Fox Sports (Australia)

Fox Sports is an Australian group of sports channels[2] owned and operated by Foxtel. Its main competitors are ESPN and beIN Sports, both available as part of a Foxtel or Kayo Sports subscription.

Fox Sports
Fox Sports logo1.svg
HeadquartersGore Hill
Picture format576i (SDTV) 16:9
1080i (HDTV) 16:9
Sister channelsFox Cricket
Fox Footy
Fox League
Fox Sports News
Launched26 January 1995
Former namesPremier Sports (prior to 19 February 1996)
FoxtelChannel 257 (503 HD)
Channel 259 (505 HD)
Channel 260 (506 HD)
Channel 264 (More HD)
Channel 503 (503 SD)
Channel 505 (505 SD)
Channel 506 (506 SD)
Channel 507 (More SD)
*Same channel numbers for Optus TV Featuring Foxtel
FoxtelChannel 257 (503 HD)
Channel 259 (505 HD)
Channel 260 (506 HD)
Channel 264 (More HD)
Channel 503 (503 SD)
Channel 505 (505 SD)
Channel 506 (506 SD)
Channel 507 (More SD)
Foxtel NowChannel 503 (503)
Channel 505 (505)
Channel 506 (506)
Channel 507 (More)
Streaming media
Foxtel GoChannel 503 (503)
Channel 505 (505)
Channel 506 (506)
Channel 507 (More)
Kayo SportsFox Sports 503
Fox Sports 505
Fox Sports 506
Fox Sports More

Fox Sports in Australia differs from other Fox Sports-branded channels in the United States and in Mexico in those are not owned by Fox Corporation and Grupo Multimedia Lauman respectively, but by Foxtel. Both the U.S and Australian companies nonetheless remain under the control of the Murdoch family, as Foxtel is majority-owned by the Murdoch-controlled News Corp Australia.


Fox Sports started life as the Premier Sports Network (later just Premier Sports) as the only fully operational local channel at the launch of Australia's first pay-television service, Galaxy.[3] Premier Sports' backers included American company Prime International, which later became part of Liberty Media.

The service was launched at 16:00 on 26 January 1995 in Sydney, and made a name for itself, securing the rights to Australia's cricket tour of the West Indies.[3] Previously Australian cricket tours had been covered on the Nine Network on free-to-air, and Nine tried to stop the broadcast under Australia's anti-siphoning rules, which state that certain popular sporting events cannot be screened exclusively on pay television. PSN signed a deal with Network 10 to share the broadcast rights.

When Foxtel launched its cable service later that year, PSN was included as part of the package. Between 1995 and 2010, Fox Sports aired National Basketball League (NBL) games. On 1 March 1996, PSN was relaunched as Fox Sports Australia, to coincide with the new Super 12 rugby union competition and the proposed launch of the Super League.

In 1997 a secondary channel was launched on Foxtel to carry broadcasts of the new Super League competition. Fox Sports and its chief competitor, Sports Australia shared the rights to NRL broadcasts as a result of the legal settlement in the Super League war. The channel on Foxtel was later relaunched as Fox Sports Two, at first broadcasting from Friday through Monday each week, and later expanding to a full 24-hour, 7-day service in 2002.

When Optus Vision dropped the C7 Sport service in March 2002, they started carrying the Fox Sports channels. These were referred to by Optus as "Optus Sports 1" and "Optus Sports 2" in Optus promotional material; on-air programming referred to the channels as simply "Sports One" and "Sports Two", although programming such as the nightly Fox Sports News bulletins retained the Fox name. Optus dropped the "Optus Sports" name in October 2002.

Fox Sports Two was generally used to cover bigger events that require large amounts of air time, such as the 1998 Winter Olympics, Grand Slam tennis tournaments, and the 2004 European Football Championship. It now specialises as a 24/7, dedicated Rugby League channel, Fox League.

During the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Fox Sports carried an additional eight channels dedicated to Games events. These were available to customers at an additional charge.

Fox Sports was the exclusive broadcaster of the A-League from its first season in 2005 until 2020. In 2006, an A$120 million deal between the Football Federation Australia and Fox Sports was reached after the end of the first season. Under the deal, Fox Sports had exclusive rights from 2007 to all Socceroos home internationals, all A-League and Asian Cup fixtures, World Cup qualifiers through the Asian Football Confederation, and all AFC Champions League matches.

