Fox Sports will show every NRL Finals match live across September for the first time ever and to celebrate, fans will receive a dedicated Rugby League channel all month long on Foxtel.
On 5 September at 4am AEST, Fox Sports 501 will switch to NRL, and NRL only, as it showcases every match live, with no ad breaks during play and in high definition.
The initiative is a taste of what league fans have to look forward to in 2017 with Fox Sports switching on a dedicated 24/7 NRL channel.
There will be extra insight and analysis across September with NRL 360, hosted by Ben Ikin and Paul Kent, kicking off the week each Monday at 6.30pm to dissect all the weekend’s action.
Then Foxtel’s no 1 entertainment show, Monday Night with Matty Johns, with couch regulars Matty Johns, Gorden Tallis, Bryan Fletcher, Nathan Hindmarsh and Lara Pitt, returns to deliver more entertainment at the earlier time of 7.30pm.
The NRL Finals Channel will include three new shows to bring viewers closer to the September action than ever before.
Fans will hear from those closest to the game with players, coaches, league legends and club CEOs joining host Andrew Voss to discuss all the big talking points each Tuesday (7.30pm) on NRL Roundtable.
Each Thursday night (7.30pm), viewers can relive the greatest Finals moments in history, from the triumphs to the unsung heroes, on Finals Fever hosted by Braith Anasta and Tara Rushton.
There will then be plenty of laughs on the all-new Saturday Night Show on Fox, with host Tony Squires joined by Bryan Fletcher and Nathan Hindmarsh along with Monday night’s “The Professor” to wrap up the day’s action.
On Thursday 29 September, an NRL 360 Grand Final special live from the Opera House will look at the decider from every angle with a host of guests joining the desk.
Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delany said: “Last year’s breakthrough broadcast deal delivered Rugby League fans unprecedented coverage in 2016 and it only gets better, with the NRL Finals channel set to take things to a whole new level.
“The channel will give fans a taste of what’s to come as we gear up for our dedicated league channel launching in 2017, building on our promise to fans – your team live every week, with no ad breaks during play and in high definition.
“We will mix it up across September with a fresh look, new shows, plus more of our favourite faces. Our Finals coverage is going to be game-changing, while offering just a glimpse of what 2017 has in store.”
Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh said: “This great initiative is a huge win for Foxtel subscribers who love NRL. Only Foxtel can provide a specially programmed dedicated 24-hour channel giving our viewers an offering like no other.
“With this never-before-seen level of coverage, news and insightful commentary and analysis, the channel is a perfect entree to the dedicated NRL channel which will launch in 2017.”
The 2016 NRL Finals pop-up channel highlights:
• Every game live before the Grand Final with no ad breaks during play and in HD for the first time ever.
• Three new shows: NRL Roundtable, The Saturday Night Show on Fox and Finals Fever.
• NRL 360 moves to four nights.
Finals Entertainment Show Lineup:
NRL 360: 6.30pm, encore 8.30pm – Ben Ikin and Paul Kent; Journos Night
Monday Night with Matty Johns: 7.30pm – Matty Johns, Gorden Tallis, Bryan Fletcher, Nathan Hindmarsh, Lara Pitt
NRL Tonight: (Monday-Friday) 5.30pm and 9.30pm – Megan Barnard and Louise Ransome with James Hooper on Fox Sports News
NRL 360: 6.30pm, encore 8.30pm – Players Night with Benji Marshall and Michael Ennis
NRL Roundtable: 7.30pm – Andrew Voss
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
NRL Finals Fever: 7.30pm – Tara Rushton and Braith Anasta
NRL 360 Grand Final special live from the Opera House on Thursday 29 September
Finals Footy on Fox Pre-game from 7.00pm
Finals Footy on Fox Pre-game from 5.00pm
The Saturday Night Show on Fox: 9.45pm – Tony Squires, Fletcher, Hindmarsh and The Professor.
NRL Tonight: (Saturday and Sunday) 11.30am and 10.30pm on Fox Sports News
Finals Footy on Fox Pre-game from 3.15pm (Week 1)