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The Footy Show future still up in the air

Eagle retires, Beams back, footy royalty Nat Edwards with the latest news

CHANNEL Nine is still planning a football focused primetime show next year, but is yet to commit to a new season of The Footy Show.

After 25 years the iconic program has struggled in the ratings in recent years, and was this year comprehensively beaten by Channel Seven's hugely successful competitor.

The Front Bar began as a program on AFL.com.au but was soon picked up by Seven as a post-game segment after Friday night football.

It eventually developed into a show in its own right and since going head-to-head with The Footy Show has now overtaken it. 

Not even the return of the show's founding host Eddie McGuire has helped Channel Nine regain ground. 

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The network recently shut down the rugby league version of the program, but the same fate is yet to be dealt to its AFL counterpart.

"We are still in discussions with Jam TV on the future and format of The Footy Show for 2019," a Nine spokesperson told AFL.com.au.

The increase in Thursday night football has hampered Nine's ability to consistently promote The Footy Show, even leading to a test airing on a Tuesday night late in the season.

It's understood Nine and Jam TV – which is owned by Eddie McGuire – are weighing up a new name and completely new cast for a primetime AFL format, but that is just one of many options on the table.

Rebecca Maddern is not expected to return, with her focus on the highly successful Ninja Warrior and Nine's upcoming tennis coverage.

The football media landscape has changed completely since The Footy Show's debut, with fans now having 24/7 access to AFL news on dedicated television, radio, online, social and smartphone platforms.