Channel nine has unceremoniously axed The AFL Footy Show after 25 years on air and 735 episodes.
The networked confirmed the end of the show in a statement last night, as the once iconic TV show experienced its worst ratings in history, with audience figures slumping to just 53,000 viewers in Melbourne last week.
The announcement came an hour after the show went to air.
Nine’s Melbourne MD Matt Scriven said: “It is with regret that The Footy Show will no longer be produced,” Nine’s Melbourne managing director Matt Scriven said.
“It has been a tough decision to end the program that has been such a trailblazer, but sadly the new show has not captured audiences in the way we had hoped.”
Debuting in 1994 with Eddie McGuire and Sam Newman at the helm, The Footy Show quickly became the program AFL fans turned to for breaking news, team selection news, footy banter and a sprinkle of comedy, too.
While Newman was a controversial figure, the show was once upon a time a huge hit, drawing in 480,000 views in Melbourne a decade ago.
McGuire paid tribute to The Footy Show on Triple M’s The Hot Breakfast this morning.
He said: “When we first started we were told, ‘You’ve got six weeks to make it rate.
“We’ve got 729 more episodes than what anybody thought on the first night.
“It changed my life, it was the biggest influence on my life. It gave me everything I’ve ever had in my life and everything I’ve ever dreamt of.”
The Footy Show was Australia’s longest-running sports entertainment show on prime time TV.