FOX League

#1

The on-air stars of what promises to be the biggest TV channel launch of 2017, Fox Sports’ new 24/7 rugby league channel Fox League, are undertaking an eight-day roadshow through Queensland, featuring some of the biggest legends to have played the game, plus some well-known Fox Sports faces.

NRL greats Justin Hodges (pictured), Corey Parker, Gorden Tallis, Kevin Walters, Bryan Fletcher and Nathan Hindmarsh, Monday Night with Matty Johns’ James “The Professor” Rochford and Fox Sports’ commentator Andy Raymond will be among the names hitting the road for the tour.

The Fox League on Tour team will be out in the community visiting fans at schools and footy clubs, plus locals will be able to meet the stars at special Sportsman’s Nights and shows in each location.

Fans will be entertained by some of Queensland’s most loved players along with Fox Sports’ comedy duo Fletch & Hindy and The Professor across the Tour.

It all kicks off on February 20, with the first stop in Cairns, before the roadshow moves to Townsville (February 21), Mackay (February 22), the Sunshine Coast (February 23), Brisbane (stay tuned for more news on what’s planned for Brisbane on February 27) and the Gold Coast (February 28).

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#2

Former Balmain Tigers hard-man and ex-Footy Show host Steve “Blocker” Roach has been given a new three-year contract with FOX Sports and will work on its new 24-hour rugby league channel FOX League.

David Riccio reports in the Sunday Telegraph that “Blocker” impressed bosses with his knowledge and passion during the 2016 season.

“When I first spoke to Steve Crawley (Head of Fox Sports), I told him I would do anything he wanted me to do, just to stay involved in the game. I’d even carry the drinks,’’ Blocker said.

“I love the game. It’s in my blood and talking rugby league, having an opinion and calling rugby league, is what I can’t live without.

“To think I’ll be part of the biggest year in rugby league broadcasting, with the launch of Fox’s 24-hour rugby league channel, I can’t be thankful enough.’’

No Block un-turned for Steve’s FOX League return

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#3

FOX League kicks off Monday 27 February.

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#4

Jessica Mauboy lets her bias loose in new Foxtel sport campaign
Foxtel and Fox Sports team up with Jessica Mauboy to launch new rugby league channel, Fox League

Foxtel and Fox Sports have announced the upcoming launch of a brand new rugby league channel, Fox League, with a major brand and retail marketing campaign designed to kick off the 2017 winter sports season. The campaign from TBWA Sydney is headlined by Aussie singer, actress and rugby league tragic Jessica Mauboy, and continues the brand positioning ‘We’re a FoxSporting Nation’ under the new theme that ‘everyone’s team deserves to be seen’.

The new Fox League channel is set to take to the air on Foxtel starting 27 February. Fox League marks an exciting new phase in the history of the NRL. New shows and presenters will line-up alongside returning favourites for a non-stop schedule of rugby league with every game live on Foxtel and Foxtel Play and streamed to Foxtel Go so subscribers can enjoy the best in live sports anytime, anywhere on selected smartphones and tablets.

Jess is front and centre in the launch ad showing off her biased support for the Cowboys while taking a cheeky poke at rival teams. The ad highlights the inclusive nature of Foxtel’s sport coverage, where fans can watch their favourite team, every week, no matter who they support.

In addition to rugby league, the campaign will celebrate Foxtel’s unrivalled sports coverage in 2017, including the return of the Fox Footy channel with every game live of the men’s and women’s competitions, along with motorsport, football and much more.

Rob Farmer, Foxtel’s Director of Brand Marketing, said, “This week we kick off our 2017 winter sport season spearheaded with exciting the news of our upcoming Fox League channel that will feature non-stop rugby league programming. The news comes alongside our new sport campaign that reminds Australians that Foxtel is the place to be to catch the most comprehensive coverage of live sport anywhere. Foxtel believes that ‘everyone’s team deserves to be seen’ so regardless of which sport you love or the team you barrack for, Foxtel has you covered.”

Jessica Mauboy said, “I grew up with Rugby League and anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a genuine Rugby League fan. The Foxtel team were awesome to work with and the creative felt very natural to me. GO THE COWBOYS!”

Paul Bradbury, TBWA’s CEO, added, “Jessica Mauboy’s passion as an NRL fan (and Cowboys fan) was on full display for this campaign, and most Australian’s are fans of Jess, so she was the perfect person to spread the word of the launch of Foxtel’s Fox League channel. Jess may appear sweet but her love of the North Queensland Cowboys can change all that in an instant.”

