Redundancies at Fox Sports News as on-air hours cut

Up to 20 staffers have been cut from Fox Sports News as the channel reviews its programming and commits to fewer on-air hours.

The cuts will follow viewer habits, with a low daytime viewership seeing the focus move to morning and evening live sports news.

Fox Sports News airs out of News Corp Australia’s Sydney offices

A Foxtel Group spokesperson confirmed the redundancies to Mumbrella and said the decision was unfortunate, but a necessary one.

“We are constantly reviewing our channel line-up to ensure our programming reflects what our customers want to watch and when they want to watch it. As a result, we are making some changes to the programming on Fox Sports News effective at the end of this month,” said the spokesperson.

“Customer viewing now peaks in the morning and evening with low daytime viewership, therefore we are going to focus on delivering live sports news and the channel’s marquee programs, including AFL Tonight, NRL Tonight and Cricket AM, during those peak periods.

“Unfortunately, less live sports news programming will mean a number of redundancies from the Fox Sports News team. Where possible we will seek to redeploy employees across the Foxtel group. The decision is not about the coronavirus and its impact on sport. It simply reflects fewer viewers, particularly away from peak times – and the very soft advertising market.”

The Fox Sports News bulletins are largely run by Sky News and currently air out of the News Corp Sydney offices, the same studio which previously hosted News Corp Australia and Nine’s joint venture Your Money before its closure.

Foxtel has faced a number of redundancies over the last year after restructuring its sales and marketing departments. Initially, a dozen staffers were let go, but they were followed a few months later by around 10 more.

Foxtel has denied the changes at Fox Sports News are related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its impact on the sports industry. Earlier this week, Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle announced the organisation would be ceasing its broadcast rights negotiations amid the virus outbreak. Foxtel is one of the current broadcast rights holders for the sport.


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