Fox Footy Channel

The Fox Footy Channel was a channel exclusively dedicated to Australian rules football. It was owned by Foxtel and operates out of their Melbourne based studios. From 2002 - 2006 it was available on Foxtel, Austar, Optus Television, TransTV[2] and Neighbourhood Cable until transmission ceased on 1 October 2006. The channel was revived as Fox Footy for the 2012 AFL season after a new broadcast agreement was reached between Fox Sports and the AFL.

Fox Footy Channel
Fox Footy Channel Logo
Launched6 March 2002[1]
Closed1 October 2006
Owned byFoxtel
Picture format576i (SDTV)
Audience share0.6% (July 2005, [1])
Replaced byFox Sports 3
Availability at time of closure
FoxtelChannel 506
AustarChannel 506
FoxtelChannel 506
AustarChannel 506
Optus TVChannel 506
TransTVChannel 24


The channel was created in 2002 after News Limited won the television broadcast rights to the AFL for the 2002 to 2006 seasons. It granted to free to air rights to the 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 two seasons of the rights agreement; however, it was moved to the Basic package in February 2004, making it available to all Foxtel subscribers without additional charge for the balance of its life.[3]

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 Nine 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 Nine 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.

End of the channel

The future of the channel was placed in doubt after the awarding of the AFL rights from 2007 to 2011 the Seven Network and Network Ten. On 23 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." [4] The channel ended after a replay of the 2006 AFL Grand Final at 4.00am. Seven and Ten later, came to terms with Foxtel and four games per round will be shown on pay-TV, through the Fox Sports channels.


It was announced on 28 April 2011 that the channel will be revived for the 2012 AFL season. The channel returned exclusively on Foxtel and its broadcasting partners, under the proposed new name of Fox Sports AFL,[5] which was later changed back to its original name Fox Footy. The channel relaunched on Friday 17 February 2012 with the first NAB Cup round-robin match between Hawthorn, Richmond and North Melbourne broadcast that night. Fox Footy broadcasts all NAB Challenge games exclusively, all home and away matches and all finals matches (except for the Grand Final which screens exclusively on Seven). All matches are broadcast live to air in both Standard and High Definition with no commercial breaks during play. When two live matches are being played simultaneously, Fox Sports 1 broadcasts one of the matches. Football personalities and commentators who signed or re-signed to be a part of the relaunched channel included Eddie McGuire (who commentates one non-Collingwood match a week and hosts his own talk show), Gerard Healy, Paul Roos, Jason Dunstall, Dwayne Russell, Brad Johnson, Alastair Lynch, Tony Shaw, Liam Pickering, David King, Danny Frawley, Mark Ricciuto, Glen Jakovich, Anthony Hudson and Dermott Brereton.

Former 2002-2006 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.


Fox Footy produced and aired shows, including:


  1. ^ FOX SPORTS Video Player Archived 9 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "TransACT offers more movies, more sport and more enjoyment". Canberra Times. 12 June 2005. p. 41.
  3. ^ Fox Footy package is free for a price. From The Age online, 4 January 2004. Retrieved on 31 October 2007.
  4. ^ "Broadcasters brawl as Foxtel axes AFL". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 23 August 2006. Retrieved 6 September 2009.
  5. ^ FOXTEL to Deliver Most Comprehensive Live AFL Coverage Ever
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The 2005 Australian Football International Cup was the second time that the Australian Football International Cup tournament, an international Australian rules football competition was held.

The event was hosted by both Melbourne and Wangaratta, Australia in 2005.

10 nations participated following the late withdrawal of both Nauru and Denmark and the introduction of Spain.

All sides were scheduled to play 4 games, after which the top 4 sides played off in semi-finals for a berth in the Grand Final decider. The Grand Final was between Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. Both sides went through the tournament undefeated. It was played as a curtain raiser to an official Australian Football League premiership season match and was replayed on Fox Sports (Australia) and the Fox Footy Channel.

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Fox Footy

Fox Footy (stylised as FOX FOOTY) is an Australian rules football subscription television channel dedicated to screening Australian rules football matches and related programming. It is owned by Fox Sports Pty Limited, operated out of their Melbourne based studios and available throughout Australia on Foxtel, and Optus Television. The channel is a revival of the former Fox Footy Channel, which was in operation between 2002–2006. The channel recommenced prior to the 2012 AFL season after a new broadcast agreement was reached between the former Premier Media Group, Austar, Foxtel and the Australian Football League (AFL). Fox Footy is currently the most watched channel on Foxtel.

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A predecessor show with the same name and same general format was screened by HSV-7 in Melbourne in the 1960s and 1970s. It featured a panal of three well known former players, Lou Richards, Jack Dyer and Bob Davis. It was shown late on Thursday nights during the football season.

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Hosted by Clinton Grybas, it allowed fans and viewers to call into the live shows and share their thoughts with regular guest panelists including Tony Shaw, Terry Wallace, Rodney Eade, Derek Humphrey-Smith and Mike Sheahan, along with guest players from AFL teams. The show was unique for its viewer interaction and comprehensive analysis of Australian rules football.

The show made frequent use of live crosses to notable events such as press conferences and AFL Tribunal hearings.

The show commenced in 2002 in a half-hour format from 8pm AEST following the half-hour Fox Footy News, but was expanded to a full hour from 7.30pm AEST in 2003, subsuming the news program as a ten-minute introductory segment presented by Tiffany Cherry. In 2005 the Friday night edition moved to a non-live format, allowing Grybas to front the show without intruding on his football calling duties with radio station 3AW. This edition of the show was rebadged as Friday Night Fever, although still appears as White Line Fever in listings.

The show ceased broadcasting following the closure of Fox Footy Channel after the 2006 season.

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