In 2017, Foxtel’s 12 dedicated sports channels in the Sports Pack – including FOX SPORTS, Fox Footy, beIN Sports, ESPN, and Eurosport, plus the soon to launch Fox League channel – will broadcast hours of live and exclusive coverage for subscribers across major national and international sports including NRL, AFL, F1 Supercars, golf, cricket, tennis, cycling, racing, surfing, netball, NBA and NFL. Sport subscribers also have access to three leading English football club channels, Chelsea TV, LFCTV and MUTV, for one cent per channel per year.

For more information please visit: www.foxtel.com.au.

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#5

A fascinating IV with Yvonne Sampson and how she came to find out about her indigenous heritage.

$
Yvonne’s ready for footy

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#6

The bloke who’s had more chances than anyone else gets in life, Brett Finch, has been thrown another life-line.

The former 2GB and Nine commentator, sacked because of lack of attendance when required, has been snapped up by FOX League.

He will (hopefully) be joining James “Professor” Rochford, Triple M’s Chris Page and weekly guests for the “Professor’s Second Year Syndrome,” which will screen Friday evenings at 10.

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#7

FOX Sports will launch its new rugby league channel in Brisbane as part of concerted push to win the support of Queensland fans.

Operation Queensland is a firm focus of the new 24-hour league channel, Fox League, which will start with a two-hour version of the Matty Johns Show at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on February 27.

“Kicking off the new Fox League channel in Brisbane shows we are more serious about Queensland than ever before, and we are listening to what fans want,’’ said Fox Sports chief executive Patrick Delany.

“There’s plenty more to come. We are out to win the hearts and minds of Queensland NRL fans and will be throwing everything we have to deliver more rugby league, the way they want it.

“A new dedicated channel with more of their favourites faces, across more nights, with more Queensland flavour. Broncos, Cowboys and Titans live in action every round. It doesn’t get much better.’’

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#8

Patrick Delany ‏@PatrickDelany

FoX League to be launched tonight at BIRCHGROVE oval. Our goal is to “honour the past and own the future”. Awesome line up to be revealed.

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#9

For the first time ever, Australia’s first dedicated rugby league channel, Fox League – to be aired this NRL season on Fox Sports – will boast an all-female panel show, reports News Corp’s David Riccio.

League Life will have Yvonne Sampson, Lara Pitt, Jessica Yates and Hannah Hollis discuss the key issues within the game and at grassroots level every Wednesday night.

Ahead of the Fox League launch party at Birchgrove Oval on Wednesday night, Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delaney said the talented quartet would be used across every platform of the channel’s coverage.

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#10

FOX LEAGUE USHERS IN NEW ERA FOR RUGBY LEAGUE

NEW 24/7 DEDICATED RUGBY LEAGUE CHANNEL ‘FOX LEAGUE’ TO CHAMPION AND CELEBRATE THE GAME

YVONNE SAMPSON, JUSTIN HODGES, HANNAH HOLLIS JOIN THE FOX TEAM IN 2017

SIX NEW ENTERTAINMENT SHOWS MORE QUEENSLAND FLAVOUR WITH NEW

‘QUEENSLANDERS ONLY’ PROGRAM

FEMALE PRESENTERS TAKE THE LEAD ACROSS THE FOX LEAGUE WEEK

FIRST ALL FEMALE SPORTS PANEL SHOW ‘LEAGUE LIFE’ NEW GAME DAY INNOVATIONS

FOX LEAGUE SWITCHES ON FEBRUARY 20, 2017

FOX SPORTS, exclusively on Foxtel, is giving Rugby League the coverage it deserves in 2017. Every game of every round, plus every final in September LIVE, ad-break free during play and in HD all on a dedicated 24/7 Rugby League channel, ‘FOX LEAGUE’.
Launched tonight at Birchgrove Oval in Balmain, the spiritual birthplace of Rugby League in Australia, FOX LEAGUE will honour the origins of the game and champion and celebrate Rugby League like no one else.

Switching on February 20, channel FOX SPORTS 502 will become FOX LEAGUE with all the shows firing up from February 27 before Round 1 kicks off on March 2. FOX LEAGUE will give fans what they have been asking for – every game, every round live, guided by the best commentary team in the business, on their very own channel that never switches off.

Joining the FOX family in 2017 is the highly sought-after sports presenter, Yvonne Sampson, who will lead a new era for Rugby League coverage alongside one of Australia’s brightest broadcasters, Matty Johns.

