent of the audience share to finish well behind rival Sky Sports Radio.
Hutchison didn’t take it, branding his Channel Nine colleague a “filler” who doesn’t have “a registered listener.”
In Melbourne, Hutchison’s business held steady at 2.7 percent, with 3AW and Triple M dominating footy coverage.
The SEN boss defended his channels’ ratings in May as they recovered from poor numbers in a previous survey.
He disagrees with the ‘old school’ calculation of numbers and would prefer a more modern system to be used.
“During the summertime we’ve had a lot of challenges with people and Covid,” he said.
“We had some new people like Nathan Buckley and others. We had the core teams a little later than normal. I knew our next survey would be much stronger, and it was.”
Jones took over as director of the Sunday Footy Show from Hutchison in 2016.