Some of the biggest sports names in the country were out in force yesterday as FOX Sports officially launched its 2016 broadcast year, at Baranagaroo in Sydney.
In attendance were such names as Cathy Freeman, Mal Meninga, Israel Folau, Craig Lowndes, Sam Mitchell, Jack Miller, plus James Warburton CEO of the V8 Supercars, David Gallop CEO of Football Australia, John Grant Chairman of the NRL, Rob Clarke Acting CEO of the ARU and Travis Auld the General manager of Clubs and Operations for the AFL.
FOX Sports CEO Patrick Delaney was bursting with pride over the broadcast rights for NRL, AFL, V8s and more.
Underpinning the NRL deal is the promise of no ad breaks during play and High Definition coverage.
It offers exclusive coverage of Super Saturday, Sunday afternoon football and Monday Night Football. Live coverage of every game will be top and tailed with pre, half and post-match shows to preview and analyse all the on-field action.
Legendary Mal Meninga has joined FOX Sports for Friday Night Footy while Origin coaches Laurie Daley and Kevin Walters will team up every Wednesday on NRL 360.
New to 2016, NRL Tonight on FOX Sports News 500 will feature latest and breaking news, with updates from the field and late mail ahead of each round in daily 30 minute bulletins. A dedicated 24/7 Rugby League channel is coming in 2017.
FOX Sports CEO, Patrick Delany, said 2016 marks a new era for Rugby League coverage.
“Last year’s breakthrough broadcast deal will ensure fans get to see their team in action live every week on FOX Sports, uninterrupted by ad-breaks during play and in high definition, the way they deserve to watch the game they love.”
Entertainment Show Line Up (beginning March 1 with NRL 360):
Monday Night with Matty Johns: 8.45pm – Matty Johns, Gorden Tallis, Bryan Fletcher, Nathan Hindmarsh, Lara Pitt
NRL Tonight: (Monday – Friday from February 29) 5.30pm and 9.30pm – Megan Barnard and Louise Ransome with James Hooper on FOX Sports News
NRL 360: 6.30pm, encore 8.30pm – Ben Ikin and Paul Kent; Players Night with Benji Marshall and Michael Ennis
Back Page Live: 7.30pm
NRL 360: 6.30pm, encore 8.30pm – Coaches Night with Kevin Walters & Laurie Daley
On the Couch with Sterlo: 7.30pm – Peter Sterling, Braith Anasta, James Hooper & Corey Parker
NRL 360: 6.30pm, encore 8.30pm – Legends Night with Billy Moore & Geoff Toovey
Fox NRL Thursday: 7.30pm – Matt Shirvington, Greg Alexander, Gorden Tallis
Friday Night Footy on Fox: 7.00pm – Matty Johns, Gorden Tallis, Bryan Fletcher, Nathan Hindmarsh + Megan Barnard
Super Saturday: 2.30pm – Matt Shirvington, Mark Gasnier and Braith Anasta
Super Saturday Full Time: Matt Shirvington, Mark Gasnier, Braith Anasta & Lara Pitt
NRL Tonight: (Saturday and Sunday) 11.30am and 10.30pm on FOX Sports News
NRL Sunday Ticket: 1.30pm – Andrew Voss, Mark Gasnier, Lara Pitt + rotation of players
Foxtel CEO, Richard Freudenstein said, “This unprecedented Rugby League coverage adds to our wonderful line up of sport this year on Foxtel – with every AFL, V8’s Super Rugby, Moto GP, Formula 1 and now NRL game or race , every round Live and in HD. This, alongside coverage of all the golf majors, the ANZ Championship, the World Surf League, the Socceroos, the Diamonds, the Wallabies and more means there has never been a better time to be a sports fan in Australia, or a better time to have Foxtel in your home.”