Other new faces joining the network, as it gears up for its biggest and best year ever, is recently retired Broncos great, Justin Hodges, former half- back star, Brett Finch and popular sports presenter Hannah Hollis. Fans will see more of Corey Parker and Mick Ennis plus hear from new match- day caller, Brenton Speed.

Sharing play-by-play commentary duties with Speed is Warren Smith and Andrew Voss.

Hodges, Parker and Sampson join Mal Meninga, Kevin Walters, Ben Ikin and Gorden Tallis to lead the strongest Queensland contingent ever assembled at FOX SPORTS.

In 2017, fans will hear from more of the most respected female sports presenters in the country with Sampson joined by Hollis, Lara Pitt, Megan Barnard, Tara Rushton and Jess Yates to feature prominently across the week’s programming.

The LIVE on-field action starts earlier in the week this season, with the new Thursday night match hosted by Sampson, Johns and a bumper panel of experts weekly from 7.00pm EDT.

Then it’s a Friday double-header, with the new 6pm match only on FOX LEAGUE, before a massive Super Saturday EXCLUSIVE triple-header. FOX LEAGUE will be the only place to watch both Sunday matches LIVE, wrapping up the weekend’s action.

And it gets better. Across the week, six new magazine shows will keep fans entertained, informed and across all Rugby League’s big issues. There will be something for everyone - more fun and more debate, bringing fans even closer to the game they love.

New to the FOX LEAGUE Lab is the Whizz-kid, whose razor sharp brain and home-made algorithms correctly predicted 80 per cent of last season’s results. New additions to FOX SPORTS’ in-broadcast Augmented Reality, will see a new virtual tackle marker, keeping track of the tackle-count as well as showing subscribers exactly where it took place. And shedding new light on what was a recurring point of contention last year, a new virtual 10-metre line will make it clearer for fans to know when refs are getting it right.

FOX SPORTS CEO, Patrick Delany, said:

“This is a game changing day for NRL. We’ve listened to fans and responded to their desire to see their game celebrated and enshrined in a place all of its own. That new place is FOX LEAGUE. We are going to make what is already awesome, more awesome!

“We will share our love of the game with fans around the country delivering the best coverage to more fans, in more ways than ever before.

“Your game, your team and now your channel. We will have double, triple, double live coverage from Friday to Sunday, plus the best Thursday night line-up kicking off the round’s action.

“With all the live broadcasts, all the shows – we will do what no one else can. It’s a massive investment for us but we are committed to making our coverage of the game even more awesome.”

FOX SPORTS Head of Television, Steve Crawley, said:

“FOX LEAGUE will put Rugby League onto the world map of sports broadcasting. It will be like no other and nothing Australian sports fans have ever experienced.

“We have an army of producers charging the channel and we have assembled the biggest, and best, line-up of talent possible. This channel has it all and we can’t wait for fans to experience it.”

Foxsports.com.au will be the ultimate online destination with all the news, videos, stats and analysis plus the most comprehensive live Match Centres in the game and NRL SuperCoach. Australia’s only dedicated 24/7 sports news channel, FOX SPORTS News 500 will have nightly dedicated bulletins with the return of NRL Tonight plus extensive league coverage across the day.

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#11

Line Up

MONDAYS

Monday Night with Matty Johns
Monday nights at 7.30pm

Monday Night with Matty Johns returns in 2017 at the new, family-friendly time of 7.30pm. Matty Johns and his regular crew of Gorden Tallis, Bryan Fletcher, Nathan Hindmarsh and Lara Pitt will wrap up the round’s action with plenty of laughs along the way.

NRL 360
Monday – Wednesday 6.30pm

From Monday to Wednesday, Ben Ikin and Paul Kent set the NRL agenda by dissecting all the big talking points impacting the game from every angle. Origin Coaches Laurie Daley and Kevin Walters combine for Coaches’ Night each Monday. Wests Tigers’ Aaron Woods, the Bulldogs’ James Graham and the Broncos’ Benji Marshall team up for Players’ Night on Tuesdays, while Billy Moore returns for Legends’ Night on Wednesdays. A collection of renowned Rugby League journalists, including Buzz Rothfield, Andrew Webster, Paul Crawley and Dean Ritchie will feature across the week to offer their take on the biggest news stories.

TUESDAYS

On the Couch with Sterlo
Tuesday nights at 7.30pm

League legend Peter Sterling is joined each week by NRL greats Corey Parker, Michael Ennis and Steve ‘Blocker’ Roach, plus NRL news- breaker James Hooper for On the Couch with Sterlo, at the new time of 7.30pm on Tuesday nights. Some of the biggest names in the game will join the team on the couch, plus Sterlo sits down with current and former players for insightful one-on-one interviews.

