By James Atkinson 

The upcoming launch of a 24/7 high definition AFL channel, Fox Footy, has been well received by Australia's pubs and bars as a major boost for their venues.

Fox Sports Venues yesterday announced that the Fox Footy channel will be available from February to October, providing unprecedented live AFL coverage, starting with 30 matches of the NAB Cup Pre-Season Competition, including the Grand Final.

The Toyota AFL Premiership Season will follow on the channel, with all 198 games shown live and uninterrupted. Where live matches clash, overlapping matches will be broadcast live on Fox Footy 1.

Lions @ Springwood general manager Paul McGuire told TheShout the imminent arrival of FOX FOOTY will give his venue a huge boost in the rugby league heartland of Brisbane and give them an added edge to what they can offer AFL fans.

The Brisbane bar, which is the official home of the Brisbane Lions AFL team, already attracts healthy numbers for televised Australian Rules matches but the new channel will allow it to consistently service fans with every game live and uninterrupted.

"We've finally got a designated channel that embraces footy culture," McGuire said.

"We can now guarantee our footy fans that they can come here and not have to fight with rugby league fans for which games we show live. We can simply split our coverage and satisfy everyone in one sitting.

"This channel means we can take our AFL coverage to an all new level and it puts an amazing edge to our product as a venue."

Dean Haritos, managing director of Sydney's Haritos Hotels – which owns venues including The Light Brigade and Verandah Bar – also welcomed the announcement.

"We are very excited about the opportunity that more content will bring," he told TheShout.

"It gives us something else for us to talk to our loyal AFL followers about and extra reasons for them to come to our venue."

The ability to offer live Adelaide Crows and Port Power games is a major boost for Adelaide's Walker Arms, added Dion Di Vittorio, marketing manager of the Dean Group of Hotels. 

"Having two massive outdoor super screens helps, as we have established ourselves as one of the premier venues in Adelaide to watch live sport in a beer garden," he said.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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