“Tough decision”: Nine axes AFL Footy Show

"Sadly the new show has not captured audiences in the way we had hoped," says Nine.

Nine has axed The Footy Show, after its failed revamp, ending the longest running sports entertainment program in prime-time TV.

It follows dire ratings for the show, a savaging by Seven’s Front Bar and industry chatter over the revamp with Andrew ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann, Neroli Meadows, Brendan Fevola, Dylan Alcott and Shane Crawford.

Nine made the announcement via a press release following tonight’s show.

Nine’s Melbourne Managing Director, Matt Scriven, said, “I want to thank the current hosts, Anthony Lehmann, Neroli Meadows, Dylan Alcott, Brendan Fevola and Shane Crawford, the former hosts of The Footy Show, and the hard working crew for their great contribution.

“It is with regret that The Footy Show will no longer be produced. It has been a tough decision to end the program that has been such a trailblazer, but sadly the new show has not captured audiences in the way we had hoped.

“Over the past three decades Nine has led the way with AFL entertainment and news programs and we will continue to do so, with the production of the award-winning Footy Classified and the Sunday Footy Show.

“We remain committed to the AFL and creating great AFL content, and we will continue to focus on new ways to engage audiences who love the code.”

Since its revamp in March the new look Footy Show has struggled in the ratings. Seven’s Front Bar dominated last week, 427,000 to The Footy Show‘s meagre 97,000 (both 5 city metro). There have been some criticisms Nine was wrong to brand the revamp under its long-running title, but the network favoured trying to retain the audience it had rather than building from the ground up.

This post updates.

30 Responses

  1. My main reason for watching The Footy Show over the years was for the Street Talk segment. When that vanished all of a sudden and those like Sam or others stopped doing crazy things, I didn’t feel as big a need to tune in all that often.

    Then with this year, I couldn’t even see it having much to do with The Footy Show of the past apart from Brendan Fevola and Shane Crawford appearances but it was too downbeat still.

  2. Yep, I agree-it was the hosts!

    CH9 has been trying to take the “man” out of it’s programs for the last couple of years , and is/has succeeded.
    Funny thing is, where has everyone gone to? Oh, that’s right, to watch a Footy Show that’s hosted by “men”.
    Keep voting with your feet, although I’m guessing virtue signaling and telling people what they need to like, is greater than giving the people what they actually like and want.
    Strange social engineering times we are in. ;))

  3. Congrats for 26 years of the Footy Show, growing up watching this every week was amazing fun in its day. To channel 9 – Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth have a market for AFL as you know very well. I really hope something is created, new fresh and relevant – and most of all Melbourne based and produced as so much is now Sydney. Contrats again for an amazing legacy.

    1. It has nothing to do with the current hosts. The shows rating have been declining for years. That’s the whole reason why they got McGuire back in the first place. This was going to happen regardless who was hosting. The original hosts were replaced for a reason…

  4. I started watching the Footy Show as a 14yo when it started in 1994. Eddie, Sam and Trev (behind the bar) were fun to watch and I still have a VHS copy of their first season highlights. I’ll take Trev out of this now because I still respect him.

    Eddie and Sam moved on, for better or worse and well done to them.

    I love ‘The Front Bar’ now but don’t discredit a show that has run for nearly 30 years. It’s a major achievement that might never be seen again in light entertainment.

  5. This was always going to happen. Feel bad for the current hosts but it had nothing to do with them. That show was a good decade past its used by date. Hopefully, Ch 7 will extend the Front Bar by a half hour or so now.

    1. I certainly wouldn’t consider Andy Maher or Sam Pang “bogans”. They are both intelligent and well spoken men. Mick Molloy may come across as a bogan but that is part of his charm in the same way Fev was on the Footy Show.

  6. Nine should be celebrating the success of The Footy Show. Nothing lasts forever and in its day there was nothing bigger. Well done, now time to innovate rather than re-hash old formats. A couple of best of The Footy Shows would pick up some of the money the show bled this year.

  7. So guessing no Footy Show “specials” now David? 🙁
    I feel if they had’ve given the new show a new name this year (as they had originally planned) the specials could have gone to air still throughout the year & would’ve done reasonably well!

  8. To cut it so quickly it must have been bleeding money. Feel sorry for the cast as the new version was far from terrible. Nice to see Kochie acknowledge it this morning on Sunrise, his colleagues didn’t know how to react.

      1. Normally it is perhaps he appeared today so he could have a full two week break which Sam didn’t have. I think Kochie was a big fan of The Footy Show even attending the grand final edition last year or the year before.

    1. You can’t get more blokey than three males sitting around a bar drinking beer. I’d argue Nine’s attempts to drag TFS into the modern PC era actually turned viewers off and aided Front Bar.

  9. Axing it before the rating sheet comes out the next morning said something but the new hosts were on a hiding to nothing after how the show ended last year.
    I think channel 9 willat least in Melbourne go with the Ashes on the main channel on the Thursday night later in the year with all 5 Test matches having play on the Thursday night and will provide a ratings challenge when 1st session of play is between 8-10 pm.

    1. Australian Games in The Cricket World Cup fit in on a couple of Thursday’s as well June 06th and June 20th, which also coincides with no NRL on those Thursdays. State of Origin is on Weds June 05th, then there is no NRL from June 16th – 27th with State Of Origin on June 23rd, so 2 days there Nine can fill. Same thing happens for the 2nd CWC Semi-Final on July 11th, there is no Thursday Night NRL on that night either, so if Australia makes the Finals there is that one as well.

  10. @Bogues: The NRL game next Thurs is Storm v Wests … given how Wests are travelling and Storm’s staggers it might be a good place-filler. Beyond that however is anybody’s guess.

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