Jason Dunstall a key game day attraction on Fox Footy’s Kayo Sports programming

Fox Footy

Keeping the Fox Footy audience entertained: ‘It is important to have a sense of humour around the football.’

AFL Gather Round 2024 as broadcast by Fox Footy recorded the most minutes streamed of any AFL round in the short history of Kayo Sports. Across the four-day round in Adelaide, 252 million minutes were streamed.

That’s not much of an indication of how many people tuned in, but confirmation of how popular the weekend was for Kayo Sports streaming customers. More detailed viewing figures should be available for people watching subscription TV when data from Foxtel Media measurement partner Kantar becomes available.

A key contributor to the Fox Footy coverage consumed via Kayo Sports is Jason Dunstall.

Former Hawthorn champion full forward Dunstall has been with Fox Footy for most of his post-playing career. “It would be over 20 years,” the man known as The Chief on some of the programs on which he appears told Mediaweek.

“All that means is that I am very old,” he laughed.

Jason Dunstall supporting the Big Freeze MND fundraiser.
Top image: Dunstall with The Bounce team Andrew Gaze, Ben Dixon, Bernie Vince and Cameron Mooney

See also: Fox Footy and Seven are the key players as all media descend on Adelaide for Gather Round

The Fox Footy audience can see Dunstall contributing special comments on some weekend games. He is also the host of the channel’s popular Sunday evening show The Bounce. On radio, he’s part of the Friday Huddle on Triple M.

His footy season duties range from the fun of The Bounce, and the radio work, to more serious analysis during a Fox Footy match.

Dunstall enjoys the mix of programming. He told Mediaweek, “We can be far too serious about the game at times. It is nice to be able to balance it with a bit of a light-hearted look. There is nothing wrong with poking fun at the game when you get an opportunity.

“We don’t poke fun at anyone more than we poke fun at ourselves. It is important to have a sense of humour around the football.”

Dunstall said not everybody takes on board the humour as it was intended. “You can’t please everyone in this business. So be it. We don’t do anything out of malice. We always poke fun at ourselves before we have a go at anyone else.”

Dunstall (top right) with Triple M Friday Huddle colleagues in Adelaide: Nathan Brown (top left) and Mark Howard and Luke Darcy (front)

Who’s who on The Bounce

The 2024 season of the Sunday night show sees the full complement of regulars returning. Dunstall is joined by Andrew Gaze, Cameron Mooney, Bernie Vince and Ben Dixon. “We are also working with Collingwood AFLW player Ruby Schleicher this year. She is an absolute star and keeps us in touch with the younger brigade. She does a few of the challenges on The Bounce.”

Bernie Vince is one of The Bounce team members not seen much on other Fox Footy programming. But Dunstall noted he’s an important part of the Sunday show. “He’s got a cheeky lovable larrikin feel about him. He likes having a little bit of fun. He can be a bit loose and that suits The Bounce perfectly.

While Dunstall is the host and ringmaster of The Bounce, he points to someone else as the main attraction. “Gazey is the star of the show. Even when he’s not trying to be funny, he makes you laugh. His natural reactions to everything make us all laugh. He is such a normal, straight guy but he loves a laugh. He loses it regularly which is just so funny.

“When you put him in a situation where he needs to be physically active, his lack of physical ability and coordination is mind-boggling. Especially considering he was a superstar sportsman.”

Analysing the game on Fox Footy

Across the large football family at Fox Footy, Dunstall doesn’t have any favourites. “I am happy to work with anyone. We tend to work in teams. We have a great Thursday night team on Fox – Sarah Jones, myself, David King and Leigh Montagna. Kingy and Joey [Montagna] look in detail at the statistics while I look at just what I am seeing on the ground.

“Over the course of a weekend, I get to work with others too. I generally feel we have the best AFL callers anywhere – Anthony Hudson and Dwayne Russell.”

Dunstall’s Fox Footy colleague Dwayne Russell at Norwood Oval for the AFL Gather Round

Fox Footy soon to call every game

Like the rest of the team at Fox Footy, Dunstall is looking forward to the 2025 season. “We will get to do every game instead of just a studio hosting for some matches.”

When asked if he was ready for any extra duties, he grinned and said: “I’m not sure I’m capable at my age. From a channel perspective, it will be great to have all our own people. We will get to do everything just the way we want to do it.

Looking at the stats from the previous week and checking a team’s form is part of Dunstall’s weekly prep for a new round.

He won’t overdo it though. “I try not to have too many preconceived ideas. I like to comment on what I’m seeing during a game.”

During his playing career, Dunstall was a one-team player. He spent 14 years with Hawthorn, with an impressive haul of 1,254 goals. He was part of a very successful team. During that time, he knocked back an offer to return to Queensland and join Brisbane.


Fox Footy’s Michael Neill with hosts Sarah Jones, Jason Dunstall, David King and Leigh Montagna

Similarly, he’s not going anywhere else in his media career. “I manage the relationship with Fox. There’s no thought of me going anywhere else. As long as they want me, I’m happy to stay.

After football, in addition to his media work, Dunstall was on the Hawthorn board for a decade. “We introduced a cap on the amount of time you could spend on the board. I did my three terms then it was time to pass it to someone else.”

Dunstall’s term at Fox Footy still has some time to run and he’ll continue to be an important part of what will be a growing team in preparation for season 2025.

The viewing record the team at Fox Footy broke for Gather Round coverage

See also: Foxtel Upfront 2024: Kantar Media partnership to deliver comprehensive ratings data

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