TWITTER exploded with frenzy on Thursday as news broke that the Fox Footy coverage of Saturday's Richmond-Collingwood clash would include an option for Magpie fans to listen to their own call of the match.

So instead of Anthony Hudson and Jason Dunstall calling the action, Collingwood fans can press the red button on their TV remote and listen instead to Eddie McGuire and Peter Daicos, among others.

It was also announced on Friday that subscribers to the AFL Telstra Network's AFL Live Official App can access this service via their mobile phone (the AFL Telstra Network is also the publisher of 

Unusually for Twitter the feedback was almost entirely positive, with many embracing it as compulsive viewing, particularly if the Pies are getting thrashed, or even better, Magpie president McGuire has to call Jack Riewoldt kicking the winning goal after the siren.

How the Collingwood commentators deal with a sub-par performance or any questionable umpiring decisions against the Magpies is what will make "Ed TV" a fascinating afternoon of viewing, irrespective of your feelings towards Collingwood.

But it also represents the start of the great leap forward for sports broadcasting in Australia and it opens up a raft of possibilities for the AFL media scene.

The neutral commentary that has been the hallmark of football on TV and radio for the past 80 years is the exception, rather than the norm in the United States.

Most NBA, Major League Baseball and NHL games in the US feature what is called the home team and away team calls. Your typical Red Sox-Yankees baseball match will have separate TV and radio commentaries broadcast back for the fan base markets of both teams.

There's no pretension of neutrality in the broadcasts, most of the callers are paid employees of the teams they commentate for.

Local team broadcasters are venerated in their own communities. Google Vin Scully to learn how big he is in Los Angeles as the broadcaster of the Dodgers for more than 50 years.

Only in games of significance that are telecast nationally is there a third 'neutral' commentary team, there to cater for the large non-aligned audience.

All NFL TV broadcasts are national, but the 32 teams are free to negotiate their own radio contracts.

This writer once spent a Sunday afternoon driving through the backblocks of New Mexico with the radio station tuned to the "Denver Broncos Radio Network".

Never mind that more than 700km separated us from Denver. In the wilds of New Mexico (familiar to any fan of Breaking Bad) the Broncos were the local team.

The way the AFL radio and TV rights are structured, there have been few windows for teams to present their own match day broadcasts.

TV networks pay the big bucks for exclusive access. Radio stations pay less, of course, and the expectation is for relatively unbiased commentary to cater for supporters of both teams, although we know 5AA and K-Rock have been known to stretch the boundaries.

It's not like the AFL hasn't sniffed the winds of change. Footy fans can purchase the SportsEears radio player at any AFL game and have a choice of a radio broadcast, the TV broadcast and the communication between umpires.

Thought has been given to adding a home team and away team call to the listening choices.

The next big step would be for teams to negotiate their own media deals. It won't happen on TV and there are 1.25 billion reasons why.

But it could be the way of the future on the radio. 

There would need to be lots of number crunching and some sort of agreement about the standard and professionalism of the broadcast, but what would stop big clubs such as Collingwood, Essendon or Carlton, in addition to streaming through their websites and apps, from buying six hours of radio time on, say Magic 693, to present a comprehensive team-centric match broadcast, replete with pre and post-game analysis.

By owning the time and selling the ads, the teams could make a considerable return on their investment.

Essendon supporters have always maintained that Robert Walls hates the Bombers. Imagine their joy if a way could be found so that they never had to listen to him commentate an Essendon game ever again.

Ashley Browne is an AFL Media senior writer. @afl_hashbrowne