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Fox Footy Channel
Fox Footy Channel Logo
Launched March 6, 2002[1]
Closed October 1, 2006
Owned by Foxtel
Audience share 0.6% (Jul '05, [1])
Availability at time of closure
Satellite
Foxtel Channel 16
Austar Channel 16
Cable
Foxtel Digital Channel 506
Austar Digital Channel 506
Optus Television Analogue Channel 14

The Fox Footy Channel was a channel exclusively dedicated to Australian rules football. It was owned by Foxtel, and operated out of their Melbourne based studios. It was available on Foxtel, Austar, Optus Television, TransTV and Neighbourhood Cable up until transmission was ceased at 4.00am on 1 October 2006, its final program to air was a replay of the 2006 AFL Grand Final.

The channel was created in 2002 after News Limited won the television broadcast rights to the AFL for the 2002-2006 seasons. It granted to free to air rights to the Seven Network, Nine Network and Network Ten and granted the subscription rights to Foxtel. Fox Footy was originally offered by Foxtel for an additional subscription during the first four seasons of the rights agreement, however it was moved to the Basic package effective 2004-02-01, making it available to all Foxtel subscribers without additional charge for the balance of its life.[2]

Due to broadcasting rights, each state had a separate version of the channel to allow free-to-air right holders exclusive live coverage. For example, if Channel Seven or Channel Ten broadcast a match between the Adelaide Crows and Sydney Swans live in Adelaide, Fox Footy would have been prevented from showing the match live, whereas if Seven or Ten didn't broadcast it in Melbourne, Fox Footy would be allowed to show it live there. Fox Footy typically repeated all matches after they were played, although often with the commentary of the free-to-air network that presented it live originally. Fox Footy only broadcast the AFL and not any state football leagues such as SANFL, WAFL or VFL.

The future of the channel was placed in doubt after the awarding of the AFL rights from 2007 to the Seven Network and Network Ten. On the 23rd of August, 2006, Foxtel announced the Fox Footy Channel would cease broadcasting at the conclusion of the current AFL season and be replaced with Fox Sports 3. Foxtel CEO Kim Williams stated "It's not financially viable to continue operating a 24-hour-a-day (Australian rules) football channel when we can only get three live games a week and not on the terms we have sought." [3] Seven and Ten came to terms with Foxtel and four games per round will be shown on pay-TV, through the Fox Sports channels.

Contents

Commentary Team

The Sunday afternoon game covered by Fox Footy usually had the combination of Grybas, Carey and Healy; Saturday afternoon saw Bennett, Schwass, Lynch and Shaw; while Bartlett and Campbell were among the Saturday night match commentators.

Programming

Fox Footy not only televised live AFL games, but produced and aired many other programs including:

  • White Line Fever
  • Saturday Central
  • On the Couch
  • Living With Footballers
  • AFL Lovematch
  • The Gospel
  • Grumpy Old Men
  • Classic Quarters
  • The Fox Footy Archive
  • Fox League Teams
  • Fox Footy Feature
  • From The FOX Footy Vault
  • Footy Flashbacks

Legacy

References to Fox Footy (particularly in the form of window stickers stating "Fox Footy Channel shown here" and the like) still appear on hotels and clubs around Australia.

Another thing that is remembered is the last words on the channel before the replay, spoken by Clinton Grybas, who introduced the channel with the introduction of:

Good to have you with us, welcome to the program, indeed welcome to the channel, football's new home ground.

. The final words were:

"Well I guess as I was the one who welcomed you on this bold adventure seven years ago, it's only fitting that I'm here to say goodbye."

The BigPond member-only channel Footy TV serves as a sort of a descendant, because the channel shows replays of all AFL matches during the week, but, unlike Fox Footy Channel, no live games are shown.

References

  1. ^ FOX SPORTS Video Player
  2. ^ Fox Footy package is free for a price. From The Age online, 2004-01-04. Retrieved on 2007-10-31.
  3. ^ "Broadcasters brawl as Foxtel axes AFL". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 2006-08-23. http://www.smh.com.au/news/Sport/Broadcasters-brawl-as-Foxtel-axes-AFL/2006/08/23/1156012608114.html. Retrieved 6 September 2009.  
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