Best NRL Footy Show alternatives

For 25 years, The Footy Show on Channel 9 gave NRL fans the latest and greatest in news, entertainment and interviews. So now that it has been cancelled, where should you go?

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When iconic host Paul Vautin was unceremoniously dumped from Channel 9's NRL footy show in 2017, it spelled trouble for what was once one of the most popular shows on Australian television. It would last only one more year under new host Erin Molan before being cancelled altogether, the switch in style not saving the show's downward spiral.

Thursday nights will not be the same without the long running entertainment show, but there are alternatives out there for those who still want a Footy Show fix. The majority of these are available through the dedicated Fox League channel, which is available via Foxtel IQ ($68 per month), Foxtel Now ($54 per month) or Kayo Sports ($25 per month).

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While you may be familiar with Foxtel IQ, the premium set-top box experience, and Foxtel Now, its live streaming alternative service, you may not have heard of Kayo Sports.

Kayo Sports is a new, dedicated live sports streaming service that you can watch online through your browser, on your TV via ChromeCast, Apple TV, Telstra TV and Android TV, or through mobiles via an app. It features almost all the same sports content as Foxtel (sans the Eurosport channel and the three premier league club channels). So while it does not have The Footy Show, it does have most of the programming we'll detail below.

By trimming the content down to just the sports programming, Kayo Sports is able to greatly reduce the monthly access cost. However, this doesn't mean it cuts down on features: far from it. In fact, a host of unique viewing experiences make it the best way to watch sport in the country. This includes SplitView (with up to four channels at once), picture-in-picture mode, high scores, jump to highlight moment and more.

Kayo Sports has a 14-day free trial with instant sign-ups and cancellations, so it's easy to give a go. Every NRL Rugby League game this year bar the Grand Final will be aired live on Kayo Sports.

The Footy Show Alternatives: Top 5

Here are the Top 5 ways to get your fill of Rugby League NRL news and entertainment now that The Footy Show has been cancelled.

  1. The Sunday Footy Show (Channel 9)

Maintaining its traditional spot on Channel 9 is the Sunday Footy Show. It airs from 11am to 1pm every Sunday during the season with hosts Erin Molan, Peter Sterling, Brad Fittler and Allana Ferguson. Unlike its Thursday night counterpart, The Sunday Footy Show takes a purely analytical and news-driven approach, focusing in on the games already completed during that round of rugby league. While not on at the most approachable of times, it is on free-to-air.

  1. Sunday Night/Late Show with Matty Johns (Foxtel, Kayo Sports)

For an experience most similar to The Footy Show, you should seek out the two Matty Johns hosted programs on Fox League. The first is on Sunday night (formally Monday nights) starting at 8pm and running for one hour. It's the more analytical of the two shows being it directly follows a round of rugby league. However, it's still not short on mischief, gags and skits. Matty Johns airs again on Thursday nights at 10pm. A highlight of his shows are the continued antics of Fletch & Hindy, who have been following a bizarre near-fantasy narrative for years.

  1. NRL 360 (Foxtel, Kayo Sports)

Airing three days a week, Monday through Wednesday at 6.30pm, this is Rugby League's premier discussion show. Hosted by Ben Ikin and Paul Kent, alongside regular guests in the form of ex-players, current players and journalists, it dives deep into the daily issues that emerge from rugby league. From the good news, to the bad news, to team selections and form guides, it's purely informative and rarely leaves a stone unturned.

  1. The Fan (Foxtel, Kayo Sports)

Rugby league tragic Andrew Voss hosts The Fan, which airs on Tuesday nights at 7.30pm. For those with a long history with the game and a love for reminiscing about past players, performances, teams and moments, this is the show for you. Interviews and archival footage, and Voss' unmistakable passion for League's quirky eccentricities, ensure this is a guilty pleasure.

  1. The Professor's Late Hit (Foxtel, Kayo Sports)

Airing in 2019 at 9:50pm on Friday nights, right after the end of Friday Night Footy, the Professor's Late Hit is another way Footy Show fans can rediscover the silliness for which that show was known. Frequently teetering over the boundary of good taste, The Professor has just enough love for the game and knowledge in his delivery to make it all work. Check your IQ at the door on the way in… it will just get in he way.

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