By Gifford Lee
A huge number of venues across Australia have subscribed to the revamped Fox Footy channel, with many opting for the High Definition format, according to the latest statistics from Fox Sports Venues.
The pay television broadcaster has reported a high level of uptakes to its revamped Fox Footy channel while the number of venues upgrading to a high definition subscription have doubled nationwide.
Not surprisingly, only 14 Fox Sports Venues subscribers in the AFL heartland of Victoria have not subscribed to the dedicated AFL channel. South Australia has seen a 79 percent uptake of the channel while West Australia has so far recorded 76 per cent.
"The new Fox Footy channel has been tremendously well received in all of our markets nationwide, in particular Victoria, where there are only 14 Fox Sports Venue subscribers which haven’t taken it,” Ben Campbell said, who is Head of Commercial at Fox Sports Venues," Ben Campbell said, who is Head of Commercial at Fox Sports Venues.
"As expected, South Australia and WA have also experienced a vast majority of venues requesting the Fox Footy channel, with both states at almost 80% penetration of Fox Sports’ customers subscribing to Fox Footy."
One of the reasons for the downfall of the previous Fox Footy channel, which went off air in 2006 after four years on screens, was its lack of live matches compared to free to air coverage. With every match of every round of the regular AFL season live, Fox Footy has its obvious benefits this time round. And it appears fans would rather head to venues than watch the delayed, free-to-air coverage, in their homes.
"Many venues are finding the level of coverage on free to air channels isn’t enough to satisfy their AFL hungry customers," Campbell said.
Adding to the boost in subscriptions due to the revival of Fox Footy, Campbell said the majority of customers have upgraded to an HD subscription.
"They’ve cited the need to compete with the home market as one of the main reasons for upgrading," he said.
"With so many venue-going sports fans having the HD service at home, venues are finding they have to offer the same, if not better in terms of viewing experience, to attract the fans."