THE Marngrook Footy Show, dumped by the ABC at the end of last year, has been given a new life on SBS after a groundswell of support of those angered that the ground breaking indigenous football show was being killed off.
The show, which began as a niche program with a cult following on community TV and grew into a program with national appeal and support, will return to NITV on SBS. The NITV - National Indigenous TV - channel is also shown on Foxtel.
Former North Melbourne champion Wayne Carey has signed on to appear on the show this season as a regular panellist along with former Brisbane Lions premiership player Chris Johnson, Robbie Burns and Gilbert Macadam.
News presenters Leila Gurruwiwi and Shelley Ware will also return with the show, which has been signed by SBS on a slightly reduced budget.
The axing of Marngrook by ABC2 at the end of last year prompted a strong backlash and a social media campaign to have it picked up by another network.
Marngrook host and executive producer Grant Hansen said he was overwhelmed by the public response to the show being axed by the ABC and said it reflected the fact the national broadcaster had misunderstood and underestimated the show’s broad support.
"Its was fantastic to see that level of support for a show that supposedly nobody watched according to the ABC," Hansen said.
"But a lot of people did watch the program despite what the ABC would say and it is fantastic that SBS recognised that."
The decision to sign Carey as a panellist reflected the fact that while Marngrook was produced by indigenous people, and had a focus on indigenous players, it held a broader appeal.
"It’s a footy based show and they have a lot of fun," Carey said.
"The feedback I have had from people when I have been on it in the past as a guest has been really good. I was surprised at the amount of feedback I got when I went on it, a lot of key football people watch it, a lot of footballers watch it.
"And a lot of people in the country areas - being a boy from Wagga - also watch it. It was the only footy show they could get at a reasonable hour in a lot of country areas."
The show will return to Thursday evenings ahead of the first round of the home and away season.