Patrick Delaney also announced new faces and changes for FOX Footy: “Monday night is coaches night on AFL 360 with Chris Scott joining the team alongside Nathan Buckley,” he said. “Tuesday is players’ night Jack Riewoldt joining us this year with Bob Murphy and Jordan Lewis returning. On our Thursday Night Preview show Brian Lake and Dyson Heppell join our team.”
Monday – Thursday 7.30pm – Returns Monday 21 March
Gerard Whateley and Mark Robinson’s award-winning AFL 360 will be bolstered by an unparalleled team of regular guests in 2016.
New program: Premieres Monday 29 February at 5.00pm
AFL Tonight is a daily AFL news program to debut on FOX SPORTS News and FOX FOOTY. Hosted by Sarah Jones and featuring AFL reporters Tom Chadwick, Neroli Meadows and new chief AFL writer for FOX Sports, Jake Niall, who joins the team in 2016.
On The Couch
Mondays at 8.30pm – Returns Monday 21 March
David King joins Gerard Healy, Jason Dunstall and Jonathan Brown for the hugely popular On The Couch in 2016. The expert team weigh into the biggest issues surrounding the AFL, providing compulsory viewing every Monday night.
New night: Tuesdays at 8.30pm – Returns Tuesday 22 March
Award-winning Open Mike with Mike Sheahan moves to a new night in 2016, straight after AFL 360 every Tuesday. The insightful interview program features some of the greats of the game and provides viewers with the most in-depth and illuminating footy discussions.
Thursdays at 6.30pm – Returns Wednesday 23 March (Due to Thursday Night Footy on FOX)
Hosted by Dermott Brereton and rotating through a panel of stars consisting of Alastair Lynch, David Parkin, Ben Dixon, Brad Johnson, Barry Hall and Cameron Mooney.
Sundays after the footy – Returns Sunday 27 March
Jason Dunstall, Danny Frawley and Andrew Gaze are joined by Barry Hall and Cameron Mooney who will take over the hilarious and unpredictable ‘Yesterday’s Heroes’ challenges. This season, Bounce will introduce a Live studio audience for the first time.
The Winners Rebooted
Wednesdays at 8.30pm – Returns Wednesday 30 March
Drew Morphett is back at The Winners Rebooted desk in a revamped version of the popular show from the ‘70s/‘80s. Morphett relives some of the most iconic moments in games from that era while joined by AFL legends.
*All times listed above are AEDT.
For motorsport fans, FOX Sports is the only place to be in 2016, bringing viewers seamless coverage of adrenalin-fuelled action both on home soil and around the world. Every race, qualifying and practice session of V8 Supercar Championship, the FIA Formula One World Championship and MotoGP World Championship will be Live and in High Definition. Driving FOX Sports’ unparalleled coverage, racing great, Mark Skaife, increases his role in 2016 joining Neil Crompton in the commentary box to guide viewers through the racing.
With the introduction of three new teams to the expanded Asteron Life Super Rugby season in 2016, FOX Sports will make sure fans are able to see every match of what is shaping up to be an explosive new era for the sport. Stars from Argentina and Japan, born on the world stage at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, will take on each other as well as the best from New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, as 18 teams battle it out to be crowned champions.
FOX Sports’ successful 360 stable is adding a rugby franchise, with Rugby 360 launching on the eve of the Super Rugby season to look at the game from every angle. Former Wallabies Greg Martin and Rod Kafer will host the Wednesday night show, with ‘Players’, ‘Coaches’ and ‘Legends’ joining on a rotating basis, including the likes of Michael Cheika, Mick Byrne, Phil Kearns and Tim Horan. The panel will discuss and debate all the big issues plus look at everything making headlines and all the talking points from the week in Rugby.
Hyundai A-League, Socceroos World Cup qualifiers, Wimbledon, French Open and US Open tennis, US Masters, US Open golf and PGA Championshiop, along with every male and female event from the World Surf League and more will put FOX Sports head and shoulders above any other broadcaster when it comes to giving fans the best possible sports viewing experience in Australia in 2016.