An innocent mistake on a media release has again sparked speculation regarding the future of The AFL Footy Show.
Ahead of the 9Upfront 2019 announcement event in Sydney on Wednesday evening, members of the media were intrigued to discover The AFL Footy Show was missing from the Nine media release.
The document, which did include Footy Classified and The Sunday Footy Show, was first issued to the media under embargo at 2pm leading some to speculate the Thursday AFL program had been axed.
However, within 20 minutes Nine had issued an amended media release promising The AFL Footy Show would return in 2019 and declaring the show would be “home to the biggest stories in the world of AFL” and would be “hosted by champions of the game”. Nine declined to confirm at this stage who exactly those champions would be.
A spokesperson for Nine said an administrative error was to blame.
Despite recent ratings issues , The AFL Footy Show will return in 2019 as Nine knows if they axe it, The Front Bar will gain an additional 100,000 viewers. Additionally, the show is important to Nine as it allows them to sell Thursday night football advertising packages to sponsors nationally targeting combined NRL and AFL fans.
While the show will still be produced by Eddie McGuire’s production company JamTV, it appears increasingly unlikely McGuire, Sam Newman, and a number of other key cast members will return to the show.
DeciderTV has previously reported Melbourne sports presenter Tony Jones, and former players Mathew Lloyd, Kane Cornes, Nathan Brown and Brendan Fevola are being looked at by Nine as new cast members for the show in 2019. A sponsorship agreement with Foxtel could potentially allow other Fox Footy personalities to regularly appear on the program.
While The Front Bar continues to attract viewers by offering an appealing mix of footy nostalgia and humour, The Footy Show is expected to provide a point of difference by focusing on current day players and issues, with an increased profile on breaking AFL news stories.