In making the announcement, the network added it is planning to “revolutionise” its coverage of the code next year.
While 12 TV Week Logies were relatively easy for the program to collect, keeping an audience wasn’t. The Grand Final edition of the NRL Footy Show had an audience of just 79,000 in Sydney last week and 52,000 in Brisbane.
Both of Nine’s Footy Shows have been losing audience – but they have been disappearing faster for the NRL edition. Just last year the Grand Final edition had a Sydney audience of 157,000 and 124,000 in Brisbane.
Nine’s director of sport Tom Malone said: “It’s been an incredible ride for The Footy Show – a quarter of a century of laughs, controversy and first-class footy analysis. I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this amazing era of live sports entertainment television – from producers, editors, camera operators, the players, guests and of course the legendary hosts.
“Fatty holds the record for the longest serving host of any primetime Australian TV show – a tribute to both his understanding of the game, his authenticity, and not to mention his incredible comedic timing. In recent years, Erin has equally brought a new energy, perspective and showed her passion for the game.”
With Paul Vautin back in the commentary box, Nine announced that NRL Footy Show host Erin Molan will be joining the Wide World of Sports team to help lead the coverage of rugby league, netball, tennis and cricket.
Malone said: “Erin is a star and a great broadcaster. She’s going to take an even more prominent role on Nine’s sports broadcasts going forward.”
Without providing any details yet, Nine has said Wide World of Sports will launch a new look, feel and sound to its rugby league coverage in 2019, including two new post-match shows to follow Thursday Night Football and Friday Night Football.