With COVID-19 proving a major obstacle for the 2020 AFL season, it’s no surprise we lost a number of AFL shows like AFL Game Day and Talking Footy on the way. Here at Sporting HQ we’ve rated those that remain, excluding those with less budget and production capabilities.
Somehow continuing into 2020, the Sunday night ‘Bounce’ with Jason Dunstall, Cam Mooney, Andrew Gaze, Sharni Layton and Bernie Vince could be the most unprofessional AFL program. With a truly tragic accident robbing the show of its heartbeat in Danny Frawley, ‘Bounce’ and its low effort are segments are left at the bottom of the barrel.
14. The Oval Office
A forgettable show with an unfortunate scheduling time, The Oval Office features Sam Edmund and Liam Pickering often diving into the same issues other more hard-hitting programs too, slightly later. If this show was all you could find time for you wouldn’t be too upset, but compared to the competition it definitely falls behind.
13. Access all areas
Recycling the expertise of Damian Barrett and Matthew Lloyd, Access All Areas is an online show on a Monday morning. Despite a short and sweet 20 minute time slot, the show is crammed full of gambling ads and irrelevant tangents, making it too inconsistent to be placed any higher.
12. Yokayi Footy
Yokayi Footy is a fresh new AFL program which brings some much-needed appreciation on indigenous contribution the AFL. With inexperienced hosts Bianca Hunt, Tony Armstrong and even Darryl White, this unusual combination definitely fills a niche. However, whilst its weekly community stories are certainly heart-warming, it has a ways to go to become interesting enough to fill out the entire time slot.
11. Armchair Experts
Hosted by Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney and ‘Super Fan’ (?) Cam Luke, Armchair Experts is a show with a casual and funny tone that works decently well. With focuses on their predictions for games and segments such as ‘tweet of the week’, it can be a nice watch occasionally, but it’s not something to go looking for every week.
10. The Round So Far
Consisting of duo Kane Cornes and Mitch Cleary, this show has the luxury of occurring mid-round, allowing it to provide detailed on analysis on games only a few days after. However, this can also be a curse with the awkward combination of hosts struggling to find enough to talk about without making up some drama themselves.
9. Speed Round
Speed Round is a new, quick and fun show where Sarah Ollie pits Nick Dal Santo and Jason Dunstall against each other over the 5 biggest issues of the week with each having a minute to argue to get a point. While it may put the talents of Jason Dunstall to better use than other shows, it doesn’t address its overall lack of substance.
8. Open Mike
A relatively consistent and undoubtedly hard-hitting program, it’s a shame that Mike Sheahan has decided to retire from TV entirely this year. Peaking with interviews with Warwick Capper, Anthony Stevens and Alan Stoneham, perhaps it’s a good thing ‘Open Mike’ is wrapping up, with some comparatively lacklustre interviews this year on Jack Trengove and Callan Ward suggesting he was running out of guests.
7. AFL Tonight
Spearheaded by Kath Loughnan and Drew Jones, AFL tonight is an informative program that fits into a sharp half hour format. Utilising the best writers and reporters available, the wide range of opinions means the show doesn’t succumb to ‘Vic bias’ and the viewer can actually learn a few things about important AFL issues with minimal filler.
6. Saturday Stretch
Saturday stretch is a breath of fresh air with its optimistic panel of Brad Johnson, Kath Loughnan and Jordan Lewis. Airing right after the game Saturday, the show has access to live crosses, media conferences and interviews, in what is simply a must-watch if your team gets the win.
5. AFL 360
In what has been a mainstay of AFL television for years, AFL 360 and its unique hosts Gerard Whateley and Mark Robinson don’t look like slowing down. With its prestige enabling it to snare crucial interviews with coaches and behind the scenes footage, AFL 360 is only let down by the misfiring Robinson and his wayward hot takes.
4. Footy Classified
An AFL show which you either love or love to hate, Footy Classified did well to keep going in the absence of football and with Chris Judd departing. With hosts Craig Hutchinson, Matthew Lloyd, Caroline Wilson and Kane Cornes, this confrontational show is known to break stories first with ‘Caro’s arrow’ a customary part of any Monday night. However, the show is let down by its Wednesday counterpart, which simply rehashes the Monday analysis, with Eddie McGuire’s addition adding some intrigue, particularly when clashing with Tony Jones on the pre-show cross to the news or more commonly, with Caroline Wilson when discussing Collingwood, but outside of this it was otherwise just unnecessary drama.
3. The Sunday Footy Show
Having only gone up despite the original Thursday ‘Footy Show’ coming to an end, the Sunday Footy show succeeds off the back of the hilarious banter between hosts, mainly the many ways they can show the clip of Tony Jones and Rebecca Judd. With the strong personalities on the panel such as Lloyd and Cornes managing to present some interesting football opinions through segments such as the Vol-Kane-O, the analysis often just gets in the way of the fun, which is the real drawcard of the show.
2. On the Couch
Despite losing footy genius Paul Roos from the panel, ‘On the Couch’ has not faltered in its quality in 2020. Hosted by Gerard Healy and joined by Jonathan Brown, Nick Riewoldt and Garry Lyon, it is no stretch to say that this program is the go-to show for analysis, bringing underperforming players and coaches into the firing line. While their detailed AFL ramblings may not be for everyone, this show is hard to go past for the diehard footy fan.
1. The Front Bar
With the banter of Mick Molloy and Sam Pang mediated by Andy Maher, The Front Bar is undisputed king of AFL comedy. Managing to consistently bring in unique sportsmen and fans, the show is able to put itself a league above all others. The show does very well to keep viewers coming back weekly, as it is fraught with running gags and regulars. Whilst it’s not perfect and the advertisement of Carlton Draught and Sportsbet is painfully unavoidable, that’s footy and that’s why we love it