The deal to cover the A-league live and exclusive reaped big rewards for Fox Sports, its ratings were very strong in the 2006-07 season and the 2007 A-league grand final became at the time, Fox Sports' highest ever rating event.[4]

Ratings for football have generally been very good. The Socceroos first game of the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, attracted 345,000 viewers,[5] while their Quarter final drew an average of 419,000[6] - at the time, an all-time record for Australian Pay TV. This record was broken on 1 April 2009, when the Socceroos defeated Uzbekistan to put them very close to qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This match was watched by an average of 431,000 people.[7]

In 2007, Fox Sports reached a deal to broadcast 4 games live and exclusive from the AFL each week. This includes the exclusive only Sunday twilight match. In addition they will broadcast Friday night games live into New South Wales and Queensland via channel 518 at no extra charge - normally used for pay-per-view service Main Event. When channel 518 a is used in this way it is promoted as Fox Sports Plus on-air.

The channel is being used increasingly to show live events when Fox Sports has a clash involving its main 3 channels. On Saturday 17 March 2007, for example, Fox Sports broadcast a match from the 2007 Cricket World Cup (Ireland v Pakistan) live on 518, as it was committed to football, rugby union and another cricket match on its main 3 channels.

In 2010 Fox Sports coverage of National Rugby League games held 73 out of the top 100 programs of any type aired on Foxtel. In February 2012, the Premier Media Group changed its name to Fox Sports Pty Limited.[8]

On 5 March 2013, Fox Sports unveiled its new headquarters at Gore Hill in Sydney. It was announced that the main studio would be named the Clive Churchill Studio after rugby league immortal Clive Churchill, as the studio will house NRL coverage. Technical innovations were the main highlight, with CEO Patrick Delany unveiling the FoxKopter, the FoxMobile Segway, Ref Cam and Cornerpost Cam. Fox Sports also launched a new corporate logo in line with its global affiliate broadcasters.[9][10]

On 3 September 2014, Fox Sports announced that SPEED and Fuel TV would be rebranded as FOX Sports 4 and FOX Sports 5 on 3 November 2014, of which both will be available in HD. In addition, it was announced that FOX Sports News would launch a HD feed on the same day, taking FOX Sports' suite to 7 channels, all available in HD.[11][12]

On 23 February 2017, Fox Sports More, a new channel for live, pop-up events was launched.

Corporate historyEdit

Fox Sports Australia Pty Limited

Fox Sports Australia Pty Limited (formerly Premier Media Group Pty Limited) is a subsidiary of Foxtel that owns sports-related television networks and digital properties. It owns Australian subscription TV channels Fox Sports, Fox Sports News and Fox Footy and a range of video, text and statistical content for television, mobile phone and online delivery. It operates the Watch AFL and Watch NRL subscription streaming services which show Australian sports content to global audiences.

In February 2012, Premier Media Group changed its name to Fox Sports, with CEO Patrick Delany explaining "The change from Premier Media to Fox Sports provides a stronger reflection of the core business of the company in its name, which is, and will continue to be, sport."

On 2 November 2012, News Corp took control of Consolidated Media Holdings after a $2 billion merger was approved by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, Federal Court and Consolidated Media Holding shareholders, making News Corp 100% owner of Fox Sports Pty Ltd.[13] In April 2018 News Corp Australia moved the ownership of the company to one of its subsidiaries Foxtel a joint venture with Telstra.[14]

Fox Sports NewsEdit


  • Fox Sports News: Channel 500 & Channel 254 in HD.
  • Fox Cricket: Channel 501 & Channel 255 in HD. Branded as Fox Sports 1 prior to 23 February 2017, then branded as Fox Sports 501 from 23 February 2017 to 17 September 2018.
  • Fox League: Channel 502 & Channel 256 in HD. Branded as Fox Sports 2 prior to 23 February 2017.[15]
  • Fox Sports 503: Channel 503 & Channel 257 in HD. Branded as Fox Sports 3 prior to 23 February 2017.[15]
  • Fox Footy: Channel 504 & Channel 258 in HD.
  • Fox Sports 505: Channel 505 & Channel 259 in HD .Branded as Fox Sports 4 prior to 23 February 2017.[15]
  • Fox Sports 506: Channel 506 & Channel 260 in HD. Branded as Fox Sports 5 prior to 23 February 2017.[15]
  • Fox Sports More: Channel 507 & Channel 264 in HD. Although broadcast 24/7, the channel only acts as a pop-up channel with only occasional programming.[15]
  • Fox Sports Ultra HD: Channel 508 in 4K Ultra HD