WEDNESDAYS

League Life
Wednesday nights at 7.30pm

League Life will see Yvonne Sampson, Lara Pitt, Jess Yates and Hannah Hollis combine for Australia’s first all-female sports panel show,
League Life, each Wednesday night. The 30-minute program will deliver topical discussion and debate about the key issues and talking points along with stories from grass roots and those living the League Life. It’s going to be a lot of fun with some very different views on the game among the panel.

Queenslanders Only
Wednesday nights at 8.00pm

By Queenslanders. For Queenslanders. This is the show all NRL fans in Queensland have been waiting for. Robert ‘Crash’ Craddock is joined by a rotating panel of Queensland Rugby League legends, including Mal Meninga, Kevin Walters, Gorden Tallis, Corey Parker and Justin Hodges for a special take on the NRL news.
THURSDAYS

League 13 – to – 1
Thursday nights at 6.30pm
Tara Rushton and Braith Anasta combine to remember some of the greatest moments in NRL history each Thursday night on League 13-to-1. With a new theme each week, some of the biggest names in the game will join the duo to relive past glories and stories.

Thursday Night League
Thursday nights from 7.00pm

Rugby League finds a new home on Thursday nights, with a blockbuster clash set to start the weekend early. Thursday Night League will launch the round, with host Yvonne Sampson combining with an expert panel to deliver the best discussion and analysis of the game each week. Some of the biggest names to have played the game, including Matty Johns, Mark Gasnier, Michael Ennis, Corey Parker, Justin Hodges and Braith Anasta will feature alongside FOX LEAGUE presenter Megan Barnard to guide viewers throughout the night.

The Late Show with Matty Johns
Thursday nights from 10.00pm, after the footy.

NRL fans will have more Matty in 2017 with Matty Johns and his regular team of Gorden Tallis, Nathan Hindmarsh, Bryan Fletcher and The Professor teaming up for The Late Show with Matty Johns each Thursday night after for a preview of the weekend’s footy. Viewers can kick their weekend off early with a raucous mix of jokes, banter, pranks and leftfield analysis.
FRIDAYS

Friday Night Footy
Friday nights from 5.30pm

FOX LEAGUE will be the destination for NRL fans seeking their Friday night footy fix, with double the action every week. FOX LEAGUE will be the only place to catch the weekend’s opening double-header, with host Matt Shirvington joined by a rotating panel of experts, including Mark Gasnier, Kevin Walters, Justin Hodges, Braith Anasta and Steve Roach to preview and review the action, while Megan Barnard delivers the latest news throughout the night. It all kicks off at 5.30pm, with the first game of the night EXCLUSIVE to FOX LEAGUE, before a prime-time blockbuster launches at 8.00pm.

The Professor’s Second Year Syndrome
Friday nights at 10.00pm, after the footy

The breakout star from Monday Night with Matty Johns, James ‘The Professor’ Rochford, is back in 2017 with a brand new show of his own.

The Professor’s Second Year Syndrome will be satire at its sharpest, poking harmless fun at the game, clubs and players we all love. The Professor will be joined by Rugby League great Brett Finch, Triple M’s Chris Page, plus special guests each week.
SATURDAYS

Super Saturday
Saturdays from 3.00pm

FOX LEAGUE’s biggest day of NRL action returns in 2017, with up to three LIVE, ad-break free during play and EXCLUSIVE games back-to-back on Super Saturday. Matt Shirvington will host the opening match LIVE from the ground, before Yvonne Sampson takes the reigns from FOX LEAGUE HQ. League legend Greg Alexander, plus a rotation of experts, will be on hand to offer their expert insight and analysis.
SUNDAYS

Sunday Ticket
Sundays from 1.00pm

Jess Yates steps into the hosting chair on Sundays alongside Braith Anasta, Michael Ennis and Lara Pitt to deliver a LIVE, ad-break free during play and HIGH DEFINITION double-header on Sunday Ticket. There’s no place like home on a Sunday, and the team will guide viewers through both games as they kick-back, relax and settle into a leisurely afternoon of Rugby League action.

League Legends
Sunday nights at 6.30pm

Hosted by one of Australia’s most respected television sports journalists, Tim Sheridan, League Legends is a series of insightful one-on-one, in- depth interviews with some of the biggest names to have ever played the game. Nothing is off limits in this revealing new series which delves deep into the lives and stories of Australia’s greatest Rugby League players, detailing the highs and lows of their careers both on and off the field. Some of the legends set to feature on the premiere season include Noel Kelly, Chris Close, Mal Meninga, Max Krilich, Mike Cleary, and Tom Raudonikis.

