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So the dust has settled on another fantastic season of AFL football and the post-season reviews are starting to take place.
The Sydney Swans won the grand final, which is a great story. Collingwood didn’t, which is an even better one.
However, the most impressive thing about the 2012 AFL season was the re-introduction of Foxtel’s Fox Footy channel.
If you have $100 of spare cash to throw around a month and you love AFL football, Foxtel and the Fox Footy channel should be valuable additions to the lounge room.
I know that saying a product of the media is the best thing to happen in a season of a sport is slightly unorthodox, but that’s how revolutionary the channel has been.
Every week-night, two well-respected football journalists in Gerard Wheatley and Mark Robinson take us through the events of the day, in detail, for one hour.
On Monday evenings, the ultra-revolutionary AFL Insider program gives extraordinary insight into team structures, plays, and other sorts of tactics not caught at first glimpse, with the use of world-class technological advancements.
On The Couch with Gerard Healy, Mike Shehan and Paul Roos gives in-depth interviews with AFL personalities, as does Eddie McGuire Tonight and Mike Shehan’s Open Mike.
League Teams with Dermott Brereton, David Parkin, Tony Shaw, Liam Pickering, and Brad Johnson opens up the weekend of sport with all of the selections, injuries as well as a bit of banter and giggles along the way.
By the time the weekend comes along, all nine games are live, without any ad breaks, siren to siren. And although I sound completely brainwashed, which isn’t a far-fetched notion, Fox Footy’s telecasts are far more superior, insightful and watchable than Channel Seven’s dreary, tedious, three hour sessions of monotonous drivel.
There’s better commentary, better technology and you don’t have to listen to Bruce McAvaney ask one of his nonsensical rhetorical questions. However, if you choose to watch one of the four games a week broadcast by Seven, that unenviable position might just become your own.
And then after all of the interviews, the analysis, news and opinion and the nine live games of footy, After The Bounce with Danny Frawley, Jason Dunstall, Alistair Lynch and Andrew Gaze winds it all down with a show which doesn’t take itself too seriously, and provides viewers with a good wrap up of the weekend’s events.
And that’s where Fox Footy smashes Channel Seven. Seven’s coverage is too serious, and when it tries to throw the banter around (think Brian Taylor and Matthew Richardson), it fails.
Fox Footy is a genuinely professional outfit with the best reporters, the best coverage, the best technology, good charisma, legitimate humour and best of all; it just seems to work.
You feel as though Fox Footy have had a pretty good year, don’t you?
Damn you, Bruce McAvaney!