Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Tenured commentator Andy Raymond was the voice of Fox Sports Rugby League for over a decade and is not the only person from the Raymond family to apply their trade in the industry.
Mike Raymond was a famous Australian race car commentator who’s work ended up inspiring inspiring his son Andy to emulate him.
“I’ve always loved my sport and watching or hearing dad commentate was just the norm as a kid. I think every little fella thinks his dad is the coolest and at some time tries to copy him. I kept copying….. I kept copying and as I grew my interest in doing what he did intensified.” Raymond explained to Everything Rugby League.
After working on free to air television for almost a decade in the 1990’s, Raymond landed a role at the still relatively new Fox Sports network and has fond memories of the early days.
“I spent seven years at Channel 7 Sydney, as a news reporter primarily but also covering Motor Racing and Rugby Union.
“I left 7 and began at Fox Sports with the first job being the Moto Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
“Fox Sports was the host broadcaster and under brilliant Executive Producer Saul Shtein, Fox covered 3 days with a staff near 160 people. It was the elite of Australian television working on the event and the broadcast set a new benchmark for television coverage to come. Following almost 40 hours of TV we all enjoyed a quiet beer after the chequered flag and my path was set, I was now a part of the Fox Sports family.”
Throughout the years since Fox Sports has expanded and changed in many ways.
Raymond has found key differences in the running of the network in its infancy and how it functions today.
“The generation that enjoyed working in Australian TV the late 1990s still look back and smile at those wonderful times. The companies were run competitively and with an emphasis on on-air perfection. Anything less was simply unacceptable, and completely avoidable.
“In 2020, Australian TV is run by the finance department, and not the Executive Producers. Its finance based. It’s the same in most industries across the world, it’s all about dollars and the numbers adding up on the bottom of the spreadsheet. Sad, but a fact of life. It’s still enjoyable, it’s still challenging and it’s still a buzz, but times change.”
Unfortunately Raymond has recently been released by Fox Sports and has reminisced on one particular night in 2009 during the NRL Finals series.
“The 2009 semi final Parramatta vs St George Illawarra at Kogarah Oval.
“I’m an Eels tragic so it was great calling their finals game anyway. The game itself was a beauty, the atmosphere was off the charts …. And Jarryd Hayne was on “that” golden run and scored one of the most amazing tries anyone will ever see. What a game. What a day.”
Instead of dwelling on the past and being released, the 45-year-old is optimistic about what the future holds for him and can TV wait to see how it unfolds.
“What’s next? If anyone knows can they please call me and tell me!
“I have no idea to be honest what’s the next chapter in this book. What I do know is, it’ll be a whole lot of fun!”
Raymond has recently created his own Facebook page for all of his future projects which you can find here.
He has recently begun a weekly show on the page where he discusses the current goings on in Rugby League with fans of the game, which airs live every Monday at 6:30PM.
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