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Robbie McEwen interviewing fellow sprint legend Caleb Ewan.
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Updated: Outrage After Robbie McEwen ‘Axed’ From SBS Commentary Team

First Tommo, now Robbie. 

In a shock announcement Robbie McEwen says he has been axed from the SBS Cycling Central commentary team. The news came late in the day, an hour after the conclusion of his co-commentary of the 2022 RoadNats in Ballarat.

McEwen took to Twitter to congratulate the winners and drop the bombshell news he would no longer be working with the broadcaster.

“Great #RoadNats22 National Champs road races,” McEwen wrote.

“Congrats to the riders who gave us the spectacle. You’ll no longer hear me on the comms on any SBS cycling broadcast. They have axed me from the team to “deliver their broadcast differently”,” he concluded.

The Hammer Series promises to deliver thrilling fast-paced action with some of the biggest names in cycling involved. Image: Hammer Series.
Robbie McEwen interviewing fellow sprint legend Caleb Ewan.

The shock news comes just 3-months after the sudden sacking of Michael Tomalaris, a 30+year veteran of the network and the nation’s best-known and most respected cycling commentator.

An SBS spokesperson thanked the three time Tour de France Green Jersey winner for his work with SBS, but said the network was taking a “different approach” to their commentary this year.

“Robbie has been a valued member of our cycling commentary line-up for a number of events over the last six years,” the spokesperson said.

“But we’re exploring a different approach in 2022. While his contract has come to an end, we thank Robbie for all that he’s brought to the role during his time with us.”

Over To You

The cycling community are understandably shocked with the news with hundreds taking to social media to vent their outrage and pen comments such as –

“Robbie was so insightful – he simply knows the game like no other.”

“Very sad day indeed, looks like SBS are travelling the cultural diversity pathway like the ABC and discarding the people that matter the most.“

“Robbie has turned into one of the BEST cycling commentators! WTH”

“Poor form SBS. Very disappointing”

“Nooooooooooo! Seriously? They’re knowledge, insight, humour, professionalism, etc etc is second to none. Big mistake SBS. Bring Robbie and Tomo back!”

“Looks like GCN and VPN when SBS has exclusive Australian rights is the answer. Hope Robbie get’s snapped up by GCN. His depth of knowledge, analysis and insight from one of the sport’s all time greats is unmatched. This only makes sense if SBS is replacing Robbie with Cadell and don’t have the budget for both. WTAF SBS! Keeno’s constant stream of data is more palatable when broken up by Robbie’s amazing insight.”

We are keen to hear your thoughts – Have your say in the comments section below.

HAVE YOUR SAY

30 Comments

  1. Maybe get rid of O’Donnell and MacKenzie … complete the trifecta of stupidity.
    Robbie was a great pro and brought in-depth commentary with a touch of the larrikin. Then again why would you need flair and entertainment in your commentators? They got rid of Liggett and now Robbie. Last straw. Will not be tuning into SBS. Have the GCN+ sub.

  2. I am a woman in her 60s who is not “into” cycling but my husband is. He has been an avid follower of anything “cycling” and SBS for years.
    We were so disappointed to learn that Robbie (and Mike) would no longer be in the cycling commentary team for SBS. What a wealth of knowledge, experience (practical and otherwise) and utmost professionalism is going to gone!!!! We knew Robbie when he was a young lad, first going away to the AIS in the ’90s and he has made Australia (& his family/friends proud). He is going to be so sadly missed – a big loss for SBS.

  3. WTH is happening with SBS management and/or their cycling producers. Robbie was the gem of their broadcast and the whole thing was just superb. Even the app was perfectly integrated.
    I just inwardly cringe at what is going to happen now. Just such an absolute shame to take one of the best sports productions and butcher it, and for what?

  4. Matthew Keenan is SO excruciatingly cringeworthy, he’s an embarrassment to commentators everywhere. I could feel Robbie’s eyeballs roll upward many times a night. Even Robbie, the ONLY worthwhile member of the team, couldn’t save the SBS Tour broadcast when for the sake of, y’know, ‘equality’ or something, they added that embarrassingly bland, banal woman! That was the end for me. I’m actually grateful SBS gave me the push I needed because it prompted me to look for alternatives online, and it turns out that even for Australians, there are FAR better options available. So NO more SBS fo

  5. Thanks to the below for letting us all know about GCN: I think I’ll sign up. Losing Robbie and Thommo will be terminal for the SBS coverage: it’s great to know where we can still spend our winter nights watching credible cycling coverage. Man: this is going to cost the network a hell of a lot of viewing hours…

  6. I totally support SBS in updating their programming delivery when things are going badly however I do not believe this to be the case with the original cycling team. It amazes and saddens me that we have now been denied the insights that Robbie used to bring to our screens and his analysis of sprint finishes were incredible. With Thommo and now Robbie gone SBS had big shoes to fill to keep viewers loyal!! Very disappointing SBS. The report card will read ” Could have done better!”

  7. Totally disappointed in SBS’s handling of Robbie McEwen, what ever direction they are taking it should be by using the best commentators and Robbie is one of the best commentators on cycling. (Tomalaris and now McEwen)
    As it is we don’t get enough coverage of world class cycling event on free to air!
    I’m not happy SBS.

  8. Don’t quite understand this at all. It is their call but when you give bland statments like “we want a different approach” just doesn’t cut it with most of us. Did they ever say to Mike and Robbie “this is what we want from now on” did Mike and Robbie refuse to adapt. I have nothing against the new brigade but to be fair would they have cut Sherwin and told him we need a new approach.

  9. I’m not a cycling desperate, and I wasn’t a great fan of Robbie.
    In fact I stopped watching SBS Tour de France after he came onto the commentary team.
    Like many cycling enthusiasts, I enjoyed the original travelogue aspect of the TDF coverage, which faded a little with the modern team.
    The in-depth analysis was over the top, and to me there seemed to be some aggression in the commentary, with a fair bit of an ‘I know’ and ‘I was right’ trumpeting on display.
    I particularly disliked the interruptions to other commentators’ talking points when some obscure tactic or incident happened.

    • C’mon, seriously?! McEwan and Keenan shared the same commentary box, but they were hardly a ‘team’. Keenan is hopeless, and clearly outclassed by McEwan. Sometimes the embarrassment level was palpable, and I’m surprised Robbie’s still got a tongue left, with all they biting he must have done over the years every time Keenan said something excruciatingly cringeworthy, awkwardly irrelevant, or desperately clueless. I must admit though, the pained silences from Robbie all the times Keenan failed at saying something funny were ironically amusing.

  10. Unbelievable news! First Thommo then Robbie. Who next? What are SBS thinking?
    My wife and I have been religiously watching SBS cycling since the Commonwealth Bank Classic days from the early 1990s. Robbie was a young up and coming racing cyclist then and Thommo starting his commentary. They have too much experience to be lost to us fans. Hope they are snapped up other Networks! A big mistake SBS!

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