Former channelsEdit

  • Fox Sports 501: Channel 501. Also available in HD. Replaced by Fox Cricket.
  • Fox Sports 502: Channel 502. Also available in HD. Replaced by Fox League.[15]
  • Fox Sports Plus: Launched on 6 September 2012, the channel showed what live and upcoming sports were available via Viewer's Choice on Fox Sports 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.[16] The channel ceased broadcasting on 9 February 2017, and was replaced on 23 February 2017 by Fox Sports More.[15]
  • Fuel TV (replaced by Fox Sports 505)[11][12]
  • Main Event: The Main Event channel was used as an "overflow" channel when multiple live sporting events needed to be broadcast. This included Friday Night AFL in New South Wales, Queensland and Australian Capital Territory and Saturday Nights in New South Wales (excluding the Wagga Wagga market) and Canberra. It was also used nationwide for a Socceroos game in June 2007. On many occasions the Main Event channel was used when the Premier League had multiple games on the one night, although usage in this capacity is rare now that the "Viewer's Choice" system of showing multiple matches on one channel through multi-casting (pressing the "Red Button" on a Foxtel/Austar remote control). Unlike the AFL, the NRL was never broadcast into Southern Australia through Fox Sports Plus on Friday nights, leaving its Southern Australian fans having to wait until at least after midnight for a replay of the match on local free-to-air channels up until 2012.
  • Speed (replaced by Fox Sports 506)[11][12]
  • Footy Play powered by Fox Sports (available on Xbox 360, Telstra T-Box, and Foxtel on Internet TV).
  • Sports Play powered by Fox Sports (available on Xbox 360, Telstra T-Box, and Foxtel on Internet TV until 2013, when Fox Sports 1-3 launched on these services.)[2][17]


Current programmingEdit

Former programmingEdit

Sports/competitions televised by Fox SportsEdit

Australian rules footballEdit

  • Australian Football League Premiership Season (Broadcasts three matches live during most weekends of the regular season whenever sister channel Fox Footy, is screening another LIVE match at the same time. Fox Sports occasionally screens other programming such as magazine and panel shows that are produced and broadcast by Fox Footy.


Combat sportsEdit



Field hockeyEdit


Ice hockeyEdit


Formula racingEdit

Open wheelEdit

Stock CarsEdit

Touring CarsEdit


Drag racingEdit





Rugby leagueEdit

Rugby unionEdit



Ten-pin bowlingEdit



Fox Sports is available nationally and is available on Foxtel's My Sport package and Optus featuring Foxtel's Total Sport package.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ News Corp strengthens grip on enlarged Foxtel Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax Media, 2018
  2. ^ a b "About Fox Sports". Fox Sports. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b Bertolus, Phil (2 February 1995). "At home with Pay TV". The Age Green Guide. Melbourne: Fairfax Media. p. 1. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Big Audience For A-league Final". Archived from the original on 30 December 2012.
  5. ^ "footballboots big league". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 July 2007.
  6. ^ "Japan Game a TV Record". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  7. ^ "Crikey - On politics, media, business, the environment and life". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2009.
  8. ^ Knox, David (29 February 2012). "Premier Media changes name to Fox Sports Australia". TV Tonight. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  9. ^ Knox, David (6 March 2013). "FOX Sports launches new HQ TV Tonight". TV Tonight. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Fox Sports unveils fresh new look, leading technology ahead of exciting winter season The Cou". The Courier Mail. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Knox, David (3 September 2014). "FOX Sports adding two more channels". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  12. ^ a b c Mark@ (3 September 2014). "BEST YEAR EVER IN 2015 DEMANDS SEVEN HIGH DEFINITION FOX SPORTS CHANNELS". KnowFirst. Archived from the original on 23 December 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  13. ^ "News Limited seals pay TV deal after Federal Court approves CMH takeover". The Australian. 2 November 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Foxtel and Fox Sports complete merger". 3 April 2018.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g PaigeTurner (16 February 2017). "FOX SPORTS More launches 23 February on channel 507 in HD". Foxtel. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  16. ^ Knox, David (28 August 2012). "FOX Sports Plus channel to launch". TV Tonight. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Foxtel on Internet TV Channel Packages". Foxtel. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^ "Fox Sports to show Indian Super League". 15 September 2014.
  21. ^ "World Surf League: FOX SPORTS to showcase world's best surfers". Foxtel. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  22. ^ Hickman, Arvind (15 November 2017). "SBS continues to push the boundaries by tackling diversity, sexism, racism in 2018". AdNews. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  23. ^ Knox, David (19 June 2017). "SBS secures US Open finals". TV Tonight. Retrieved 19 June 2017.

External linksEdit