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#12

The Sunday Telegraph reports that Benji Marshall has been removed from panel show NRL 360, following his move to the Brisbane Broncos.

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#13

Benji is a has been. :slight_smile:

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#14

the day he left the Dragons, right? :wink:

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#15

Multi Channel Network (MCN) today announced the signing of over 20 partnerships for FOX SPORTS’ new dedicated 24/7 Rugby League channel, FOX LEAGUE.

FOX SPORTS Channel 502 will become FOX LEAGUE today with all the shows firing up from 27 February, before Round One of the season kicks off on 2 March. The new channel allows audiences to experience every game, every round live, all guided by the best commentary team in the business on their very own channel, which never switches off.

Thanks to the variety of opportunities available with the 24/7 FOX LEAGUE channel, MCN can connect brands at any level with the NRL audience – from primary spot packages to small and large scale integration.

MCN has secured a series of key brands for the code’s new partner naming rights for the 2017 season including; Schick Hydro for Thursday night, Bundaberg Rum for Super Saturday, and KFC on Sunday.

Other key partners include: Mazda, Gillette, Hino Australia, TAB, Ultra Tune, BET365, Isuzu Utes; plus long-term broadcast partners Bunnings and Harvey Norman.

FOX SPORTS CEO, Patrick Delany, said:

“The launch of ‘every game live’ for the 2016 NRL premiership on FOX SPORTS was exceptionally well received by fans last year. Ratings were up double digits year-on-year and the content drove FOX SPORTS’ brand score to record levels. Fans engaged with our League coverage like never before.

“In 2017 the launch of FOX LEAGUE, with all its new shows and the freshest sports team on TV, will take that offering to a whole new level. There is something for everyone – the fanatic, fan or follower. We have experience in creating single sport media platforms with X Factor to drive engagement across TV, web and apps which will make FOX LEAGUE truly stand-out as something new and fresh in Australia. Fans will love FOX LEAGUE and the ability to immerse themselves in everything that comes with it, making it a unique opportunity for advertisers and sponsors.”

MCN national sports sales director, Martin Medcraf, said the channel launch was a landmark moment for the game and as such, it’s no surprise they’ve seen huge appetite from advertisers already.

“Live sport continues to be attractive to brands looking to align with live, premium, engaging content. Therefore, in much the same way advertisers were excited for the launch of the AFL FOX FOOTY channel in 2012, they are excited about the new partnerships available with FOX LEAGUE and its premium broadcast and digital NRL content on foxsports.com.au.

“This channel is yet another example of how FOX SPORTS’ is innovating sports broadcasting, providing the market with extensive cross-platform and LIVE NRL offerings, plus most importantly, delivering high performance partnership opportunities with deeper and richer integration than ever before. Combine this with the hugely successful year in 2016 with live FOX SPORTS NRL ratings up 15 per cent and it’s undoubtedly a great time to be a part of the game.

“We’re thrilled to have the support of our partners join us in this new era of FOX SPORTS NRL coverage, and look forward to continuing our proud history of creating client partnerships that deliver commercial outcomes for brands with this channel in 2017.”

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#16

502 has changed over to FOX League.

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#17

Hannah Hollis is proud to be a woman of indigenous heritage and a sports lover.

As part of Fox League’s trailblazing all-female talk panel League Life, she hopes to inspire youngsters of any gender or background to get involved in sport, or to follow other passions.

League Life airs 7.30pm Wednesdays.

Hannah’s League Life

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#18

Patrick Delany likens watching rugby league on TV and attending an NRL match to “going to a party”, which is in stark contrast to his opinion on what AFL fans experience.

The Fox Sports chief executive will on Monday see more than 12 months of work come to fruition when the wholly-rugby league dedicated Fox League channel launches, the second sport-specific channel the pay-television operator has following Fox Footy for AFL fans.

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#19

Fox Sports paraded Yvonne Sampson at the launch of their 24-hour league channel on Monday night despite a drawn out dispute with Channel Nine over her starting date at the pay TV giants. However, Sampson is once again caught in the crossfire of a media war with Triple M and Fox Sports in disagreement over her services.

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#20

Sun Herald Sydney reports FOX and Seven are in talks to share or simulcast the Rugby League World Cup at the end of this year.

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